Clint Arthur settles lawsuit against Louis Vuitton over MOCA sale of 'limited edition' Murakami art
Clint Arthur and Louis Vuitton have settled the highly unusual lawsuit the Los Angeles man brought against the luxury goods seller after he became disenchanted with artworks by Pop artist Takashi Murakami that he'd bought at a boutique Louis Vuitton had set up during the 2007-08 Murakami exhibition at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art.
Arthur became suspicious that the two limited edition works he'd bought for $6,000 each might not be quite so limited -- and as it turns out, they were literally cut from the same cloth as mass-produced canvas handbags that Murakami had designed for Louis Vuitton.
But Arthur's federal suit lost most of its potential financial bite when a judge in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ruled there was no fraud involved in Louis Vuitton's not specifying that the Murakami canvases were handbag material.
Arthur settled in mid-December for what Louis Vuitton had offered from the start: a $12,000 refund, plus interest. But documents in the case contain some interesting details about Murakami's process, and the settlement still leaves open the question of whether Louis Vuitton is vulnerable to a follow-up suit by the California attorney general or L.A.'s city attorney or the county district attorney for having possibly violated the state Fine Prints Act.
-- Mike Boehm
Photos: Clint Arthur in 2009 with Murakami works he has since returned in a lawsuit settlement. Credit: Stefano Paltera / Los Angeles Times