Hit with Coin Listing Policy Lawsuit
A lawsuit was filed Jan. 10, 2008 against eBay, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) for defamation and unfair and deceptive trade practices.
The suit was filed in United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida by National Numismatic Certification, LLC (NNC), ASA Accugrade, Inc (ACG), PCI Coin Grading, Inc (PCI), Treasure Gallery, Inc., Sovereign Entities Grading Service, Inc.(SEGS) and Centsles, Inc. The suit seeks damages:
" … in excess of $75,000.00, exclusive of costs, interest and attorney’s fees and for temporary and permanent injunction relief …"
At the root of the suit, eBay’s policy change limiting the listing of coins as certified
eBay’s policy page on selling currency sets out the requirements in listing coins or paper money. Key aspects outlined on the page are prohibiting counterfeit sales and providing full disclosure on anything that could affect a listing’s value. This policy and elements surrounding an update and announcement to it were driving forces in the lawsuit.
In Sept. 2007, eBay updated their policy for selling coins. eBay limited the listing of coins as certified to those coins that had been graded by these, and only these, selected grading companies:
- Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)
- Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS)
- Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS)
- Independent Coin Grading (ICG)
The plaintiffs complaints in the suit are directed toward claimed construction mechanisms of eBay’s udpated policy, the way it was stated and the ANA press release announcing eBay’s policy change. They claim actions essentially branded their graded coins as "counterfeit" and/or their companies as dealing in counterfeit items. In specific regards to the ANA press release, the plaintiffs say they:
“… have been injured in their respective abilities to carry out their professions, trades, and occupations and have been exposed to distrust, hatred, contempt and ridicule … As a direct and proximate result of said defamatory conduct, Plaintiff have lost considerable income and profits and their goodwill has suffered immensely …"
The lawsuit seeks a trial by jury in federal court.