Lawsuit judgment against L.L. Bean reduced by $304,363

Posted April 06, 2012, at 4:25 p.m.
Last modified April 06, 2012, at 5 p.m.

HARRINGTON, Maine — A judgement in a lawsuit that originally ordered L.L. Bean to pay Washington County Christmas wreath producer Worcester Wreath Co. $961,811 was reduced Friday in Maine Business and Consumer Court by $304,363.

After reviewing the accounting included in the original suit, Justice A.M. Horton reduced the amount owed to $657,448.

The judgement settles a contentious and long-lingering dispute over balsam goods production during the 2008 holiday season.

In his original ruling, Horton found that L.L. Bean had ordered more wreaths and other balsam products that year than it was ultimately able to sell. As a result, he ruled that Worcester was entitled to compensation for ramping up for production and purchasing components needed to make those products — balsam tips, decorations and wire wreath frames that were never sold.

“L.L. Bean has always acknowledged that it owed Worcester something for the purchase orders in dispute and was willing to pay — and in fact tried to pay — Worcester,” L.L. Bean spokesperson Carolyn Beem said Friday. “The dispute was how much Worcester claimed it was owed, and claimed much more than which it was entitled. The resulting judgment is in the range of what Bean had offered in settlement at the beginning of the litigation, and in fact less than offered prior to the litigation.”

Merrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreaths, said Friday that the new judgement was under review by his attorneys. He declined to comment further.