Penney facing Macy’s suit over Martha Stewart ware

J.C. Penney, which is struggling with big losses and steep sales declines, could face another challenge: empty shelves.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing told Penney’s attorneys on Monday that the chain took a risk by ordering towels, cookware and other products from the company that home diva Martha Stewart founded. In fact, Oing said he could force Penney to stop the products from heading to the shelves this spring even as they come off the docks.

“That’s the risk your client took,” Oing said. “Ultimately, you guys played it out.”

Oing said he will hear oral arguments on Friday over the issue of whether Penney can sell goods such as towels designed by Martha Stewart Living that are covered by Macy’s exclusive agreement but are not sold under the Martha Stewart brand name.

The judge’s statements came during the start of the third week in a trial that pits J.C. Penney Co. against rival Macy’s Inc. over their relationship with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. At issue is whether Macy’s has the exclusive right to sell some of Martha Stewart branded products.

 

FAA expects expert action on Boeing 787 battery fix

Boeing said Monday that it is set to move quickly to get its 787s back in the air if it gets federal approval for a fix for the batteries that have grounded the planes.

The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a plan that Boeing submitted Feb. 22 for fixing the batteries. The FAA has said it expects its experts to recommend this week whether to accept the plan.

 

Pratt & Whitney uncovers fraudulent testing of parts

Tet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney said Monday it has uncovered fraudulent testing of engine parts involving falsified records, but that no recalls or other problems, such as flight safety risks, resulted.

The subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., based in East Hartford, Conn., said an investigation was begun in June 2011 when an employee anonymously alleged that test data had been altered over 15 years at Carmel Forge, another United Technologies unit, in Israel.

“Carmel Forge produced test records that were not accurate,” Pratt & Whitney spokeswoman Stephanie Duvall said in an email.

An internal investigation found that employees doctored metallurgical test results to make certain engine forgings appear to meet strict standards when in fact they did not, the company said.