In 2017, the singer sued an auctioneer, Gotta Have It! Collectibles, and former art consultant Darlene Lutz over the sale of some personal items that went missing after she moved out her Miami home.
The songstress said she didn’t realize her possessions had been misplaced until the letter, a hairbrush containing her blonde locks and other memorabilia appeared in an auction in July 2017.
While Madonna was granted a temporary stay to block the auction last summer, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Gerald Lebovits ultimately threw out her suit, citing a statute of limitations.
“Mere ignorance or lack of discovery of the wrong is not sufficient to toll the statute,” Lebovits wrote in the ruling, Page Six reported.
“The release language indicates the end of any relationship between the parties, including the broad waiver for any claims then ‘unknown and unsuspected,’” the decision said, according to The Wrap. “Plaintiff knew that throughout her relationship with Lutz, Lutz was in possession of various pieces of plaintiff’s personal property … Yet before this action began, plaintiff did not make any demand for the return of her possessions.”
“Plaintiff could have narrowed the scope of the settlement and broad waiver, but she did not do so. This action falls under the broad scope of the agreement’s waiver of claims. Thus, this court grants defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint and denies plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief.”
The judge discovered a 2004 settlement, where the pop star signed an agreement with Lutz that forfeited her right to retrieve her items.
“Sophisticated parties having negotiated an extraordinarily broad release with their eyes open with the aid of counsel cannot later invalidate that release by claiming ignorance of the depth of their fiduciary’s misconduct,” Lebovits said.
Once Madonna’s previous hold is released, Lutz and the auctioneer will be able to proceed with the sale.
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