Logistics company accuses art dealer of not paying bills for keeping paintings

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Fergus McCaffrey Gallery in Chelsea

As compensation for damage, the paintings stored in the warehouse want to be sold at the auction.

Logistics company NYC Art Handlers from Brooklyn has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York demanding to recover more than $ 145,000 in storage services from art dealer and gallery owner in Chelsea Fergus McCaffrey. Company officials say they have not received bills for the storage of art belonging to the McCaffrey Gallery since 2016.

Now, according to the case file, NYC Art Handlers owner Jamil Hoskins is asking the court to transfer ownership of the works physically in the company’s vaults to him in order to be able to sell those works to recover unpaid bills.

Plaintiff’s lawyer Wendy Lindstrom said his client Jamil Hoskins worked hard as an art loader and at 33 was able to start his own company not to pay for the storage of Fergus McCaffrey’s paintings or chase after him to pay the bills.

The defendant sees the situation in a completely different way. McCaffrey says his successful collaboration with NYC Art Handlers dates back to 2013. He argues that the claims, like unpaid invoices, came from the logistics company late last year when the gallery decided to move the storage of the paintings to another location. After the gallery informed the logistics company about the change in its plans for storing the works, the company began to ignore requests to move the works, add additional lines to the service invoices with services that had to be paid and tried to use the fact that they had the works in as a lever of pressure, the gallery owner commented on the situation.

What decision the court will come to, taking into account all the circumstances, is not yet known. But in any case, this decision will create an interesting precedent in the American art market.

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