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Friday, August 17, 2012
Skate brand reacts to lawsuit

By Keith Hamm

In its response last week to a lawsuit filed in July, One Distribution and its vice president of global brands Matt Fontana categorically denied all allegations of wrongful termination, harassment, and sexual discrimination levied by five former employees.

One Distribution called the case "frivolous, unreasonable, and groundless," according to court documents submitted last week in Southern California's Orange County Superior Court.

In its answer to the lawsuit filed on July 9, One Distribution -- which heads up Supra and KR3W -- claims that the company's former creative director Ben Shipp and his co-plaintiffs -- two men and two women -- "failed to plead, and cannot establish, facts sufficient to support allegations of malice, oppression, or fraud." The filing also states that "at all times … Fontana acted within the course and scope of his employment."

Among other allegations, Shipp's lawsuit contends he was wrongfully terminated and that Fontana harassed female employees.

One Distribution and Fontana are being represented by Scott & Whitehead out of Newport Beach, while the plaintiffs have retained former Anaheim, Calif., deputy city attorney Deborah Knefel.

A preliminary hearing date has not been set.

Lawyers from neither side have commented on the case.