A card collector read an article discussing an Upper Deck promotion wherein Upper Deck created ten rare cards containing a signature from a notable personality with a strand of their hair called “Hair Cut Signature” cards. These ten cards were randomly inserted into packs of Upper Deck’s SP Legendary Cuts. After reading the article, the collector purchased a case of the cards for approximately $1,500 in hopes of obtaining one of the rare cards.
The collector was successful discovering he won a Charles Lindbergh card containing his purported signature and strand of hair (the “Card”). The Card came with a letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA Authentication Services, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (PSA/DNA). The collector also sought a second opinion from another third party authentication company who found the signature authentic.
Thereafter, the collector attempted to sell the Card on Ebay valuing it at $10,000. During his attempts to sell the Card, the collector was contacted by another authenticator claiming the signature was not authentic. A dispute arose regarding the authenticity of the signature with PSA/DNA subsequently determining the signature was not authentic and revoking its original certificate of authenticity.
Sterpka sued PSA/DNA and Upper Deck for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, and violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act in San Diego. Prior to trial, Attlesey | Storm, LLP filed a motion for summary judgment. In granting the motion, the judge found in favor of PSA/DNA and against the collector finding PSA/DNA had not committed fraud and was not negligent.
Mr. Sterpka appealed and the California Appellate Court again found in favor of PSA/DNA affirming the lower court’s ruling. PSA/DNA was awarded its attorneys’ fees and costs in the trial court and on appeal. Read the Court’s opinion here.