Calderwood V. Rinsch

  • Court: Pennsylvania State, Philadelphia Division, District Court
  • Case Number: 2:22cv2847
  • Filed: July 20, 2022
  • Judges: Juan R. Sanchez
  • Case Type: Other Contract (190)
  • Cause: Notice of Removal

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff(s): Gary D. Calderwood
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: John Patrick McAvoy | Anthony R. Twardowsk


  • Defendant(s): Carl Erik Rinsch
    • Counsel for Defendants: Eric Kraeutler (Terminated) | Thomas V Ayala | Monica Matias Quinones

Verdict Information

  • Verdict Date: 8thAugust 2023
  • Damages awarded to Plaintiff: $68,200

 About the Case


In a breach of contract between a decorative arts gallery specializing in high-end 20th-century French furniture (Plaintiff) and a film director who is a self-proclaimed art collector with a passion for original French decorative arts from 1900-1950 (Defendant), the Plaintiff alleges breach of contract. The Plaintiff provided the Defendant with photographs, descriptions, and discounted prices for multiple “batches” of Jacques Adnet pieces, totaling over $500,000 for 25 pieces, after the Defendant unsolicitedly contacted them in September 2021. The Defendant enthusiastically agreed to purchase the entire Adnet collection, aside from a few exceptions. Following the Defendant’s instructions, his assistant wired the Plaintiff a $100,000 deposit in October 2021. Over the subsequent months, the Defendant reaffirmed his commitment to finalize the purchase through emails and text messages, providing shipping instructions and details about restoring certain pieces.

In November 2021, after receiving an additional $100,000 payment from the Defendant, the Plaintiff considered the collection sold and removed the Adnet items from their website listings. They then provided the Defendant with several updated invoices. These invoices featured different combinations of the 25 pieces. Balances ranged from $68,000 to $102,000 remaining to be paid. However, by June 2022, the Defendant had gone silent and failed to pay the outstanding balance or arrange shipping for the Adnet collection as agreed. When the Plaintiff followed up, the Defendant bizarrely claimed for the first time that the pieces were acquired for an unidentified film studio and demanded his $200,000 deposit be returned immediately.


The Plaintiff alleges that this constitutes a breach of their valid contract. The complaint includes counts seeking declaratory judgment that the Plaintiff can retain the $200,000 as damages, as well as claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel. They seek the unpaid balance, storage fees, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

Jury Verdict:

In the jury verdict, the court rendered a judgment favoring Calderwood in the sum of $68,200 for Count II of the complaint. However, for Count III of the complaint, the judgment ruled in favor of Rinsch without awarding any monetary compensation.