NY court snubs Star Trek fan's memorabilia lawsuit

AP News
Posted: Dec 22, 2009 7:18 PM

A "Star Trek" fan isn't entitled to millions of dollars in damages for buying memorabilia that he says wasn't as out-of-this-world as it seemed, a court said Tuesday.

Ted Moustakis wasn't promised he was getting a one-of-a-kind plum when he paid $11,400 for a uniform for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" character Data at a 2006 auction, an appeals court said.

The court also said Moustakis is due at most a refund for two other purchases he says were fakes: a $6,000 poker visor supposedly worn by Data and a $6,600 table from the show's set.

Auction house Christie's and CBS Consumer Products, which oversees "Star Trek" merchandise, praised the ruling. Moustakis' lawyer didn't immediately return a telephone call.

The longtime Trekkie from Towaco, N.J., has said he was thrilled to get the items _ until he showed the visor to the actor who played the android Data, Brent Spiner, at a 2007 fan convention.

Spiner told him the visor wasn't genuine, according to Moustakis' lawsuit. Moustakis said he later found the table also was inauthentic, and the uniform was one of several made for the program. Christie's had led him to believe it was unique, he said.

The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division said the auction catalog didn't represent the costume as one-of-a-kind, and even if the other items weren't as advertised, Moustakis isn't entitled to "the massive recovery he now demands" in his $7 million lawsuit.

Christie's has said it stood behind the authenticity of the auction, tied to the hit show's 40th anniversary.

"The sale was and remains a fantastic highlight in the memorabilia market," Christie's lawyer Sandra L. Cobden said Tuesday.