The fate of what’s known as San Antonio's largest indoor flea market may rest in the hands of a federal jury.
The jury is weighing a lawsuit filed by Louis Vuitton, the French fashion house and manufacturer that claims counterfeit LV goods were being sold on site.
LV attorneys would not comment on their lawsuit against the Eisenhauer Road Flea Market, which is being heard this week in federal court.
Testimony by the company’s undercover investigator alleges the flea market's owner, Bruce Gore, and manager, Pat Walker, were not doing enough to stop vendors from selling LV knock-offs.
However, Ted Lee, who is representing the flea market, located in the 3900 block of Eisenhauer Road, said it could be forced to close if his clients lose the lawsuit.
He said Gore and Walker are being sued for a total of $55 million, including attorneys fees, and $18 million in trademark infringements.
Lee said usually in similar cases, manufacturers contact law enforcement agencies that investigate reports of fake designer goods.
“They can pursue the counterfeiters,” Lee said, in civil or criminal court.
However, he said the lawsuit seeks damages from his clients, not their vendors.
“They should be pursuing the vendors,” Lee said. “They don’t sue the vendors because the vendors don’t have the money.”
He said the company has a duty to enforce its trademarks, however the company “is trying to force the flea market to do its job and for free.”
Lee said typically, items at flea markets are sold at deep discounts.
He said, “I’m not going to deny that some counterfeits are sold there.”