SAN FRANCISCO – A Montana resident currently living in Marin County is suing a Maine museum and others over a dispute in the ownership of a meteorite slab.
Stephan Settgast filed a complaint on Feb. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Maine Mineral & Gem Museum, Darryl Pitt, Lawrence Stifler, and Mary McFadden citing breach of contract.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that between 2004 and January 2016, he was the owner of a meteorite slab which he agreed to sell it to Pitt, a broker-dealer, for $425,000, on the condition that it be kept in a private collection. Unknown to plaintiff, the suit states that payments to him were being made by Stifler, McFadden and an unknown third party, not Pitt. The suit states Pitt told the plaintiff that the other defendants purchased the slab in January and that it would be publicly displayed in the museum. Settgast refused to deliver the slab because of this alleged breach of contract and has offered to refund the money, the suit states, but now all parties claim ownership of the object.
The plaintiff seeks the following: declaratory judgment stating that he is the owner of the meteorite slab, legal fees and any further relief this court deems just and proper. He is represented by J. Curtis Edmondson, Keith Pitt and Darian Stanford of Slinde, Nelson, Stanford in Portland, Oregon.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case number 3:16-cv-00909