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Litigation, Other Contingencies and Guarantees

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Litigation, Other Contingencies and Guarantees
6 Months Ended
Jul. 30, 2016
Litigation, Other Contingencies and Guarantees [Abstract]  
Litigation, Other Contingencies and Guarantees
Litigation and Other Contingencies
Litigation
Macy’s Litigation
On August 16, 2012, Macy’s, Inc. and Macy’s Merchandising Group, Inc. (together the Plaintiffs) filed suit against JCP in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, alleging that the Company tortiously interfered with, and engaged in unfair competition relating to, a 2006 agreement between Macy’s and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSLO) by entering into a partnership agreement with MSLO in December 2011. The Plaintiffs sought primarily to prevent the Company from implementing our partnership agreement with MSLO as it related to products in the bedding, bath, kitchen and cookware categories. The suit was consolidated with an already-existing breach of contract lawsuit by the Plaintiffs against MSLO, and a bench trial commenced on February 20, 2013. On October 21, 2013, the Company and MSLO entered into an amendment of the partnership agreement, providing in part that the Company will not sell MSLO-designed merchandise in the bedding, bath, kitchen and cookware categories. On January 2, 2014, MSLO and Macy's announced that they had settled the case as to each other, and MSLO was subsequently dismissed as a defendant. On June 16, 2014, the court issued a ruling against the Company on the remaining claim of intentional interference, and held that Macy’s is not entitled to punitive damages. The court referred other issues related to damages to a Judicial Hearing Officer. On June 30, 2014, the Company appealed the court’s decision, and Macy’s cross-appealed a portion of the decision. On February 26, 2015, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's rulings concerning the claim of intentional interference and lack of punitive damages, and reinstated Macy's claims for intentional interference and unfair competition that had been dismissed during trial. On June 17, 2015, Macy’s appealed the court’s order that the Judicial Hearing Officer proceed with the damages phase of the proceedings on the tortious interference claim. On November 24, 2015, the Judicial Hearing Officer issued a recommendation on the amount of damages to be awarded to Macy’s. On December 1, 2015, the appellate court heard oral argument on Macy's appeal of the trial court's order referring issues related to damages to the Judicial Hearing Officer and the parties are awaiting a decision. On June 6, 2016, the court adopted the Judicial Hearing Officer's recommendation on the amount of damages to be awarded to Macy's. Both parties have filed a notice of appeal. While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of this matter, we believe that the final resolution of this action will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources.
 
Ozenne Derivative Lawsuit
On January 19, 2012, a purported shareholder of the Company, Everett Ozenne, filed a shareholder derivative lawsuit in the 193rd District Court of Dallas County, Texas, against certain of the Company’s Board of Directors and executives. The Company is a nominal defendant in the suit. The lawsuit alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, corporate waste and unjust enrichment involving decisions regarding executive compensation, specifically that compensation paid to certain executive officers from 2008 to 2011 was too high in light of the Company’s financial performance. The suit sought damages including unspecified compensatory damages, disgorgement by the former officers of allegedly excessive compensation, and equitable relief to reform the Company’s compensation practices. The Company and the named individuals filed an Answer and Special Exceptions to the lawsuit, arguing primarily that the plaintiff could not proceed with his suit because he failed to make demand on the Company’s Board of Directors, and that because demand on the Board would not be futile, demand was not excused. The trial court heard arguments on the Special Exceptions on June 25, 2012 and denied them. The Company and named individuals filed a mandamus proceeding in the Fifth District Court of Appeals challenging the trial court’s decision. The parties then settled the litigation and the appellate court stayed the appeal so that the trial court could review the proposed settlement. The trial court approved the settlement at a hearing on October 28, 2013 and, despite objection, awarded the plaintiff $3.1 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. The Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the award on December 19, 2014. The Company filed a Petition for Review with the Texas Supreme Court, which was denied on May 27, 2016.

Class Action Securities Litigation
The Company, Myron E. Ullman, III and Kenneth H. Hannah are parties to the Marcus consolidated purported class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. The Marcus consolidated complaint is purportedly brought on behalf of persons who acquired our common stock during the period from August 20, 2013 through September 26, 2013, and alleges claims for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Plaintiff claims that the defendants made false and misleading statements and/or omissions regarding the Company’s financial condition and business prospects that caused our common stock to trade at artificially inflated prices.  The consolidated complaint seeks class certification, unspecified compensatory damages, including interest, reasonable costs and expenses, and other relief as the court may deem just and proper. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint which was denied by the court on September 29, 2015. Defendants filed an answer to the consolidated complaint on November 12, 2015. Plaintiff filed a motion for class certification on January 25, 2016, and defendants submitted a response to the motion on April 15, 2016. The motion was heard by the court on June 29, 2016.

Also, on August 26, 2014, plaintiff Nathan Johnson filed a purported class action lawsuit against the Company, Myron E. Ullman, III and Kenneth H. Hannah in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. The suit is purportedly brought on behalf of persons who acquired our securities other than common stock during the period from August 20, 2013 through September 26, 2013, generally mirrors the allegations contained in the Marcus lawsuit discussed above, and seeks similar relief. On June 8, 2015, plaintiff in the Marcus lawsuit amended the consolidated complaint to include the members of the purported class in the Johnson lawsuit, and on June 10, 2015, the Johnson lawsuit was consolidated into the Marcus lawsuit.

We believe these lawsuits are without merit and we intend to vigorously defend them. While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of these matters, we believe that the final resolution of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources.

Shareholder Derivative Litigation
In October, 2013, two purported shareholder derivative actions were filed against certain present and former members of the Company’s Board of Directors and executives by the following parties in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division: Weitzman (filed October 2, 2013) and Zauderer (filed October 3, 2013). The Company is named as a nominal defendant in both suits. The lawsuits assert claims for breaches of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment based upon alleged false and misleading statements and/or omissions regarding the Company’s financial condition. The lawsuits seek unspecified compensatory damages, restitution, disgorgement by the defendants of all profits, benefits and other compensation, equitable relief to reform the Company’s corporate governance and internal procedures, reasonable costs and expenses, and other relief as the court may deem just and proper. On October 28, 2013, the Court consolidated the two cases into the Weitzman lawsuit. On January 15, 2014, the Court entered an order staying the derivative suits pending certain events in the class action securities litigation described above.

Also, in March 2016, plaintiff Frank Lipsius filed a purported shareholder derivative action against certain present and former members of the Company's Board of Directors and executives in the District Court of Collin County in the State of Texas. The Company is named as a nominal defendant in the suit. The suit generally mirrors the allegations contained in the Weitzman and Zauderer suits discussed above, and seeks similar relief.

While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of these matters, we believe that the final resolution of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources.

ERISA Class Action Litigation
JCP and certain present and former members of JCP's Board of Directors have been sued in a purported class action complaint by plaintiffs Roberto Ramirez and Thomas Ihle, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, which was filed on July 8, 2014 in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division. The suit alleges that the defendants violated Section 502 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by breaching fiduciary duties relating to the J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Savings, Profit-Sharing and Stock Ownership Plan (the Plan). The class period is alleged to be between November 1, 2011 and September 27, 2013. Plaintiffs allege that they and others who invested in or held Company stock in the Plan during this period were injured because defendants allegedly made false and misleading statements and/or omissions regarding the Company’s financial condition and business prospects that caused the Company’s common stock to trade at artificially inflated prices. The complaint seeks class certification, declaratory relief, a constructive trust, reimbursement of alleged losses to the Plan, actual damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other relief. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint which was granted in part and denied in part by the court on September 29, 2015. The parties have reached a settlement agreement, subject to court approval, pursuant to which JCP would make available $4.5 million to settle class members’ claims. While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of this matter, we believe that the final resolution of this action will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources.

Employment Class Action Litigation
JCP is a defendant in a class action proceeding entitled Tschudy v. JCPenney Corporation filed on April 15, 2011 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California. The lawsuit alleges that JCP violated the California Labor Code in connection with the alleged forfeiture of accrued and vested vacation time under its “My Time Off” policy. The class consists of all JCP employees who worked in California from April 5, 2007 to the present. Plaintiffs amended the complaint to assert additional claims under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act on behalf of all JCP employees who worked in Illinois from January 1, 2004 to the present. After the court granted JCP’s motion to transfer the Illinois claims, those claims are now pending in a separate action in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, entitled Garcia v. JCPenney Corporation. The lawsuits seek compensatory damages, penalties, interest, disgorgement, declaratory and injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees and costs. Plaintiffs in both lawsuits filed motions, which the Company opposed, to certify these actions on behalf of all employees in California and Illinois based on the specific claims at issue. On December 17, 2014, the California court granted plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. Pursuant to a motion by the Company, the California court decertified the class on December 9, 2015. On March 30, 2016, the California court granted JCP’s motion for summary judgment, and on May 4, 2016, entered judgment for JCP on all plaintiffs’ claims. The Illinois court denied without prejudice plaintiffs' motion for class certification pending the filing of an amended complaint. Plaintiffs filed their amended complaint in the Illinois lawsuit on April 14, 2015 and the Company has answered. On July 2, 2015, the Illinois plaintiffs renewed their motion for class certification, which the Illinois court granted on March 8, 2016. We believe these lawsuits are without merit and we intend to continue to vigorously defend these lawsuits. While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of these matters, we believe that the final resolution of these actions will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources.

Pricing Class Action Litigation
JCP is a defendant in a class action proceeding entitled Spann v. J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. filed on February 8, 2012 in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. The lawsuit alleges that JCP violated California’s Unfair Competition Law and related state statutes in connection with its advertising of sale prices for private label apparel and accessories. The lawsuit seeks restitution, damages, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees and costs. On May 18, 2015, the court granted plaintiff's request for certification of a class consisting of all people who, between November 5, 2010 and January 31, 2012, made purchases in California of JCP private or exclusive label apparel or accessories advertised at a discount of at least 30% off the stated original or regular price (excluding those who only received such discount by using coupon(s)), and who have not received a refund or credit for their purchases. The parties have reached a settlement agreement, subject to court approval, and in accordance with the term of the settlement, we have established a $50 million reserve to settle class members' claims. The court has granted preliminary approval of the settlement. A final approval hearing was held on August 25, 2016 and the parties are awaiting the court's decision.

Other Legal Proceedings
We are subject to various other legal and governmental proceedings involving routine litigation incidental to our business. Accruals have been established based on our best estimates of our potential liability in certain of these matters, including certain matters discussed above, all of which we believe aggregate to an amount that is not material to the Consolidated Financial Statements. These estimates were developed in consultation with in-house and outside counsel. While no assurance can be given as to the ultimate outcome of these matters, we currently believe that the final resolution of these actions, individually or in the aggregate, will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources.
Contingencies
As of July 30, 2016, we estimated our total potential environmental liabilities to range from $19 million to $25 million and recorded our best estimate of $23 million in Other accounts payable and accrued expenses and Other liabilities in the unaudited Interim Consolidated Balance Sheet as of that date. This estimate covered potential liabilities primarily related to underground storage tanks, remediation of environmental conditions involving our former drugstore locations and asbestos removal in connection with approved plans to renovate or dispose of our facilities. We continue to assess required remediation and the adequacy of environmental reserves as new information becomes available and known conditions are further delineated. If we were to incur losses at the upper end of the estimated range, we do not believe that such losses would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position, liquidity or capital resources.