In October, Stern’s Department Stores Inc., an affiliate of Federated Department Stores Inc., filed a complaint in an Ohio court naming a New York executive recruiting firm, Herbert Mines Associates, a defendant in a tortious- interference-with-contract dispute. The case subsequently was removed to the Federal District Court for the Southern District (Western Division), Ohio.

According to the complaint, the Mines firm induced Matthew Serra, chairman and chief executive officer of Stern’s, to leave that position and, in breach of his contract, to become employed by Venator Group, which owns clothing and footwear stores across the United States and is a competitor of Stern’s.

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