Commitments and Contingencies
From time to time, the Company is involved in various legal proceedings encountered in the normal course of business, including, labor and employment, premises, personal injury, product liability and general liability claims, and claims related to commercial and leasing matters. In the opinion of management, the resolution of currently pending matters, other than those described or referred to in the following paragraphs, will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition or results of operations. However, because of the nature and inherent uncertainties of litigation, the Company cannot predict with certainty the ultimate resolution of these actions and, should the outcome of these actions be unfavorable, the Company's business, financial position, results of operations or cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
The Company reviews the status of its legal proceedings and records a provision for a liability when it is considered probable that both a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated. This review is updated periodically as additional information becomes available. If either or both of the criteria are not met, the Company reassesses whether there is at least a reasonable possibility that a loss, or additional losses, may be incurred. If there is a reasonable possibility that a loss may be incurred, the Company discloses the estimate of the amount of the loss or range of losses, discloses that the amount is not material, if true, or discloses that an estimate of loss cannot be made. The Company expenses its legal fees as incurred.
7. Commitments and Contingencies (continued)
In assessing potential loss contingencies, the Company considers a number of factors, including those listed in the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 450-20, Contingencies – Loss Contingencies, regarding assessing the probability of a loss and assessing whether a loss is reasonably estimable. Litigation can
be expensive and disruptive to normal business operations. Moreover, the results of litigation are difficult to predict and the Company’s view of these matters may change as the litigation and events unfold over time. An unfavorable outcome in any
legal matter, if material, could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations in the period in which the
unfavorable outcome occurs and potentially in future periods.
In July 2012, the Company entered into a confidential settlement agreement and mutual releases with a former landlord to resolve ongoing litigation regarding the condition in which leased premises were returned to the former landlord at the end of the lease term. The Company settled the matter to avoid the costs and uncertainty of litigation, with no admission of liability or wrongdoing by any party. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the remaining claims of all parties were dismissed with prejudice.
The Company is currently party to two lawsuits that were filed against it and other parties in the state of South Carolina in connection with certain outdoor candle products that were sold at certain of the Company's stores and alleged to have caused personal injury. The lawsuits seek damages from the Company, as well as from one or more manufacturers and the packager. The Company believes it has defenses against these claims and is vigorously defending itself and pursuing recovery from insurers and other third parties. The Company maintains insurance policies (subject to customary deductibles) for its defense costs and any liability resulting from these lawsuits, but one of the Company's umbrella carriers that sits above its primary general liability insurer has reserved its rights as to coverage. The manufacturers of the candle product and the fuel gel used in the candle have each filed for bankruptcy. Because these lawsuits are at an early stage, and because of the uncertain status of the liability of third parties and potential recovery from third parties, the Company is unable to predict the outcome of these lawsuits or to estimate the amount of damages, if any, that may be awarded. If the Company is ultimately found liable in these lawsuits and if insurance is not available, liability resulting from these lawsuits could have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations for the period or periods in which it is incurred.