Case of the $5K designer umbrella ruled frivolity

NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a rainy day for the Manhattan restaurateur who sued a supermodel claiming she intentionally damaged his designer umbrella, said to be worth $5,000.

State Supreme Court Justice Joan A. Madden threw out Nello Balan's lawsuit Friday. She also fined Balan's attorney $500 for filing a frivolous claim and said motions the attorney filed were a "waste of judicial resources."

Balan claimed he lent supermodel Le Call his limited-edition leather umbrella designed by Jean-Paul (ZHON'-Pawl) Gaultier (GOL'-tee-yay) and she belatedly returned it to him in two pieces.

Balan, owner of the celeb magnet Nello's, sought $1 million in the lawsuit and claimed emotional distress over the damaged umbrella.

Attorneys for both sides have declined to comment.

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