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One misprint suit dropped

One of the two lawsuits over the misprinted Bill Pickett stamps ended suddenly last week when Unicover Corp. of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Mystic Stamp Co. of Camden, N.Y., suddenly dropped their appeal of a court ruling that allowed the Postal Service to destroy the misprints.

Unicover President James A. Heizer said in a statement that the company was taking the action in hopes that "a number of influential senators and members of Congress" would act to force the Postal Service to sell more of the misprints. The legislators had said "it was impossible for them to act" while the case remained on appeal.

"By withdrawing our appeal, political forces can now act to resolve the question," Heizer said, but, with Congress poised to adjourn, legislators would have little time to act.

Although there is another lawsuit over the misprints, it is aimed at blocking distribution of the 150,000 misprints that the agency is planning to sell through a lottery that began this month. As of last week, 500,000 requests for those sheets had been received, said Azeezaly S. Jaffer, manager of stamp services.

Jaffer said the Postal Service has agreed not to destroy the remaining 2.2-million sheets of Legends of the West stamps with the Pickett misprint until Dec. 1.

"As far as we are concerned, they can destroy all the stamps," said Michael A. Morris of Culpeper, Va., one of the collectors in the second suit.