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Markham & Read Announces $880,000 Federal Jury Award to Bruce Cahill & Co-Defendants
Jury adds punitive damages to compensation for Cahill after finding that Edalat acted with oppression, fraud or malice towards investors in Pharma Pak, Inc. and deliberately defamed Irvine, CA busines
Added: 09/19/2017 - Scott Farmelant

(Boston, MA) ó Boston-based law firm Markham & Read today announced that in the case of Bruce Cahill et. al. versus Paul Pejman Edalat et. al. (U.S. Federal Court Docket: 8:16-cv-00686), a federal jury at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana division) awarded a total of $880,000 in actual and punitive damages after ruling that Edalat deliberately acted with oppression, fraud, or malice toward Cahill, the former CEO of Pharma Pak, Inc.

On August 30th, the jury awarded $250,000 in punitive damages to Cahill and Pharma Pak investors Greg Cullen, Ron Franco and Shane Scott. The punitive damages against Edalat followed the juryís award of $600,000 in damages to Cahill earlier in August along with an additional $30,000 to the three investors.

"Bruce Cahill has been vindicated by the juryís verdict, the initial award of damages and the jurorsí subsequent decision that Edalatís wrongful actions warranted additional punitive damages," said John J. Markham, attorney for Cahill and the Pharma Pak investors. "We applaud the jury for its forbearance and focus throughout the trial."

The conclusion of the trial confirmed that Edalat launched a defamation campaign against Cahill on social media over a year-long period and defrauded Pharma Pak investors. The jury reviewed many social media postings created by Edalat regarding the former Pharma Pak CEOís personal life, which formed the basis of Cahillís claims in court that Edalat defamed him after he filed a lawsuit in federal court.

At trial, Markham and attorney Bridget A. Zerner set forth evidence and testimony showing that Edalat induced more than $4 million of investment into Pharma Pak from Cahill, Cullen, Franco, Scott and others by making numerous claims regarding the companyís supposed value, its intellectual property, its existing customer base and roster of prospective clients. The company is now defunct.

Jurors heard direct evidence that Edalat, an Orange County native who previously filed bankruptcy in Southern California (U.S Bankruptcy Court Docket: 8:14-bk-14529-TA) and in 2014 was "permanently restrained and enjoined Ö from directly or indirectly manufacturing, preparing, packing, labeling, holding, or distributing any dietary supplements" by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (U.S. Federal Court Docket: SACV 14-01759-JLS), used investment money to pay for a gambling debt in Las Vegas and other lavish expenses. In depositions, Edalat acknowledged having filed personal bankruptcy in Orange County on three separate occasions.

On August 30th, the jury learned about a $3.5 million dollar damages judgment against Edalat awarded early in August that resulted from an unrelated lawsuit from 2012. During the hearing, Edalatís attorney argued that his client†is insolvent and that Edalat has no money or assets to satisfy the most recent judgments against him.

Further, the jury ruled that Edalatís co-defendant, Olivia Karpinski, would receive no compensation for her unsubstantiated claims for punitive damages for alleged sexual harassment. The jury previously held liable Karpinski for $11,000 in damages to Cahill based on defamatory claims she made on social media.

At trial, the jury decided held that Cahill, in his capacity as Pharma Pak CEO, violated terms of Karpinskiís employment agreement by failing to provide 30 daysí notice of termination of employment and awarded $10,000 in salary as total compensation.

Testimony offered by an Irvine police officer discredited Karpinskiís false claim that she was a victim of sexual assault. The officer testified about Karpinski visiting the Irvine Police Department on October 13, 2016, the day before she was deposed in the case, to file a report against Cahill (Irvine CA Police Department Record #16-15720.)

The officer testified that Karpinski first claimed that she was the victim of "stalking," then returned to the station two hours later to make an additional claim of sexual battery. The officer noted that Karpinski was questioned about why she waited 11 months to report the allegations, doing so only after she was sued by Cahill.†

"I am grateful to the jury for rejecting the numerous claims and defamatory statements made against me by Paul Edalat and Olivia Karpinski," said Cahill. "There is nothing more important than my good standing in the community in Southern California as a businessman and philanthropist for over 30 years."

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