A state court judge has dismissed a lawsuit—brought by a Canadian millionaire that alleged his Palm Beach neighbor was behind a vicious mail campaign against him—after two Miami attorneys discovered the one piece of evidence that broke the case.
But the attorneys said that crucial discovery did not end the legal spat between the Canadian and his Palm Beach billionaire neighbor in an oceanfront condo down the street.
Attorneys Roy Black and Jared Lopez, partners at Black Srebnick represented Marvel Entertainment LLC chairman Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter and his wife against neighbor Harold Peerenboom in the Palm Beach Circuit Court.
Black said the accusations damaged his client’s reputation in the financial arena, and to beat a case like this required the litigator to apply the tools he has picked up from his half-century of experience in both criminal and civil law.
The dispute dated back to a spat between Peerenboom and Perlmutter over whether Karen Donnelly should continue to run their exclusive Palm Beach waterfront community tennis center, according to court documents.
Soon after, Peerenboom accused Perlmutter in the circuit court of being the mastermind of the hate mail that included letters accusing him of a slew of crimes, court documents show.
Peerenboom thought Perlmutter was behind the hate mail campaign because of their opposing beliefs on the tennis center. When Donnelly dropped a lawsuit against Peerenboom, he sued her for malicious prosecution.
And Peerenboom allegedly hatched the perfect plan to prove his case. Perlmutter and his wife were asked to testify in a deposition in Peerenboom’s dispute with Donnelly. Then, Peerenboom allegedly secretly took DNA from water bottles that Perlmutter and his wife Laura had touched, according to court documents.
Perlmutter alleged in a counter lawsuit that Peerenboom’s goal was to manipulate that DNA to link him to the hate mail scandal. And that was around the time that Black entered the case as counsel to the Marvel CEO.
Now, Palm Beach Circuit Judge Cymonie Rowe has granted judgment in favor of Perlmutter on the principle that the eight-year lawsuit against the chairman was baseless, having been presented with evidence that David Smith—an employee that Peerenboom previously terminated from one of his companies—was behind the hate mail.
But that still leaves the related matter in which Black alleged Peerenboom—in conjunction with William Douberley, his Chubb Insurance Co. lawyer—illegally stole his client’s DNA and had it tested in violation of Florida law.
Douberley declined to comment.
“This conduct went far beyond mere negligence or even gross negligence, it was intentional and criminal,” Black previously stated in court documents.
He added Wednesday about the subsequent civil lawsuit: “There’s no precedent.”