YELM, Wash., July 23, 2013 — On Friday, July 19, 2013, Judge Gary Tabor of the Thurston County Superior Court in Washington awarded $600,021 in attorney’s fees and court costs to JZK, Inc. as the prevailing party in its lawsuit against Virginia Coverdale, case no. 12-2-02241-8, for illegally disseminating proprietary videos on YouTube without permission.
Last month, Judge Tabor granted summary judgment in favor of JZK, Inc., disagreeing with Coverdale’s interpretation of the law.
JZK, Inc. operates Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE). Virginia Coverdale is a former student of RSE. JZK, Inc.’s attorney, Jeffrey Grant, said, “The legal effort devoted to this case reflects the value of the teachings of RSE to the thousands of students who have enjoyed their benefit and were offended and hurt by Defendant Coverdale’s conduct.”
“RSE’s efforts to protect its proprietary material were reasonable and necessary, both because of the value of the material and the plethora of obstacles hurled by Defendant Coverdale as part of her misguided campaign to injure the school,” Grant said.
“It saddens me to see anyone burdened by an enormous debt but that is the law,” said JZ Knight, President of JZK, Inc. “This case could have been over last November. Instead, Virginia chose to raise a host of reasons why she should not be accountable for posting our videos.”
Prior to filing the lawsuit in October 2012, RSE wrote a letter to Coverdale telling her to cease her online dissemination of RSE’s materials. That letter expressly reminded Coverdale she would be responsible for the reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred by JZK, Inc. in connection with the enforcement of the agreement she had signed. The letter was ignored.
After a preliminary injunction was granted to JZK, Inc. in November 2012, Coverdale filed eleven affirmative defenses and four counterclaims with the Court.
“The law gave her those options. We had to defend our contract, our business, and our reputation against her attacks,” Knight said. “Winning on summary judgment is rare, but when it happens it saves everyone the greater costs of a jury trial.”
In making his summary judgment ruling in June, Judge Tabor stated he had reviewed the case in great detail the day prior to the hearing. Because of the amount of thought Tabor expended in considering his decision from all viewpoints, Knight said it is unlikely Coverdale “will win if she appeals. And if she does appeal, her costs will increase even more.”
The current judgment is already accruing interest at about $200 per day. If Coverdale continues her misguided campaign and pursues an appeal, JZK, Inc. has the right to ask for attorney’s fees on appeal. If Coverdale pursues her appeal in the same way she conducted her case before the trial court, those fees could become significant as they did in the trial court.
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