SKV’s Larry Veselka was co-counsel with David Dunham and Isabelle Antongiorgi of Austin’s Taylor, Dunham & Rodriguez in obtaining a favorable jury verdict of more than $3.5 million on behalf of Trevor Griffiths in state district court in Harris County. Griffiths, who has managed fishing fleets and captains sailing and motor yachts throughout the world, had developed a fiduciary relationship with Defendants David Michael Sims and Tatiana Golovina. In breach of that relationship, they defrauded him into investing half of his life savings in a new venture they were forming to manufacture and sell flexitanks, a new method for safely and economically transporting petroleum products and potentially hazardous liquids by multimodal means. Their new business was EPT Ltd, the business and assets of which were rolled into EPT, Inc. The two Defendant EPT entities operated out of Houston. Despite promising Griffiths 2% of the equity in the business, Defendants spent the money on the business but excluded Mr. Griffiths from all the benefits and rights from his equity ownership.
Following a week-long trial in May in which Mr. Veselka picked the jury and cross-examined one of the five live witnesses, the jury found the defendants breached their contract with Mr. Griffiths, breached or aided and abetted the breach of the fiduciary relationship with Mr. Griffiths, and defrauded him. On August 29, 2016, District Judge Brent Gamble entered a judgment on that verdict, awarding Mr. Griffiths a total of more than $3.5 million in actual damages, forfeitures, interest, and costs. On October 5, 2016 Judge Gamble denied the Defendants’ motion for a new trial.