Another article on our case:
"Six commercial artists won a $1.7 million verdict on July 20 in a suit, Fluharty v. Martin, claiming an agent failed to pay them money he collected on the sale of their work.
The artists, who prepare storyboards for advertising agencies pitching campaigns, sued Brian James Martin and his Montclair company, Greenlight Studios Inc., in Essex County for breach of contract, fraud and conversion.
Under verbal agreements that started in 2002, Greenlight was to bill the agencies and issue checks to the plaintiffs, keeping 25 percent. Instead, Martin took 43 percent to 44 percent and paid nothing on some jobs, falsely claiming the agencies had not paid him, says plaintiffs' lawyer Robert Zeller of Rem Zeller in Hackensack.
Superior Court Judge Sebastian Lombardi allowed trial testimony from the person who entered figures from thousands of invoices and hundreds of pages of Martin's notes produced in discovery into an EXCEL spreadsheet to calculate damages, Zeller says.
The jury found $1,406,935 in breach-of-contract liability against Greenlight as to five plaintiffs, in amounts from $221,571 to $428,297, and $301,000 in conversion liability against Martin personally as to all six, in amounts from $16,000 to $121,000. The jury found no cause on the fraud claim.
The plaintiffs are Thomas Fluharty of Pryor Lake, Minn.; Charles Ketchem, Montclair; Kevin Sacco, Bloomfield; Timothy Stewart Shinn and Shelley Inez Williams, Richmond, Va.; and John Wohland, Denver, N.C.
Zeller says the plaintiffs waived punitive damages for conversion in return for Martin's agreement not to appeal. Defense attorney Patrick Collins of Franzblau Dratch in Livingston confirms the verdict.
By Mary Pat Gallagher "