During 1989, this agency was retained to locate a defendant in a civil suit and serve him with legal papers. During our attempted service, the defendant opened fire with an assault rifle from the roof of his residence, missing our Investigators but wounding a 69 year old bystander.
After the shooter's release from N.Y. State prison, he and an associate (who was later also sent to prison for an unrelated crime) posted a defamatory website about Pallorium's Director, Steven Rambam. That website falsely stated, among other things, that Mr. Rambam was a "high level government informant" and that his father was in the Mafia. Pallorium and Mr. Rambam sued for damages and to force the permanent removal of the website.
On 25 March 2002, a jury awarded a verdict against the defendants. (See below.) Our victory helped establish "new law" regarding defamation spread via the Internet. Ultimately, this verdict not only helps Pallorium and Steven Rambam preserve their good names, but also helps to set a better standard for acceptable conduct and truthfulness on the Internet.
On 13 July 2002, the Kings County Supreme Court also granted Mr. Rambam's motion for a permanent injunction, and ordered the defendants to never republish their false and defamatory statements. On 15 July 2002, the jury verdict was published in the prestigious New York Law Journal.
(On November 5, 2003 the New York State Court of Appeals denied the defendants' appeal, and Mr. Rambam's verdict was upheld. This appellate verdict was also published in the New York Law Journal. Mr. Rambam is now in the process of enforcing that verdict.)
|KINGS COUNTY SUPREME COURT - A jury has awarded a $850,000 judgment in favor of plaintiff Steven Rambam against the operators of a website. Rambam, a private investigator with a corporation called Pallorium, argued that the defamatory material placed on the Internet negatively affected his business, since many potential clients check the Internet before hiring Investigators.... ... defendants' names redacted).|
Honorable Theodore Jones presided over the jury trial of Steven Rambam and Pallorium Inc. vs. (defendants' names redacted), held in the Supreme Courthouse at 360 Adams Street from March 18, 2002 to March 25, 2002. The issue before the Brooklyn Jury was whether the statements made about the Plaintiffs [and Plaintiffs' mother and father] on three different internet websites by (defendants' names redacted) constituted libel and/or libel per se. During the course of the trial, the parties stipulated that some of the false statements made by defendants were libel per se ["pathological liar" was a character disorder; "psychopath" is a loathsome disease and burglary, kidnaping and fraud are crimes].
On March 25, the Jury returned a verdict which unanimously found that the statements made by all three defendants were defamatory and that the false statements were maliciously made with an intent to injure the plaintiff and his business Pallorium. The jury unanimously awarded a $50,000 compensatory damage verdict against (defendant's name redacted here), plus $250,000 in punitive damages; a $100,000 compensatory damages verdict against (defendant's name redacted here), plus $250,000 in punitive damages; and a $200,000 compensatory damages verdict against (defendant's name redacted here).
Steven Rambam is a private investigator licensed in New York, Texas and Louisiana whose investigative skills have been featured in over 1000 newspapers articles. He has been featured in over 100 television broadcasts, including "60 Minutes", "Dateline" and "America's Most Wanted". He was recognized as a public figure in this trial.
Counsel for Plaintiffs Cindy E. Molloy and her partner Louis Tratner of the firm Tratner and Molloy, when called upon to comment, stated that "the defendants used the Internet as an extremely powerful weapon to spread lies about our client to the entire world. We are pleased that the defendants have been ordered to compensate our client for damaging his reputation in this way and we hope that this award will deter other Internet abuses of this kind".