Fil-Ams win big settlement against Guess Jeans founder
LOS ANGELES—The lawyer for one of the awardees in the $370 million defamation lawsuit against Guess co-founder Georges Marciano says the legal battle is not over. Last week, a Los Angeles jury awarded five people $74 million each in the defamation case against Marciano including Lawyer Cheryl Deptowicz-Diaz’s client, 57-year–old Filipino-American Elizabeth Tagle.
Another Filipino-American Cheryl Abat was also awarded the same amount.
“Marciano pushed them too far already and they needed to put a stop because he was not stopping so hopefully a lawsuit like this would at least stop him for a second and question what he’s doing,” said Deptowicz-Diaz.
In 2007 and 2008, Marciano accused his five former employees of embezzling millions of dollars from him, and stealing artwork, fine wines and other personal belongings.
According to Deptowicz-Diaz, during this time Marciano harassed his former employees, preventing them from getting jobs.
A Los Angeles judge threw out Marciano’s lawsuit in December of 2008. The employees then filed a cross complaint, alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other damages by their former boss. They won the case. The jury awarded the five people more than $370 million.
“It was a big win against a big giant,” said Deptowicz-Diaz. “My client was relieved but not happy because she knows Marciano. She knows it’s not over.”
Marciano, who announced that he would be running for California governor, stated on his website that he would appeal the judge’s decision.
The 67-year-old marciano was a co-founder of the designer clothing label guess. he was bought out in the early 1990’s.
Although the jury awarded Marciano’s five former employees more than $370 million, it isnot likely they are going to collect that money. Deptowicz-Ddiaz said they would be hopeful if they could make an out of court settlement with Marciano in a year.