LAS VEGAS — A federal judge has sided with gay adult company Corbin Fisher and entered a $550,000 judgment against file-locker site Oron.com and its operators.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Tuesday said that Oron attorneys indeed entered into an enforceable contract with Corbin Fisher counsel Marc Randazza last month
"The settlement letter written by defendant was an offer, accepted by plaintiff when its counsel signed the letter," Navarro said in her ruling. "There was a meeting of the minds as to all material terms on July 5 when plaintiff agreed that the settlement would include dismissal with prejudice of [purported chief executive Maxim] Bochenko.
Navarro said that Oron attorneys didn't argue that they didn't intend to be bound by the terms once the settlement letter was signed. Instead they only pointed to statements made by Randazza after signing the letter that it argues indicates the negotiations were ongoing.
"Defendant argues that the settlement was not final because the letter sent by plaintiff to [web-hosting company] LeaseWeb states that 'Oron.com is on the eve of making a deal with us,'" Navarro said. "Likewise defendant argues that the stipulation submitted to the court to delay the hearing on the permanent injunction motion does not state that a settlement was reached and that plaintiff’s counsel’s comments indicating that 'the settlement we brokered is going off the rails,' is further proof of no settlement.
"However, the court is not persuaded that any of these statements are sufficient evidence to indicate that the parties did not intend to be bound by the terms in the signed settlement letter."
Last week, Oron.com disappeared from the Internet after it was hit with a temporary restraining order effectively freezing all of its assets, with the exception of $100,000 for business expenses.
The TRO was the first legal hit after Corbin Fisher sued Oron for $34.8 million suit in late June, alleging it is liable for rampant copyright infringement involving the gay adult studio's videos found in the file locker.
But once settlement talks began, the case started spinning off its wheels. Oron attorneys claimed that talks broke down between Oron and Corbin Fisher after Randazza took the position that Oron's reported chief operator, Maxim Bochenko, would not be part of the proposed $550,000 settlement.
"Despite the overwhelming evidence that there was never an agreement as to a settlement between the parties, plaintiff nevertheless has the temerity to move to enforce this settlement agreement and to move for attorneys fees," Oron lawyers said at the time.
Oron counsel Stevan Lieberman in Washington, backed by Las Vegas counsel David Kahn, later leveled personal attacks on Randazza, leveling charges over Randazza's "type of conduct" in past cases.
"A brief Internet search suggests that plaintiff and its counsel have engaged in this type of conduct repeatedly and without shame," Oron attorneys said last month. "Indeed, their conduct here appears to be typical of their approach to 'litigation' — trump up baseless claims of infringement against companies or individuals, seek to freeze their corporate victim funds where possible so as to force them out of business or threaten draconian financial sanctions against individuals, seek to freeze their corporate victim funds where possible so as to force them out of business or threaten draconian financial sanctions against individuals who plainly cannot afford to fight back, and slander and defame (or threaten to do so) their victim to their customers, and the Internet community at large, so as to either force a settlement or destroy their victim's business entirely."
But on Tuesday, Navarro, who sits at the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, ordered the case settled, granting the $550,000 award, while keeping Oron's bank accounts frozen.
She also ordered that the case dismissed against Oron and Bochenko and will later hear Corbin Fisher's motion for an award of attorneys fees.
Randazza and Lieberman were not immediately available for XBIZ comment.