LOS ANGELES, Aug. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Brain Injury Association of California (BIACAL) announced today it has sued former Board member Naz Yari, Vice President of Power Liens, in U.S. District Court for alleged theft of the non-profit’s trade secrets and proprietary database to create a rival and replica professional conference.
United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald issued a temporary restraining order against Ms. Yari, and enjoins “all those acting in concert or participation with her” from “accessing, using, disclosing, or making available to any person or entity” the proprietary database. Brain Society of California and Ms. Yari’s employer, Power Liens, LLC, have been notified of the TRO and their obligation to refrain from using BIACAL’s proprietary information.
For over 20 years, BIACAL has been dedicated to serving brain-injury survivors and their families. Its annual conferences bring together leading medical and legal minds to educate professionals and practitioners about the nuances, treatment and rehabilitation of brain injury, as well as challenges in litigating brain-injury claims.
BIACAL says it believes the majority of the rival organization’s board, which includes prominent Los Angeles personal injury attorneys, were unaware of Ms. Yari’s alleged theft and misuse of BIACAL’s database.
The suit alleges that while a member of the BIACAL Board, and after multiple promises and assurances of maintaining the secrecy and integrity of BIACAL’s database, Ms. Yari stole the database to use for her own company's profit and to create a competing organization to market a rival conference that "directly copied BIACAL’s conference name, hashtag, tagline, and speaker list.” It says the Brain Society of California's website and marketing copies key phrases from the TBI Med Legal website.
The over 100,000 contact database is BIACAL’s “most valuable asset” and the key to its success, the suit says. It was compiled over the life of the organization and includes Board member's personal rolodexes, thousands of attendees’ data gathered from hundreds of events, hundreds of vendors, sponsors and supporters, and a Master List of financial, historical and demographic information on over 20,000 marquee individuals and businesses.
BIACAL’s 2019 “TBI Med Legal” conference was attended by more than 2,000 persons and raised over $500,000 for the charitable organization.
The result of the rival conference by newly created Brain Society of California (of which Ms. Yari became vice chair immediately after leaving BIACAL’s board) is to create confusion among medical and legal professionals, damage BIACAL’s reputation, and siphon membership and fundraising opportunities away from BIACAL, the suit says.
The suit accuses Ms. Yari of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of the California Business and Professional Code.
Brain Injury Association of California (BIACAL) is a state affiliate of the national organization, the Brain Injury Association of America. BIACAL is a non-profit dedicated to serving brain-injury survivors, caretakers, family, friends, and professionals. Its mission is to advance awareness, research, treatment, and education and to improve the quality of life for all Californians affected by brain injury. Well over 1,000 Californians call and depend on BIACAL each year to assist them in locating rehabilitative, financial, legal and other supportive resources to maximize recovery and get access to care. Over the years, BIACAL has seeded support groups across the state, and has been instrumental in passing legislation relating to brain injury, including helmet laws, and laws requiring health insurance to provide rehabilitative services.
For more information, see www.biacal.org.