In 1997 Kwartin's friend, who was Mas' partner, approached Kwartin about investing in P.I.P./USA. Ultimately, he and several other family members invested. Then the friend sold his stake to Mas, who began running the American company. After a couple more management changes, Kwartin notified Mas in 1998 that he and his relatives wanted to end their investment and recoup their funds.
Mas met with the Kwartins and persuaded them to "leave their money in the company," Freeman's order states. He also persuaded Kwartin to accept the presidency of P.I.P./USA.
In 1999 Mas met McGhan at a plastic surgery convention in Dallas and "conceived a plan for McGhan to take over P.I.P./USA." Testimony in the case showed Mas wanted McGhan's involvement because he thought McGhan could overcome what had become a major regulatory stumbling block to U.S. sales.
The FDA decided to require a pre-market application from makers of saline-filled breast implants. The application had to be based on extensive testing and clinical studies, and fully carrying out those requirements would push back the application to 2001 or beyond.
Mas and McGhan hoped to cut corners by including clinical data from France. Mas believed McGhan could make that happen because of his perceived influence with the FDA.
On September 27, 1999, Kwartin was fired without cause as president and replaced. Later that year Kwartin filed his first lawsuit, and eventually four suits were consolidated in the court's complex business litigation division.
Mas tried to transfer control of the distributorship to McGhan. That's when the backdated documents were fraudulently submitted to the court, contravening an injunction Freeman had issued.
In January 2012 Mas was detained after a raid on his house in France. He was charged with multiple counts of involuntary injury and released in October pending trial later this year.
The next step is to attach Mas' assets to pay the $19.8 million award, Tifford said. "We will execute on the judgment wherever we find assets of the defendant." He's also going after McGhan's assets to pay the compensatory award. McGhan, who defaulted in 2007, is not liable for the punitive damages.
He said Mas tied up the Miami-Dade litigation from 2001 to the end of 2005 by filing a breach of contract suit against Kwartin in France. The case was dismissed, and the dismissal was upheld by France's highest court, which said any claim Mas had against Kwartin would have to be pursued in Miami as part of the ongoing litigation. A choice-of-forum clause in Kwartin's employment contract gave Florida courts jurisdiction over any disputes.
Mas' sole motive for filing his case in France was delay, Tifford said. "He could have filed counterclaims here, but he never did."