TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – A new Florida bill outlaws DNA testing without the consent of the test subject, after a case that involves the head of comic book giant Marvel Entertainment and his wife.
House Bill 833, Unlawful Use of DNA, “prohibits a person from collecting another person’s DNA with the intent of performing DNA analysis without informed or written consent of the person whose DNA is to be analyzed, or of the person’s legal guardian,” as read by the bill’s sponsor, Representative Josie Tomkow (R-Osceola, Polk)
The bill came after a case involving Isaac “Ike” Purlbutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment, and his wife Laurie, who, according to their lawyer, Joshua Dubin, were falsely implicated “in an awful crime that they didn’t commit,” as he said during a hearing of the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives.
The Purlbutters were subpoenaed to a deposition with the alleged intention of stealing their DNA, later to be used to claim that they were behind a hate mail campaign against Harold Peerenboom, founder of Canadian executive search firm Mandrake Management, and neighbor of the Perlmutters in a high-end Palm Beach complex called Sloan’s Curve.
Peerenboom and Ike Purlbutter had been in a defamation claim involving a contract to operate tennis facilities in Sloan’s, that put Peerenboom against the tennis pro that oversaw the facilities. Chubb subsidiary Federal Insurance defended Peerenboom.
Peerenboom accused Purlbutter of funding the pro’s lawsuit, and then the hate mail campaign against the Canadian businessman began. He accused Purlbutter of being behind it as well and filed a suit.
Purlmutter sued Chubb for the DNA theft. The case is still ongoing.
“What happened to the Purlmutters should be a cautionary tale,” Dubin said. “These are people of substantial means, that have spent seven years trying to undo this. No one was prosecuted. This is what can happen when people thumb their nose at the laws in this great state.”
Dubin said that the lawyers involved in the case considered that the law protecting DNA is “a silly law” and they are being prosecuted.