Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Aug. 28
Biotech Executive Tina Nova Wins Lawsuit Filed by Vegas Man She Married Briefly
Tina Nova, chief executive of biotech Genoptix, this week was the victor in a lawsuit filed by Las Vegas's Lawrence (Lance) Ackland, whom she had wed quickly in mid-2005. She had the marriage annulled almost as quickly, partly because she realized she was still technically married to her fourth husband. He sued her for malicious intent to inflict emotional distress. According to the decision in Clark County district court, Nova was also disturbed to learn that he was exchanging allegedly sexual emails with a Canadian woman, that he was on the brink of bankruptcy, and had lost his driver's liense because of several DWI's, according to the judge's decision. The judge said that Nevada has abolished the cause of action (infliction of emotional distress). Akland's lawyer, Joshua Landish, disputes the judge's interpretation and will appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. He also says a psychiatrist called to testify for Ackland "made a 180 degree turn" from the path he had agreed to take. Ackland claims that Nova was willing to settle with her, but he pushed ahead, believing he would win a judgment. I could not get an answer from her; she asked me never to call her again. Genoptix went public a year ago at $17 and the stock closed today (Oct. 24) at $31.66, up 50 cents. That is an excellent move during a vicious bear market when most stocks have been battered.