On Monday, a Florida state judge permitted Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, to move forward in a trailblazing case over the way their DNA was surreptitiously gathered at a deposition on Feb. 27, 2013. In advancing a conversion claim, circuit judge Meenu Sasser wrote that no binding authority has ever definitively answered the question of whether genetic material such as DNA constitutes "property."
During an earlier defamation case over the tennis courts, Peerenboom and his ex-attorney William Douberley forced the appearance of the Perlmutters at a deposition. When the Marvel chairman showed up to be interviewed at a West Palm Beach law firm, he had no idea that it was part of a plot to collect his DNA and compare it with the hate mail. Peerenboom and a private investigator hired Speckin Laboratories, a testing facility, whose employee showed up at the deposition with "special paper" meant to collect DNA. They also took plastic water bottles and a bottle cap left at the deposition by the Perlmutters.