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Emad Tawfilis Family Files Lawsuit for Murder-Suicide at Dahl Vineyards


The family of Emad Tawfilis, an investor who was slain in March by Robert Dahl, namesake of the Dahl Vineyards, has filed a lawsuit against Dahl’s wife,  Janelle Dahl, as well as others, in Napa County Superior Court

The lawsuit, filed May 14, seeks unspecified damages, but includes both compensatory and punitive damages against Mrs. Dahl on basis that a spouse is liable for the debts left behind by her deceased spouse.

Tawfilis previously sued Robert Dahl in Napa Superior Court in 2014.

According to the lawsuit filed yesterday, Dahl lured him to the winery under the guise of a meeting to settle the other case. Instead, he pulled out a .22 caliber handgun and shot Mr. Tawfilis several times, ultimately killing him.

According to the lawsuit, shortly after a telephone call between the parties and their attorneys, “what transpired after the settlement phone call ended at 11:30 a.m. on the morning of March 16, 2015, can only be described as an unimaginable nightmare for Emad Tawfilis and that ultimately ended in his tortuous and untimely death at the hands of Dahl.”

The complaint cites excerpts of the frantic 911 call that Mr. Tawfilis made while being chased through the vineyard.

Ultimately, the complaint alleges that Mr. Dahl executed Mr. Tawfilis as the Napa County Sheriff deputies were arriving on the scene. According to the Sheriff’s Department, Mr. Dahl killed himself in his vehicle after leading them on a pursuit.

The family of Mr. Tawfilis is represented by George M. Lee, a partner at the San Francisco law firm of Seiler Epstein Ziegler & Applegate LLP, and Ralph B. Kalfayan, a partner at the San Diego law firm of Krause Kalfayan Benink & Slavens, LLP.

“This lawsuit is to make sure that nobody benefits from Mr. Dahl’s crime,” Said Mr. Lee. A former prosecutor, Lee says he plans to treat this case as a criminal case. “Mr. Dahl couldn’t get his way in court, and so he brutally ambushed, chased down and executed Mr. Tawfilis at the vineyard. We are going to make sure that Mr. Dahl doesn’t get his way in the end, and that every place where Mr. Dahl may have hidden his assets is uncovered.”