Supreme Court Expands Rico Again

Supreme Court Expands Rico Again

June 2008

Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of expanding a plaintiff’s ability to bring civil RICO actions. Most civil RICO claims are based on mail or wire fraud, and it is these two federal statutes that opened the floodgates for civil RICO claims against entities most would never consider parts of organized crime. One check imposed on these claims, by most federal courts, had been a finding that the plaintiff had to prove that it relied on the wire or mail fraud to seek damages. In Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., the Supreme Court rejected that view in favor of a broader reading that the pattern of wire or mail fraud acts only have to proximately cause the plaintiff’s harm. This proximate cause may be based on direct reliance, but also may be proved by other, less difficult, means.

For more information contact Lee Applebaum, lapplebaum@finemanlawfirm.com or (215) 893-8702.