News Brief

Benford and Arline Obtain Dismissal with Prejudice in RICO Violation Case

October 8, 2019

John Benford (Of Counsel-Orlando) and Kathy Arline (Associate-Orlando) obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a major insurance company, in a case where the plaintiff alleged multiple RICO violations in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Plaintiff, an owner and operator of a catering company, claimed to have sustained a left-hand injury and psychological symptoms stemming from his injuries, which precluded him from working. The plaintiff sought $7.4 million in damages; this was the plaintiff’s third attempt at the Complaint. The plaintiff asserted that he was entitled to relief for Florida workers’ compensation benefits through the Federal Court under RICO because each defendant had committed at least two or three intentional racketeering torts that resulted in the diminution of his benefits. John and Kathy moved to dismiss plaintiff’s allegations of RICO violations, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of Florida’s criminal statute § 817.234 F.S. (false and fraudulent insurance claims), and federal criminal statute 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (fraud by wire, radio, or television). They argued the Court had no subject-matter jurisdiction, removal was inappropriate because there was no underlying action pending in Florida and plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to establish a cause of action. With regard to the RICO claims, John and Kathy argued, in part, that the plaintiff had not plausibly alleged an injury to business or property under RICO. The Court agreed on all counts and dismissed the plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint with prejudice, in its entirety.

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