A recent RICO claim in federal court, tossed following a motion to dismiss, contains some useful lessons for both plaintiffs and defendants. For potential plaintiffs, it is important to understand that not every wrong that involved a collective of people acting in concert is a civil RICO violation, and if what harmed you was a possible RICO case, success almost never begins with a vague, bare-bones complaint. For businesses who find themselves on the receiving end of such a complaint, it is equally important to recognize the many exacting pleading requirements the law imposes and that those requirements may be the key to getting that RICO claim dismissed early in the litigation process. Whichever side you’re on, a RICO claim should be undertaken or opposed with paramount seriousness and diligence. If your case involves such a cause of action, make sure you’ve consulted with an Atlanta civil RICO lawyer experienced and well-versed in this area of the law.
The federal case involved S.S., a Black woman who delivered a local newspaper in Jonesboro, Ark. She allegedly suffered racial discrimination when her employer illegally underpaid her while paying two White colleagues the proper rate. On that basis, she sued, presenting claims for discrimination under federal and Arkansas law. She also included a civil RICO claim.
The employer opposed the RICO claim and the trial court swiftly dismissed it. Earlier this month, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals summarily upheld that decision.