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Living Designs, Inc. v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.

ELR Citation: 35 ELR 20246
Nos. Nos. 02-16947 et al., (9th Cir., 12/05/2005)

The court reverses and remands a district court ruling in favor of a fungicide manufacturer that allegedly induced settlement of several commercial nurseries' prior products liability litigation in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and state tort law. The district court erred in granting judgment on the pleadings as to the RICO claims, and it erroneously granted summary judgment for the manufacturer based on its determination that the nurseries failed to prove damages with reasonable certainty. The district court also erred in granting summary judgment on the nurseries' common-law fraud claim on the basis that they could not establish that the alleged fraud was material or that they reasonably relied on the manufacturer's representations to their detriment. And except for the claims of negligence and spoliation, the court erred in granting summary judgment on the nurseries' non-fraud common-law claims. On remand, the case must be assigned to a different judge.