EN | 中文

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert on Issue Raised by Mazzola Lindstrom Attorney, Richard Lerner

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert on Issue Raised by Mazzola Lindstrom Attorney Richard Lerner on the Eve of Trial.

Days before trial was to commence in the civil RICO case of Horn v. Medical Marijuana Inc., Rich Lerner was brought on board to assure that issues were properly preserved for appeal.

Plaintiff Horn, a commercial truck driver, claimed that he was fired from his job because he had tested positive for THC after ingesting defendants’ CBD product that had been falsely advertised as having no THC. Horn claimed loss of income and benefits. Recognizing that RICO allows recovery for losses to “business or property,” Rich suggested that the defendants immediately move to preclude Horn’s damages testimony on the ground that the harm sustained by him was having THC in his blood, and that the loss of his job was not the direct result of the alleged RICO violation. That is, the economic losses claimed were derivative of the “personal” injury – the elevated level of THC in his blood – and that RICO does not allow for recovery for personal injury.

Though Magistrate Judge Feldman of the Western District of New York felt that this was really an eve-of-trial motion for summary judgment, he nonetheless agreed that the point was meritorious, and could be dispositive of the case, and so ordered full briefing on the issue. Ultimately, Judge Feldman agreed with Rich’s argument, and the case was dismissed. The Second Circuit, however, disagreed, and held that Horn could recover for his alleged loss of income under RICO, which allows for treble damages and attorneys’ fees if he were to prevail at trial. With Williams & Connolly and co-defense counsel Mura Law Group, the defendants petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue.

We are proud to say that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and kudos to Rich for again making law.