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22 Jan 2019


Federal Court Dismisses Racketeering Counts Against Greenpeace

Today, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a landmark decision dismissing all claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in the case brought by Resolute Forest Products against Greenpeace Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Greenpeace International, Stand.earth, and five individual defendants.

The same court had previously dismissed the entire case and ordered the logging company to pay defendants’ legal fees in October 2017. However, Resolute Forest Products decided to file a repackaged version of the same baseless claims three weeks later. According to today’s order, the case will continue without the highly contentious racketeering charges and the vast majority of defamation claims.

Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said in response to the decision: 

“…Today’s landmark decision should be a lesson for other corporate bullies attempting the same underhanded legal tactics, like Energy Transfer, that they will not succeed in attempts to criminalize free speech. We will continue to speak truth to power.”

The charges dismissed today were included in Resolute Forest Products’ second strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) aiming to silence Greenpeace entities. In 2013, the logging company filed a separate defamation case against Greenpeace Canada and two staff members in Ontario. This case is still pending and Greenpeace Canada continues to vigorously fight the remaining claims...

Part of the following timelines

Resolute Forest Products lawsuits (re alleged racketeering & defamation by environmental organizations, USA)

USA: Court dismisses lawsuit by Resolute Forest Products to silence NGOs criticising its environmental impact