The allegations are not rendered implausible by reference to the conduct of the

The allegations are not rendered implausible by

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The allegations are not rendered implausible by reference to the conduct of the plaintiffs' lawyers in the underlying suit, as defendants argue. The crux of this theory is that plaintiffs' lawyers did not actually believe BASF's representations that its products did not contain asbestos and thus their clients could not have relied on those representations. For example, notwithstanding the fact that BASF represented to Williams's lawyers that its products did not contain talc, Williams's lawyers filed subsequent asbestos-injury cases against BASF on behalf of other plaintiffs. Thus, according to BASF and Cahill, plaintiffs could not have relied on the misstatements in prosecuting their cases because their lawyers did not rely on them. We do not accept this argument. First, plaintiffs' lawyers are not the plaintiffs themselves. A plaintiff, not his or her lawyer, must decide whether to initiate litigation or to end it. See, e.g ., N.J. Rules of Professional [*35] Conduct 1.2(a). So whatever a lawyer does on behalf of another client proves little, if anything, about the beliefs of a different client. Second, this is a motion to dismiss. Courts must accept as true the plaintiffs' allegations and draw inferences in the plaintiffs' favor. Inferring from plaintiffs' choice of counsel unfavorable facts about plaintiffs' beliefs runs contrary to this rule. Third, as noted, the tort of spoliation requires a plaintiff to prove he or she was harmed in the underlying
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Page 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16999, * action by having "to rely on an evidential record that did not contain the evidence defendant concealed." Rosenblit , 766 A.2d at 758. The tort does not require reliance on an adversary's representations. Indeed, a lawyer or litigant who destroys or conceals evidence may be liable even if he or she makes no representations to his or her adversaries at all. In sum, the plaintiffs have alleged far more than a "sheer possibility" that BASF and Cahill injured them. Cf. Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 678. Indeed, the complaint states enough facts regarding the consequences of defendants' spoliation that it has raised "a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence" that plaintiffs have been harmed by BASF and Cahill's misconduct. See id . Accordingly, [*36] we reverse the District Court's dismissal of this claim. D. The Complaint does not allege an actionable claim for N.J. RICO . The District Court correctly dismissed Williams's N.J. RICO claim. Williams contends that BASF and Cahill injured her by operating a RICO enterprise and by conspiring to operate a RICO enterprise. Because Williams and the other plaintiffs have not alleged that they suffered an injury to their property, as they must, we affirm. 1. Standard In New Jersey, it is unlawful "to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of [an] enterprise's affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity." N.J. Stat. § 2C:41-2(c). The New Jersey RICO statute also forbids a person from conspiring to do the same. N.J. Stat. § 2C:41-2(d). Further, New Jersey confers a private right of action on "any person damaged in his business or property by reason" of a RICO violation. N.J. Stat. § 2C:41-4. Accordingly, those
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  • Spring '11
  • Dr.Bjorke
  • Business Law, The Land, Supreme Court of the United States, Pleading, New Jersey, BASF

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