Cities And Towns In Rhode Island File A Civil RICO Lawsuit Against Consulting Firm McKinsey
According to a report from GoLocalProv, several municipal governments in Rhode Island have filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the national consulting firm McKinsey & Company. The civil racketeering claim relates to McKinsey’s alleged role in the opioid epidemic. Notably, there is already multi-district litigation ongoing regarding this matter. Here, our West Palm Beach RICO claims lawyer provides an overview of the allegations raised in the complaint against the consulting firm.
Allegations: McKinsey & Company Engaged in Racketeering Scheme to Market Opioids
Purdue Pharma was one of the primary manufacturers of opioids in the United States. The company has faced major sanctions from state and federal regulators for its role in the opioid epidemic. The national consulting firm McKinsey & Company was contracted by Purdue Pharma to help market its opioid products, including Oxycontin.
The civil RICO lawsuit filed by the cities and towns in Rhode Island—and previously filed by other governments across the United States—allege that McKinsey & Company effectively engage in “racketeering” enterprise. The plaintiffs contend that McKinsey & Company was aware of the dangers of its clients’ product but nonetheless improperly conspired to market it.
Proving Liability Requires Demonstrating a Pattern of Racketeering Activity
Civil RICO claims are complicated. The statute offers a very powerful remedy to those damaged via illicit racketeering activity. A defendant found liable for a civil RICO violation can be held responsible for treble damages. The provision allows a plaintiff in a winning civil RICO lawsuit to get three times their actual losses in a recovery. However, RICO is not a general “misconduct” or “fraud” statute. Establishing liability requires meeting very specific, narrowly defined elements, including:
- Proving that the defendant acted as part of an enterprise; and
- Proving that the defendant engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity.
In this case, the plaintiffs (cities and towns in Rhode Island) contend that the enterprise was formed between Purdue Pharma and its consulting firm McKinsey & Company. They argue that McKinsey & Company knowingly conspired to market/sell dangerous opioids to members of the public on improper grounds.
Claiming Damages for the Alleged RICO Violation
To bring a civil RICO lawsuit, a plaintiff must be prepared to prove damages. This means showing that actual harm was sustained due to the pattern of racketeering by the defendant(s). In these cases, the municipal governments in Rhode Island argue that the additional cost borne by taxpayers—for law enforcement, emergency services, and health services—were incurred as a direct result of the defendant’s alleged civil RICO violation.
Get Help From a Civil Racketeering Attorney in Southeastern Florida
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, we have the specialized skills, expertise, and legal experience to represent both plaintiffs and defendants in civil racketeering cases. If you have any questions about civil RICO laws, please do not hesitate to reach out to our law firm for help. We provide civil RICO services throughout South Florida, including in Miami, Hialeah, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Wellington, and Palm Beach Gardens.