August 03, 2016
On July 27, 2016, Weil won a major victory for Credit Suisse AG and a number of its subsidiaries when the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho granted summary judgment dismissing all of plaintiffs’ remaining claims in a litigation relating to the development of four luxury resort properties across North America and the Bahamas. Credit Suisse and its co-defendant have now, through several motion victories, successfully defeated all of plaintiffs’ claims – including an $8 billion RICO claim – and defeated plaintiffs’ efforts to certify a class, effectively ending this litigation.
Plaintiffs, who purchased properties at luxury resort developments in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and the Bahamas, claimed that the property developers had promised them that various amenities would be built and maintained at these resorts. Plaintiffs further alleged that Credit Suisse, along with its co-defendant Cushman & Wakefield, had provided the resort developers with loans, based on fraudulent appraisals, that the developers would be unable to repay; that these loans caused the developers to default and go into bankruptcy; and that as a result of default, the promised amenities ultimately were not provided (or were discontinued) by the developers, causing the plaintiffs injury. Plaintiffs also originally asserted a RICO claim, which the Court dismissed in March 2011, and sought to certify a class action, which the Court denied in September 2013.
Following briefing and oral argument on the defendants’ motions for summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ remaining claims, Judge Justin Quackenbush issued a 45-page memorandum and order that granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants, denied plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file a sixth amended complaint, and entered judgment dismissing all remaining claims with prejudice.
In its opinion, the Court importantly concluded that plaintiffs “failed to produce evidence raising a genuine issue of fact to show the Credit Suisse loans caused the failure of the resorts” – an essential element of each of plaintiffs’ remaining claims. The Court also addressed a number of other arguments made by plaintiffs to support their claims, holding, among other things, that defendants owed no duty of care to plaintiffs under federal law or professional appraisal standards in connection with the underlying property appraisals, that Credit Suisse does not qualify as a “co-developer” of the properties in question, particularly because the plaintiffs had established no legal relationship with either Credit Suisse or Cushman & Wakefield, and that the developers had not made the alleged promises to build or maintain amenities at the resorts.
The Weil team is led by partner David Lender, co-head of Weil’s Litigation Department, and includes counsel Kevin Meade, and associates John O’Connor, Luna Barrington, Olivia Miller, Matthew Leung, Arielle Gordon, Jay Minga, and Richard Gage.