The World in U.S. Courts: Spring 2017 - Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)
Plaintiff AmTrust is a multi-national property and casualty insurance business that was a party to a series of arbitrations in Italy involving medical malpractice claims. The arbitrations were presided over by defendant Lacchini, an Italian citizen and resident. AmTrust brought civil RICO claims among others claiming that its opponent in the arbitrations bribed Lacchini to favor its interests, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Lacchini moved to dismiss the case, arguing that he had insufficient contacts with the US to support the assertion of personal jurisdiction. The Court analyzed the question under Rule 4(k)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows jurisdiction in certain circumstances where a non-US defendant’s contacts with the US as a whole meet minimum requirements, but its contacts are inadequate as regards any one State. In so proceeding, the Court confirmed that the RICO statute does not itself provide a basis for asserting personal jurisdiction over non-US defendants, either by providing for nationwide service of process over them or otherwise.