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Cruze v. Hudler

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-23-2011
Case #: A145179
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Brewer C.J.; & Wollheim, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A145179.pdf

Tort Law: A predicate conviction is not a prerequisite to a civil ORICO claim based on racketeering activities. To have a cause of action under ORICO, plaintiff only need demonstrate defendants violation is based on racketeering activity.

Cruze invested money with Hudler. Later, Cruze alleged that the Hudler defrauded them; violated Oregon securities law; and committed elder abuse. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Hudler on all claims and denied Cruze’s motion to file an amended complaint alleging violations of Oregon's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (ORICO). Cruze argued the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because there was a genuine issue of material fact on all claims against Hudler and a predicate conviction of securities fraud was not necessary to plead an ORICO claim. The Court of Appeals agreed with Cruze, holding he was not required to specifically refute adverse testimony to establish a genuine issue of material fact, and that his complaint sufficiently produced evidence in support of his claims against Hudler. Further, the Court held Cruze could plead an ORICO claim based on any racketeering activity by the defendants. Reversed and remanded.