Plaintiffs have been on notice of the deficiencies of their complaint since October 2021… In the 17 months since, Plaintiffs have repeatedly declined the Court’s invitations to meaningfully amend their complaint.
Their proposed Third Amended Complaint… engages in impermissible group pleading, lumping individual Defendants together into a convenient “Inner Circle,” and continuing to assert claims on behalf of 70 plaintiffs without identifying how each individual Defendant is responsible for the alleged harm to each individual plaintiff.
At 112 pages and attaching a 17 page chart identifying Plaintiffs, the proposed Third Amended Complaint can hardly be called a “short and plain statement” consistent with Rule 8.2…
Plaintiffs’ brief identifies only one instance in which they added
information about Sara Bronfman (pertaining to a RICO predicate act), and their remaining “new” allegations merely invite speculation that Sara Bronfman had to have known about or must have participated in alleged wrongdoing simply because she held titles in and participated in an organization — an organization in which many Plaintiffs also held titles and leadership roles….
The [Proposed Third Amended Complaint] re-pleads six counts against Sara Bronfman without remedying any of their fatal infirmities…. by engaging in impermissible group pleading….
With respect to group pleading of the Defendants, the PTAC… lumps Sara Bronfman into Raniere’s purported “Inner Circle,” alleging that, as a member of the so-called Inner Circle, she “operated and furthered” DOS without making any specific allegations specifying how, when, or to what extent she did so….
Instead, Plaintiffs make sweeping allegations about the Inner Circle’s purported misconduct without stating whether all supposed members engaged in all alleged conduct. For example, the PTAC alleges that “Defendant Mack and other Inner Circle members had edited the video [of the DOS branding] to make it appear as though Edmondson had consented to the branding…”
It does not clarify who these “other Inner Circle members” are, and whether they purportedly include Sara Bronfman.
The Second Circuit squarely rejects this type of group pleading.
If the judge dismisses the claims against Sara Bronfman, this civil case will have lost a large slice of its value. While the claims against Clare Bronfman are more severe than against her sister, both women willfully financed the demonic enterprises of Raniere, hardly caring who they hurt.
If the judge dismisses the claims against Sara because of shotgun or group pleadings, will he dismiss the claims against Clare too?
Some say this lawsuit is not about money. It’s about justice. That may be true for some plaintiffs. But for the lawyers representing the plaintiffs, this is about money. They are not victims. They are lawyers, and this is their living. They are not offering their services pro bono. They take a neat one third of the award, if any. And if there is none, they spent years working on a case for nothing.
If the judge dismisses the claims against the two Bronfmans, this lawsuit will end in two minutes. The battery of lawyers from two law firms representing the plaintiffs will not come from Philadelphia and Washington DC to Brooklyn to show what a rat’s ass Keith Raniere is or collect money from Kathy Russell.
This lawsuit is a quest for Bronfman’s money, and the judge made it clear in February that he would dismiss the case if they did not cure their shotgun pleadings.
They came back with another complaint that, if it is not a shotgun, it seems to smell a little like gun smoke.
What the judge decides on this motion may tell the whole story of this case.