Greenpeace Responds to Repackaged RICO Lawsuit by Canadian Logging Company

by Rodrigo Estrada

January 30, 2018

Defendants in the controversial racketeering case [1] filed by Resolute Forest Products to silence forest defenders and environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, filed a motion to dismiss [2] the repackaged version [3] of the lawsuit yesterday. This action is in response to Resolute’s decision to refile meritless claims that were already dismissed on October 16, 2017 by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said:

“It’s obvious that Resolute’s legal strategy has reached a dead-end. The Judge’s dismissal of this case last year made it clear that it is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, a meritless attack on freedom of speech and public advocacy. The court’s decision also awarded Greenpeace attorney fees under California’s anti-SLAPP statute.

“Resolute’s amended complaint does not address the many deficiencies that Judge Tigar identified in the company’s claims when he dismissed this case the first time in October. Unfortunately, Resolute’s management continues to waste the court’s time, its shareholders’ money, and other valuable resources that would be better used elsewhere — like in the implementation of solutions that protect forests, respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights, and stabilize jobs in local communities. We are confident that this repackaged lawsuit will meet the same fate as the one already dismissed.

“The misuse of racketeering laws with massive damage claims against advocacy organizations is part of a playbook developed by Trump’s go-to law firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres, to silence fair criticism of corporations. This firm not only represents Resolute, it also filed a strikingly similar lawsuit on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline that was opposed by an inspiring indigenous-led movement. Corporate bullies and their mercenary lawyers will not prevail over the right of the people to speak up.”


Notes to editors:

[1] On May 31, 2016 Resolute Forest Products filed a CAD$300 million lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in the United States District Court for Southern Georgia, against Greenpeace International, Greenpeace, Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Inc., (formerly ForestEthics), and five individual staff members of these independent organizations. The case was transferred to Northern California on May 16, 2017 when Resolute failed to demonstrate that the case should be heard in Georgia. On October 16, 2017 the U.S. District Court for Northern California dismissed all of the company’s claims. On November 6, 2017 Resolute’s lawyers filed a repackaged version of the same meritless claims against Greenpeace, Inc., Greenpeace Fund, Greenpeace International, and the individual defendants in the same court.

This is Resolute’s second lawsuit against Greenpeace. In 2013, the company filed a CAD$7 million defamation case against Greenpeace Canada and two staff members in Ontario, which is still pending. Click here for more information about the existing legal cases between Resolute Forest Products and Greenpeace, or copy this to your browser:


[2] Click here to access the motion to dismiss filed by Greenpeace, Inc., Greenpeace International and their staff, or copy the following link to your browser:

Click here to access the motion to dismiss filed by Greenpeace Fund, or copy the following link to your browser:


[3] Click here to access the amended complaint filed by Resolute Forest Products, or copy the following link to your browser:


Media contact:

Rodrigo Estrada, [email protected], 202-478-6632

Rodrigo Estrada

By Rodrigo Estrada

Rodrigo Estrada is an expert on legal communication. He is the global communications manager of the climate justice and liability project. Currently at Greenpeace Canada, Rodrigo has appeared in a wide range of international outlets such as CNN, Bloomberg, Vice, and many more.

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