Cases and Deals

Blank Rome Secures Class Action Victory for Simon Property Group

A Blank Rome team secured a major class action victory for Simon Property Group, the largest shopping mall owner in the United States, when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida denied a mall tenant’s bid to certify a nationwide RICO class comprising thousands of former and current tenants at 50 Simon malls across the country. After the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied interlocutory appellate review, the parties entered into a “walk away” settlement, with the plaintiff agreeing to dismiss all of its claims with prejudice, and with no financial payments or other compensation being paid to plaintiff or plaintiff's counsel.

The case received significant attention in the industry. Indeed, plaintiff’s counsel filed a similar class action against a different mall owner just a few years earlier, alleging a virtually identical conspiracy. There, the court certified a nationwide RICO class, and the case eventually settled for more than $90 million. Here, by contrast, no class was certified, all claims were dismissed with prejudice, and Simon did not pay a cent to plaintiff or its counsel.

The district court’s opinion denying class certification can be found here, and the Order of Dismissal with Prejudice can be found here.

The Blank Rome team was led by Jim Smith and Dan Rhynhart, along with substantial assistance from Evan Lechtman, Dan Morris, Jeff Rosenthal, Will Cruse, Rebecca Ward, Tom Brier, and Sam Ventresca.

This case was included in a write-up in Litigation Daily on June 16, 2023: “Expert Perspectives on Biggest Court Cases”