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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Torts: Mass Tort-Fraudulent Plaintiff Recruiting-Protective Order

Torts: Mass Tort-Fraudulent Plaintiff Recruiting-Protective Order

Defendants appealed the district court’s grant of plaintiffs’ emergency motion for a protective order. Plaintiffs, who included thousands of Peruvian citizens, alleged that defendants’ lead mining and smelting complex in Peru had caused widespread lead poisoning in the area. Defendants complained to the court about alleged fraudulent conduct by two “plaintiff recruiters” in Peru, whom defendants had reported to Peruvian law enforcement. In support of their fraud claims, defendants sought certain discovery, including verifications from plaintiffs. Plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a protective order to prohibit defendants’ Peruvian counsel from participating in Peruvian law enforcement’s witness interviews. The district court granted the motion, concluding that allowing defense counsel to participate in the interviews would constitute ex parte communication.

Where orders prohibiting ex parte communications were not totally unreviewable on appeal from final judgment, the district court’s order could not be appealed under the collateral order doctrine and was not an appealable order denying or granting injunctive relief.

Judgment is affirmed.

Collins v. Doe Run Resources Corporation (MLW No. 79727/Case No. 22-1848 – 11 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Gruender, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Sipper, J. (Alyssa Barnard-Yanni, of New York, NY for appellants; Edward L. Dowd, Jr., of St. Louis, MO; Robert Mark Loeb, of Washington, D.C.; E. Joshua Rosenkranz, of New York, NY; Michael J. Hickey, of St. Louis, MO; Thomas P. Berra, Jr., of St. Louis, MO; and Jeffrey R. Hoops, of St. Louis, MO on the brief) (Kenneth J. Chesebro, of New York, NY for appellees; Hunter J. Shkolnik, of Santurce, PR; Francisco Ramon Rodriguez, of Coral Gables, FL; Paul J. Napoli, of New York, NY; Paul A. Nunez, Jr., of Coral Gables, FL; and Patrick J. Lanciotti, of New York, NY on the brief)