Vale Wins Dismissal with Prejudice of RICO Lawsuit

November 20, 2015

Cleary Gottlieb won dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit brought by Rio Tinto against Vale. Rio Tinto sued Vale and others in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that defendants conspired to steal Rio Tinto’s mining rights at the Simandou mountain range in the Republic of Guinea, reputed to be one of the most important undeveloped iron ore deposits in the world, in violation of the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act. Rio Tinto sought treble damages for the alleged loss of those rights. In October 2015, Cleary Gottlieb argued defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims on behalf of Vale. The Court held that Rio Tinto’s RICO claims were barred by RICO’s four-year statute of limitations and that equitable tolling was not appropriate. Further, the Court held that dismissal was warranted based on Rio Tinto’s failure to plead the elements of a civil RICO claim.