Planned Parenthood v. CMP et al.
(CA)—In January 2016, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and nine PP affiliates sued David Daleiden, fellow investigators, and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in federal court, for the express purpose of punishing them for their investigative work exposing PP’s role in the sale of baby parts. Life Legal represents former CMP board member Albin Rhomberg. Three years of written discovery, depositions, and expert witness discovery succeeded in paring down Planned Parenthood’s claimed damages by over ninety-five percent.
After a six-week trial, the jury found for the plaintiffs on most of the remaining claims and awarded punitive damages. With RICO damages trebled, the total verdict was over $2,000,000. The court also later awarded PP about $14,000,000 in attorney fees and costs. On October 21, 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most of the damages awards. On May 30, we and the three other co-defendants filed petitions for certiorari in the US Supreme Court. Seven amicus briefs were filed in support of one or more of the petitions. We expect that the petitions will be considered at the September 26 “mega-conference” when the Court re-convenes in the fall.
Daleiden and his colleague Susan Merritt are also facing criminal charges arising from their investigatory work. After a three-week preliminary hearing in San Francisco, eight of the sixteen felony criminal charges remain against Merritt and ten charges against Daleiden remain. Trial anticipated for late 2023 or early 2024.