Appeals court: Arbitration won’t shield Trump from lawsuit

Jul 28, 2021, 2:54 PM | Updated: 4:02 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump and his three eldest children can’t force a lawsuit into arbitration that was brought by people who felt cheated by a business he promoted, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a written decision pertaining to a 2018 lawsuit in Manhattan federal court brought by salespeople who lost money in a marketing company that Trump endorsed in speeches and on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” The effort to force arbitration had delayed the lawsuit from proceeding.

The lawsuit alleged Trump and family members secretly received millions of dollars between 2005 and 2015 in exchange for reassuring potential salespeople for telephone company ACN Opportunity LLC there was little risk if they started selling its phone service.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that the Trumps misled them to believe they were endorsing the company based on an independent assessment of the company rather than in return for large payments.

The 2nd Circuit noted that investigations by regulatory agencies have demonstrated that ACN’s business was high-risk and that investors had minimal chance of commercial success.

The appeals court, citing the lawsuit’s claims, said statements by the Trumps that they had conducted extensive due diligence and research concerning the business opportunity and had inside information and personal experience with ACN were untrue.

“”The defendants had, in fact, conducted no such due diligence. They were instead endorsing ACN’s business opportunity because they were being paid millions of dollars to do so — a fact that they deliberately failed to disclose,” the appeals court said the lawsuit alleged.

The appeals court said the Trumps were not entitled to take advantage of agreements between the plaintiffs and ACN that disputes would be resolved by arbitration. ACN is not a defendant in the lawsuit.

In a statement, ACN said it has been in business for 28 years and operates in 27 countries, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

“ACN is not a political organization and is proud to welcome individuals from all walks of life. ACN’s business relationship with Mr. Trump started and ended before his run for national office,” the statement added. “It is unfortunate that ACN’s name and business have been impugned in connection with this politically-motivated and funded lawsuit. To be clear, ACN categorically denies the allegations made in the lawsuit against it and its business.”

Lawyers for the Trump Corp., Trump, Donald J. Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Attorney Roberta Kaplan, who represents plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement that the appeals ruling will enable lawyers to schedule depositions and obtain documents through subpoenas “as soon as possible.”

Kaplan called it an “important case about a years-long consumer fraud on hard working Americans perpetrated by Donald Trump and three of his adult children.”

The gathering of evidence had been delayed while both sides waited for the 2nd Circuit’s decision.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock campaigns on Sept. 2, 2022, in Atlanta with other members of historica...
Associated Press

In Georgia, how sports explain a political battleground

SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) — The reception area of a metro Atlanta office suite is a veritable museum of Herschel Walker’s football success for the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the NFL. The office is part of the Atlanta Braves’ real estate development in the Major League Baseball franchise’s new suburban home. This headquarters for Georgia’s […]
9 hours ago
Sterling Sheffield, an assistant professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the Univers...
Associated Press

FDA change ushers in cheaper, easier-to-get hearing aids

It’s now a lot easier — and cheaper — for many hard-of-hearing Americans to get help. Hearing aids can now be sold without a prescription from a specialist. Over-the-counter, or OTC, hearing aids started hitting the market in October at prices that can be thousands of dollars lower than prescription hearing aids. About 30 million […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building at dusk on Capitol Hill in Washington, ...
Associated Press

Supreme Court weighs ‘most important case’ on democracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is about to confront a new elections case, a Republican-led challenge asking the justices for a novel ruling that could significantly increase the power of state lawmakers over elections for Congress and the presidency. The court is set to hear arguments Wednesday in a case from North Carolina, where […]
9 hours ago
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an image captured off a screen at the Jiuquan Satelli...
Associated Press

3 Chinese astronauts return to Earth after 6-month mission

BEIJING (AP) — Three Chinese astronauts landed in a northern desert on Sunday after six months working to complete construction of the Tiangong station, a symbol of the country’s ambitious space program, state TV reported. A capsule carrying commander Chen Dong and astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe touched down at a landing site in […]
9 hours ago
FILE - The logo of the Organization of the Petroleoum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is seen outside of...
Associated Press

No OPEC+ oil shakeup as Russian price cap stirs uncertainty

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The Saudi-led OPEC oil cartel and allied producers including Russia did not change their targets for shipping oil to the global economy amid uncertainty about the impact of new Western sanctions against Russia that could take significant amounts of oil off the market. The decision at a meeting of oil ministers […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Vandalism suspected in North Carolina power outage

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina believe vandalism may have caused a power outage that affected thousands of customers Saturday night. A mass power outage in several communities beginning just after 7 p.m. Saturday “is being investigated as a criminal occurrence,” the Moore County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “As […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Appeals court: Arbitration won’t shield Trump from lawsuit