Fiala, et al. v. B&B Enterprises, et al., No. 12-3890 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed a class action suit against B&B and others, alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1962. The alleged scheme involved "Population Equivalents" (PEs), specified quantities of sewage that a house or other building was estimated to dump into the local sewage system. The complaint alleged that B&B had improperly taken control of the Wasco Sanitary District and used that control to divert to itself permit fees that should have gone to the district to finance an expansion of its sewage system. The district court dismissed the claim for want of RICO standing because plaintiffs could not demonstrate an injury to their business or property. On appeal, defendants challenged the district court's denial of their application for an award of attorneys' fees under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b)(1) and (2). The court concluded that plaintiffs' suit, while meritless, was not frivolous. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.