A set of “kaleidoscopic claims” about the Houston ISD’s contracting process produced several RICO holdings of note in Ramirez Group v. Houston ISD, No. 13-20753 (May 18, 2015):
- To show the requisite injury, “[a] plaintiff need not show that the other party would have been obliged to confer a benefit, only that the other party would have conferred the benefit.” This can be shown by a substantial drop in work assignments coupled with other suspicious activity.
- The Houston ISD is immune from suit under RICO, because a governmental entity cannot form the requisite criminal intent, and because municipal entities enjoy common law immunity from punitive damages.
- Official immunity does not extend to a school trustee accused of acting “wholly outside the legitimate scope” of his duties by allegedly accepting bribes.
- The requisite mental state for tortious interference can be shown “[w]here only a limited number of . . . contractors would be selected, [so] all of the participants in the scheme ‘knew the interference was substantially certain to occur as a result of the conduct.'”