ACLJ Files Reply Brief in Appeal of Unjust Planned Parenthood Verdict
One of the core missions of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is to defend the rights of unborn children. For almost six years, the ACLJ has been representing a former board member of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) in a lawsuit involving Planned Parenthood.
The case was filed in early 2016 by Planned Parenthood after CMP exposed some of Planned Parenthood’s horrendous abortion practices through CMP’s undercover investigation known as the Human Capital Project. The CMP videos that were made public shocked the country and led to congressional investigations and congressional referrals for criminal prosecutions over the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
The case went to trial during the fall of 2019. After a nearly two-month trial, a San Francisco jury ruled against David Daleiden, CMP, its former board members – including our client – and the investigators.
Evidence at trial included an abortion doctor admitting the use of specific techniques during abortion procedures to keep certain baby organs intact, and another stating that she “wanted a Lamborghini” during discussion of prices for the sale of those organs.
The trial court, however, repeatedly instructed the jury to ignore any evidence of Planned Parenthood’s illegal and unethical acts. The court instead instructed the jury to focus only on the Defendants’ investigative techniques and methods.
The jury ultimately found the Defendants liable to Planned Parenthood and returned a verdict of more than $2 million in damages, even though the truth of the videos was not challenged and Planned Parenthood did not assert a defamation claim.
The ACLJ appealed that verdict on behalf of our client to overturn that injustice. (Later, the trial court required the Defendants to pay Planned Parenthood’s attorneys’ fees and costs in excess of $13 million. That ruling is the subject of a separate appeal in this case.)
Earlier this year, we filed our opening brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in our appeal of the jury verdict. The record on appeal is thousands of pages long. Many amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs were also filed in support of our client and the other Defendants. Planned Parenthood later filed its responsive brief (which was more than 200 pages).
This week, we filed our final brief. Our reply brief addresses the flaws in Planned Parenthood’s arguments and explains to the appellate court that the jury verdict should be thrown out since it runs contrary to the governing law.
The appellate court will soon be scheduling the oral argument in this appeal, which will give us another opportunity to advance our arguments before the court.
This case is far from over. We will continue to pursue justice on behalf of our client, including eventually filing with the United States Supreme Court if necessary. We ask for your continued support as we move forward in this important case.