3M files amended complaint against Lanny Davis

Michael P. Tremoglie Dec. 27, 2011, 9:51am


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The ongoing litigation between 3M Company and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, political pundit and attorney Lanny Davis, continues.

3M filed an amended complaint Dec. 9 in its lawsuit against Davis and other defendants in which the company added newly discovered facts to its allegations and a new cause of action.

The company originally filed a defamation case against Davis on Aug. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming that he and others conspired to unlawfully coerce 3M into paying tens of millions of dollars in a United Kingdom breach of contract case.

The amended complaint states the actions of Davis and the other defendants has caused 3M's business, on an annualized basis, to decline at least 25 percent in 2011, as compared to 2010. Its ongoing sales to the Central Government sector in the U.K. also sharply declined in 2011 by 44 percent, 3M claims.

The amended filing also adds a claim of breach of fiduciary duty against Davis.

"Lanny Davis, specifically, and the Davis Defendants, generally, continue to owe Davis's former client 3M fiduciary duties as a result of Davis's prior legal representation of 3M including the duty to preserve client confidences and not to use confidential information gained through their representation of 3M against it," the amended complaint states.

It also claims that Davis was "given access to, and learned of 3M's confidential information, including information about 3M's litigation strategies, crisis management approach, and media strategies" while he provided confidential legal services for 3M.

The company claims this information was used by Davis to develop the public relations campaign against 3M. This, 3M maintains, was a breach of fiduciary duties.

Davis and his co-defendants filed a joint motion asking the Court to strike the amended complaint on Dec. 13, which was denied on Dec. 15.

Davis countered 3M with an anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) motion in the case in November.

SLAPP suits are those intended to silence critics by burdening them with costly litigation until the criticism stops.

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