The drawn out legal battle between Youngevity and Wakaya Perfection has finally received a tentative trial date.
March 22nd, 2021 is the date set, following a pretrial conference held on October 5th.
Another hearing was held on October 6th, during and after which a number of outstanding motions were ruled on.
Probably the most interesting of the rulings is the Wakaya Perfection defendants being ordered to pay $132,165 in Youngevity’s legal costs.
The ruling followed Youngevity succeeding in getting several of Wakaya Perfection’s counterclaims dismissed.
Youngevity’s motion to dismiss was filed under anti-SLAPP legislation, which provides defense against lawsuits
intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
Among the allegations Wakaya Perfection made was the claim Youngevity were “litigating in the press”.
Wakaya Perfection appealed the decision against them in the Ninth Circuit but was knocked back.
They then attempted to take the decision to the Supreme Court, who declined Wakaya Perfection’s petition.
Wakaya Perfection didn’t dispute Youngevity’s claim for legal fees, but did ask the court to ‘exercise its discretion to reduce and defer the fee award’.
The court found Wakaya’s request to be “vague and inexact”.
Youngevity has already suffered the expense of litigation that the anti-SLAPP statue was designed to prevent.
The anti-SLAPP order is final and all appeals have been exhausted.
Wakaya has not provided a case or authority that warrants delaying a fee award and the Court thus declines to do so.
Youngevity was consequently awarded the full requested $132,165 amount in costs, payable by November 2nd, 2020.
Other motions decided on October 7th include:
- Youngevity being prohibited from offering testimony from any distributors signed up after March 2016, unless the distributor database is provided to Wakaya Perfection;
- Youngevity denied permission to admit “several exhibits as party opponent statements”;
- Wakaya Perfection denied permission to use “statements made by Dr. Joel Wallach and any evidence of alleged personal misconduct”;
- both parties having their pretrial objections overruled because they were made in bad faith; and
- Youngevity given permission to supplement its exhibit, witness and deposition designation lists.
To say the legal battle between Youngevity and Wakaya Perfection is an understatement.
Youngevity’s lawsuit against Wakaya was filed back in 2016. And as I write this, there are no less than seven hundred and ninety-three docket filings.
Wakaya Perfection as an MLM company doesn’t even exist anymore.
The sheer amount of frivolous back and froth between the parties, compounded by voluminous sealed filings, has made it difficult to provide ongoing coverage of the lawsuit.
As evidenced by an excerpt from one of the above referenced orders, the court also appears weary of the never-ending filings.
This case has been lengthy, contentious, and particularly taxing on the Court’s limited resources.
Among the parties’ copious filings are 10 motions to dismiss and 57 motions for summary judgment (including the motions filed in the related case.
Pending an unexpected settlement reached between the parties prior to next March, I’m certainly looking forward to a judgment resolution.
Not so much the inevitable appeals.