Brandstetter v. Bally Gaming

Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Joseph Bianco

Asserting that Bally Gaming and International Game Technology and Acres Gaming Inc. (IGT) induced him to develop ideas for a slot machine so as to appropriate those ideas and acquire similar intellectual property, Brandstetter's amended complaint in his Nevada state court action alleged contract breach, civil conspiracy, fraud, unjust enrichment and breach of the Nevada Uniform Trade Secrets Act. After granting IGT and Bally summary judgment, the Nevada court entered final judgment. Nevada's Supreme Court then dismissed Brandstetter's appeal. Adopting a magistrate judge's recommendations after de novo review, district court—discussing the Nevada Supreme Court's ruling in Five Star Capital v. Ruby—dismissed Brandstetter's later complaint charging Bally and IGT with unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy and fraud. Brandstetter's claims were barred by res judicata and collateral estoppel. Not only were the parties the same and Brandstetter's complaint grounded on claims that were raised or could have been raised in the Nevada action, but the Nevada court's valid summary judgment decision was on the merits and final.

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