Class Action Litigation
When a class action is filed, the financial and reputational stakes are high. These actions not only pose great financial risk, but also have the potential to adversely affect all aspects of our clients’ businesses. Clients need lawyers who can provide the sophisticated and effective representation required to navigate complex legal and factual issues and defend reputations, products, and brands.
Our lawyers understand how to favorably resolve class actions at all stages—whether through a motion to compel arbitration, a motion to dismiss, defeating class certification, winning on the merits through summary judgement or trial, or by a favorable settlement. We have a long track record of successfully defending class actions in a wide range of industries and practices in federal and state courts across the country. This is one of the reasons why we have been recognized as one of the firms among BTI Consulting’s “Intimidating Opponents” list, which vouches for our reputation inside the courtroom and out.
Our lawyers also defend clients in governmental investigations and other litigation that frequently occur in connection with the claims giving rise to the class actions. Defending such multifaceted litigation requires a carefully constructed, well thought out game plan, and our lawyers have extensive experience helping clients formulate those plans.
We provide class action representation in a wide range of areas, including:
- We are representing an international aerospace engineering firm in a nationwide putative class action alleging that it participated in a no-poach antitrust conspiracy with its competitors not to hire each other’s employees.
- We are representing the fourth-largest poultry processor in the country in a nationwide class action alleging poultry processors and other defendants conspired to fix the wages and benefits for workers at poultry plants and also to unlawfully exchange wage and benefits information.
- We are representing one of the four largest agricultural companies in the United States and a subsidiary in two dozen class actions alleging a group boycott by the defendants not to do business with online retailers of “crop inputs,” specifically seeds and various crop-protection products. This case is the largest class action against participants in the agricultural industry in recent memory.
- We are representing one of the best-known brands of pet food in the United States in a putative junk fax Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action. The case presents difficult fact patterns involving a strong customer base.
- We represented a New York community bank in a putative class action against the bank alleging, inter alia¸ Electronic Funds Transfer Act violations relating to the disclosure of pre-paid gate cash gift cards provided to prisoners upon release from prison.
We are representing a Fortune 200 financial company against accusations that it breached its contracts with life insurance policyholders by adjusting COI rates on their policies. Despite the client having announced changes in COI rates, policyholders brought claims for breach of contract, claims under various consumer protection statutes, and other state law claims.
- We served as national counsel to Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and directed PHEAA’s response to the states, as well as the many private class actions that build off of the constant drumbeat of criticism stated in the national press. We successfully pursued a comprehensive approach to these matters: (1) we have challenged state licensing schemes as preempted by federal law; (2) we have challenged enforcement actions as dramatically overstating student loan borrower harm and as mischaracterizing the federal government’s policies and procedures as PHEAA’s; and (3) we have defended class actions on the ground, among others, that the borrower plaintiffs lack standing for lack of actual harm. In connection with all of these approaches, we have coordinated with the U.S. Department of Education to ensure its support.
- We represent four banks and credit unions in class actions pending in various state courts which challenge the defendants’ practices with respect to the imposition of overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees. In all of the states in which these matters are pending the issues are of first impression. These class actions are the latest genre of hundreds of class actions filed against hundreds of banks and credit unions challenging the practices of many of these banks and credit unions of processing one time ATM and point-of-sale debit card transactions from high to low dollar amount which have the effect of maximizing overdraft fees. These overdraft class actions have been ongoing for more than a decade and we have been one of the few law firms in the country to extricate our clients from these lawsuits by filing motions to compel arbitration and through other defenses. We have defended more banks in these overdraft fee actions than any other law firms in the country.
- We are representing a community development financial institution in a nationwide putative class action alleging that it failed to distribute approved Paycheck Protection Program loans to certain approved borrowers.
- We defend false advertising class actions on behalf of global personal care companies.
- We defend toxic tort class actions on behalf of global consumer products brands.
- We represent color cosmetics companies in consumer class action litigation, data security issues, and affiliate marketing matters, and provide ongoing intellectual property advice.
- We routinely defend global automotive manufacturers in consumer class action and product liability litigation.
- We advise the country’s largest retailers and consumer financial services companies on regulatory matters and the design and documentation of credit products, and represent them in class actions and other lawsuits nationwide.
- We defend a national crafts and fabrics retailer in consumer class action litigation.
- We have defended a class action of 800+ property owners near a former pharmaceutical plant who claimed that a groundwater plume caused a diminution in their property values.
- We have successfully defended a similar class action brought on behalf of residents of a trailer park who claimed that a groundwater plume entered their drinking water wells and seeking personal injury damages and medical monitoring as a result of mercury and lead contamination.
- We are representing a global leader in specialty materials in a class action relating to allegations that releases of hazardous substances, particularly PFNA, a perfluorinated compound, have contaminated public water supplies and private drinking water wells and damages natural resources near a New Jersey plant owned and operated currently or previously by the two defendants.
- We are defending a major telecommunications company sued as a joint employer in several jurisdictions for allegedly failing to pay overtime for all hours worked. We represent the company in Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey in "opt-in" collective actions under the FLSA and class actions under various state wage-and-hour laws. We obtained summary judgment in Maryland finding our client is not a joint employer.
- We are defending the largest franchisee of a national pizza chain in a class action alleging that managers in its California restaurants were misclassified as exempt employees and not paid overtime in violation of California wage-and-hour laws. The California federal court approved a class-wide settlement.
- We defended a major fast food chain sued in a class action lawsuit alleging sex discrimination in promotion brought in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The case was favorably settled by a consent decree negotiated by the parties and approved by the federal district court judge.
- We represented multinational corporations and health care institutions in discrimination and wage-and-hour class actions filed by current and former employees, and ERISA class actions filed by plan participants.
- We defended a closely held weight-loss company in national pattern and practice employment class action opposite a government plaintiff.
- We provided nationwide employment law advice to a company of 15,000 employees which offers technological and translational services to the deaf. The issues involve the full range of federal and state law compliance, compensation analysis, and day-to-day employment law advice, as well as handling employment litigation and administrative agency charges, including a pending wage-and-hour class action.
- We are co-defending Dun & Bradstreet in a class action lawsuit brought in federal court in New Jersey. The plaintiff asserts that D&B’s Hoovers marketing database violates the right of publicity of the plaintiff and all other Ohio citizens whose business profiles are in the database. This is one of several class action right of publicity cases brought against companies that sell information about individuals.
- We represented a national broadcaster in a putative class action alleging violation of the Video Protection Privacy Act and eventually obtained dismissal.
- We represented an iconic national media brand in wiretap litigation under Florida state law premised on its use of session replay software and eventually obtained dismissal.
- We are representing a maker of cashless acceptance technology against several putative class actions brought under the Securities Act and Securities Exchange Act. The pending cases allege the client filed false and misleading reports with the SEC misstating various financial metrics and providing inaccurate assurances about the sufficiency of the client’s internal controls after it reported that it was unable to file its 2018 annual report (Form 10-K) with the SEC by the deadline and was conducting an internal investigation of certain contracts. The client and two of its officers were sued for securities fraud and control person liability in three separate actions filed in federal court in New Jersey immediately following the announcement. The complaints all seek certification as a class action and unspecified damages. The client, two officers, its entire board of directors and its underwriters for a secondary stock offering have also been sued in Pennsylvania state court for violations of the Securities Act of 1933 for false and misleading information in the registration statement and prospectus relating to the offering.
- We are representing the former CFO of a public utilities company in connection with an alleged bribery case. In 2020, the speaker of the house of representatives of the state of Ohio was indicted in connection with a scheme to accept more than $60 million in bribes from the company. In the fallout, numerous securities fraud, RICO, and derivative class action lawsuits have been filed against the company, the former CFO, and others.
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