Lawyers bringing cases for plaintiffs have become more sophisticated and aggressive in using class actions. More than ever, businesses are at risk of class action litigation.
The class action lawyers at McDermott include litigators with extensive experience defending a wide variety of class action lawsuits. We obtain pre-certification dismissals and summary judgments, defeat class certification and obtain de-certification of classes in cases. We also argue appeals of class certification rulings in state and federal appellate courts across the United States.
Litigators in our offices regularly defend class actions in several substantive areas ranging from antitrust and unfair competition to allegedly deceptive business practices and product liability. We routinely defend companies in consumer class actions alleging consumer fraud, false advertising, and RICO and ERISA claims. Clients seek our counsel particularly for our ability to address the unique issues raised by health care, tax, employment and securities class actions.
We are well known for our strategic and tactical counsel in the management of large and complex class action litigation. We practice regularly before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, serve as lead defense counsel in class actions in federal multidistrict litigation, and represent clients in parallel government proceedings, including multi-state attorney general investigations and actions.
Our lawyers also are active in promoting various civil justice reform initiatives, including changes to the rules affecting class actions. We contributed to what ultimately became The Class Action Fairness Act and have helped secure enactment of state-level rules for interlocutory appeals of class certification rulings.
Health Options Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Inc. in the defeat of a class certification in a decades-long, landmark case challenging our clients’ and various HMOs’ compliance with Florida’s prompt pay statutes and seeking hundreds of millions in damages.
IKO Industries Ltd., and certain affiliates that manufactured or distributed organic asphalt roofing shingles, in the company’s defense against a putative nationwide consumer class action alleging that the shingles fail prematurely. McDermott also defended James Hardie Building Products, Inc., in a putative nationwide consumer class action alleging that James Hardie’s fiber cement siding fails prematurely.
A health care company with its successfully defeat of a putative class action seeking to block its reorganization as a mutual insurance holding company and force a transfer of $1.6 billion to policyholders. After defeating the plaintiff’s preliminary injunction motion, we devised a successful pre-trial strategy that resulted in a favorable settlement.
ExxonMobil with the defeat of multiple motions for class certification in Siegel v. Shell Oil Company in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant refining companies conspired and engaged in consumer fraud by charging unfair prices for gasoline. Plaintiffs filed various motions for certification of a national class, various multi-state subclasses and a single state class. We subsequently obtained a summary judgment ruling in favor of ExxonMobil on the remaining claims of the individual plaintiff. We then obtained an affirmance from the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on both the denial of class certification and the entry of summary judgment.
The Coca-Cola Company in the successful affirmation by the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for the judgment entered in favor of our client in a putative class action lawsuit. The plaintiff asserted consumer fraud and unjust enrichment claims against Coca-Cola in an Illinois state court based on allegations that Coca-Cola failed to disclose to consumers that fountain diet Coke, unlike bottled diet Coke, contains saccharin. Coca-Cola removed the case to federal court. We then defeated the plaintiff’s motion for class certification and successfully moved for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s individual claim for disgorgement of profits.
McDonald’s Corporation and multiple McDonald’s franchises in litigation that includes federal and state court cases throughout the country. In those cases, including two state court class actions and one federal court class action, the plaintiffs alleged that McDonald’s misled them and the general public regarding the presence of gluten, whey and dairy derivatives in McDonald’s French fries. We successfully moved to dismiss one of the state court class actions and successfully moved to strike the class allegations in the other state court class action. We subsequently defeated class certification in the one remaining federal court MDL class action.
A group of 11 Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations in defeat the attempt by a group of health care providers to certify classes in a high-stakes Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) lawsuit. The named plaintiffs sought to represent a nationwide class of all health care providers (including physicians, chiropractors, hospitals, etc.) regarding claims that the defendants violated ERISA when they failed to provide proper ERISA-mandated appeal and notice procedures in recovering overpayments from health care providers.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield regarding representation of several licenses of the trademarks in a national class action filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida by non-physician medical providers alleging that the health plans conspired, in violation of RICO, to deny reimbursement for medically necessary services rendered by the providers to the health plans’ insureds. We ultimately obtained a dismissal with prejudice of the complaint for failure to plead the conspiracy allegations with sufficient particularity.
Orbitz, LLC, and Orbitz, Inc., in the defeat of an attempt to certify a putative nationwide class of more than 1.7 million consumers and won summary judgment in favor of the clients under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Plaintiffs alleged that Orbitz’ website display regarding hotel reservation charges was deceptive. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Orbitz and denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.
Target Corporation and Costco Wholesale Corporation in separate consumer class actions alleging that the companies improperly collected Illinois sales taxes in retail sales involving the redemption of coupons. We procured a letter ruling from the Illinois Department of Revenue rejecting the plaintiffs’ claims, which resulted in a dismissal of the lawsuits prior to any ruling on class certification.
Under Armour, Inc., in a claim the company falsely represented the performance benefits of its popular compression garments. We obtained an early dismissal of the consumer class action prior to any ruling on class certification.