Our team mission is to prevent the plaintiff’s bar from abusing the class action procedure. The class action device was intended as an exception to the usual rule that litigation is conducted by named individual parties. The class action procedure was never designed to enlarge and modify substantive rights. Our class action team, as part of our commercial litigation group, serves as defense counsel for a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietorships, in cases filed across the nation in more than fifteen different jurisdictions. For each matter, we provide a litigation plan tailored to meet client objectives in a cost effective manner. When feasible, we prepare motions to limit the scope of the issues presented and to curtail the cost of discovery. We are experienced in all phases of class action litigation, including dismissal, denial of certification, summary judgment, decertification, jury verdict and appeal.
Class Action Experience
Our team has defended more than 100 class actions alleging a wide range of legal theories, including the following types of alleged violations or infractions:
- Consumer Fraud
- Data Breach/Privacy
- Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- Mass Tort
- Medical Monitoring
- Product Defect
- Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO)
- Superfund (CERCLA)
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Additionally, our class action attorneys have defended over 40 class action lawsuits within the labor and employment industry, including matters involving the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), various state wage and hour laws, discrimination and wrongful discharge, and ERISA employee benefit claims.
- Debt Collection
- Food and Beverage
- Health Care
- Hotel and Restaurant
- Media & Entertainment
- Professional Responsibility
U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" - Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants – Tier 3 – Chicago Metropolitan Area
- Affirmed judgment on a motion to dismiss in favor of a national testing agency and against plaintiffs who alleged a putative class of 16 million persons, claiming that their personal identifiable information had been sold without authorization.
- Achieved a significant victory from Judge Posner of the Seventh Circuit vacating class certification. In the opinion, the Seventh Circuit raised the bar that class counsel must clear in order to satisfy the adequacy prong for class certification. To secure this significant result, the class action team took an unconventional approach by raising only the issue of adequacy of class counsel in our brief.
- Obtained opinion from Eleventh Circuit holding that while the class searched for an adequate plaintiff, class allegations were not tolled by the previous lawsuit against the same defendant and same legal theory.
- Secured Seventh Circuit opinion affirming denial of class certification, motion to amend and the intervener’s petition for leave to intervene (also held that an offer of full relief did not “moot” the individual claim).
- Successfully achieved an appeal before the Illinois Appellate Court, which held, for the first time, that a defendant who hired the fax broadcaster was not liable as a matter of law for violations of the TCPA, because the fax broadcaster exceeded its authority. (This victory was secured after obtaining an order from the Illinois Supreme Court directing the Appellate Court to vacate its earlier denial of the defendant’s interlocutory appeal and to hear the appeal).
- Co-tried a class action to jury verdict and judgment for defendant.
- Recommended unconventional strategy in 2010, filing a petition before the Federal Communications Commission seeking relief from an agency regulation under TCPA, which has been followed by more than 150 companies. Four years later, the Commission entered order granting retroactive relief.
- Procured judgment as a matter of law that a magazine renewal with a questionnaire was not an “advertisement" within the meaning of TCPA.
- Awarded summary judgment against a multi-count consumer class action alleging that defendant breached its lifetime warranty for steel siding that peeled and listered within 12 years of installation.
- Defeated class certification on multiple grounds, including adequacy, typicality, predominance, and superiority in 42 page opinion.
- Obtained certification of a defendant class for the limited purpose of declaratory judgment under Rule 23(b)(2) on behalf of the insurer.
- Defeated the plaintiff’s motion for class certification on grounds that individual fact questions predominated in a mass tort lawsuit that was filed by 100 residents who sued the private operator of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.
- Obtained judgment and defeated class certification in FACTA class action lawsuit. The court held that although the plaintiff was personally liable under the cardholder agreement, the entity cardholder was the “consumer”; therefore, there was no private right of action for purposes of the business transaction alleged in the complaint.
- Defeated class certification on the due process grounds that the plaintiff had not, and could not, successfully identify the members of the proposed class, i.e., the purported fax recipients. This junk fax/consumer fraud class action was brought arising from 1.7 million faxes with alleged statutory damages of $850 million.
- Defended the first Telephone Consumer Protection (TCPA) lawsuit, in which Cook County Judge McGann indicated that he would not certify the alleged class at a time when over 100 other TCPA class action lawsuits had been assigned to him. At that time, McGann was presiding over 100 TCPA cases in Cook County.
- Won judgment on res judicata grounds, that a prior final judgment on the merits in favor of a parent corporation barred plaintiff’s suit against its subsidiaries.
- Secured dismissal of plaintiff’s class action lawsuit for lack of standing. The court agreed with defendant’s argument that under Florida law, the plaintiff could not cure its initial lack of standing through an Amendment to a Purchase Agreement executed 6 months after the lawsuit was filed.
- Defeated certification of putative class of persons purporting to seek statutory damages under the Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance, holding that the proposed class was not identifiable or sufficiently numerous.
- Defeated certification of housing discrimination class at the pleading stage by successfully moving the court to strike the plaintiff's class allegations.
News & Press Releases
- December 2, 2016
- Cirque US Arm Wants Out Of TCPA Junk Fax Complaint - Law360 Article Mentions SmithAmundsenLaw360, November 2, 2016
- U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, November 1, 2016
- U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, November 2, 2015
- August 3, 2015
- Earlier Suit Didn't Pause Clock For TCPA Suit, 11th Circ. Says - Law360 Article Mentions SmithAmundsenLaw360, August 3, 2015
- Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Significant Victory in Uesco Industries v. Poolman of WisconsinAugust 19, 2013
- May 18, 2016
- Holster That Offer: Supreme Court Denies Company's Attempt to Pick-off Lead Plaintiff in a Class ActionMarch 7, 2016
- The Turn of a Phrase: Meaning of “On Whose Behalf” Advertising is Done Stands Between Potential Millions in Liability and End of the Case in Fax Advertising Cases.May 15, 2015
- November 25, 2013
- July 1, 2013
- USLAW Magazine, Fall 2016
Presentations & Events
- The Inevitable Class Action: Preparing for, Defending and Recovering from Potential, Company CalamityAssociation of Corporate Counsel, Chicago, IL, November 2, 2016
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Webinar, April 20, 2016
- Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Webinar, June 17, 2015
- Webinar, February 25, 2014
- Chicago, IL, December 12, 2013