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 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 twenty 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
Using a multidisciplinary approach, we have defended more than 200 class actions alleging a wide range of legal theories, including the following types of alleged violations or infractions:
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- False Advertising
- Data Breach/Privacy
- Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)
- Mass Tort
- Labor & Employment
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
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), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), various state wage and hour laws, background check practices, discrimination and wrongful discharge, and ERISA employee benefit claims.
U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” – Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants – Tier 2 – National
U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” – Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants – Tier 2 – Chicago Metropolitan Area
- Achieved a significant victory from the Seventh Circuit vacating class certification. In the opinion, written by Judge Posner, 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 ruling from the Eleventh Circuit that the statute of limitations for class allegations was not tolled by the previous lawsuit against the same defendant and same legal theory.
- Class decertified based on retroactive application of China Agritech.
- Dismissed nonresident claims based on application of Bristol-Myers to federal class action.
- Defeated certification of housing discrimination case by successfully moving to strike class allegations before even filing an answer.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- Devised unconventional strategy in 2010 of filing the first petition before the FCC seeking relief from the Solicited Fax Rule, which culminated in the DC Circuit Court holding that the Rule was invalid.
- Secured Seventh Circuit opinion affirming denial of class certification and motion to amend.
- Defeated class certification in case involving more than 1 million prerecorded calls, on grounds that many absent class members lacked injury under Spokeo.
- 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.
- Tried a class action to jury verdict and judgment for defendant.
- Retained to represent a franchisee in a putative class action alleging inadequate COVID-19 precautions.
- Granted summary judgment in a multi-count class action alleging that defendant breached its lifetime warranty for steel siding that peeled and blistered within 12 years of installation. Affirmed by Ninth Circuit except for one count.
- Secured individual settlement – prior to even filing an answer – of a class action alleging that defendant's fast food restaurants had misled consumers because the cost of its extra value meal was greater than the sum of each of the components.
- Induced plaintiff to voluntarily dismiss client, a manufacturer of softball bat components, shortly after filing motion to dismiss a claim for consumer fraud.
- Defeated class alleging that a subsidiary of an international food manufacturer misrepresented its snack bar as "all natural" when the bar contained an ingredient previously found by the FDA to be synthetic.
- Represented a manufacturer of an FDA regulated medical device against a class alleging that the manufacturer had misled its purchasers regarding the efficacy of the product.
- Obtained ruling from the Seventh Circuit affirming dismissal of a lawsuit against a national testing agency in which plaintiffs alleged claims on behalf of a putative class of 16 million persons that their personal identifiable information had been sold without authorization.
- Retained to defend hospital from class action arising from data breach involving protected personal information and HIPAA.
- Retained to defend a technology company in a lawsuit in Arkansas federal court arising out of the alleged breach of personal data of plaintiffs and absent class members who applied online for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)
- Defeated motion to remand BIPA suit to Cook County Circuit Court on grounds that the allegation that plaintiff did not consent to the collection of his data was sufficient to confer Article III standing for federal jurisdiction.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal of defendant after filing motion to strike damages clause in BIPA suit based on the limitation of liability provision agreed to by plaintiff.
Labor & Employment
- Represented a nationwide food manufacturer in defense of a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and a class action under multiple state wage laws alleging failure to pay for all hours worked and applicable overtime for a class of thousands of employees.
- Defended an employer with multiple locations against an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge seeking class certification for pattern of discrimination against hundreds of employees.
- Defended an employer from putative class action alleging improper background checks of thousands of employees or applicants in violation of FCRA.
- 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.
- Represent more than 20 universities in the NCAA football MDL alleging defendants knowingly concealed dangers associated with concussions.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
- Obtained dismissal of FDCPA claim against a creditor’s agent based on the “bona fide fiduciary” exception in the FDCPA.
- Retained to defend attorneys and financial services companies facing claims for debt collection activities under FDCPA and related theories.
BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY
- Obtained dismissal of a putative investor class action based on an alleged breach of fiduciary duty, based on prohibitions in the Securities Litigation and Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA).
News & Press Releases
- SmithAmundsen Welcomes Sofia Valdivia to Class Action, Data Privacy & Security, and Commercial Transportation Practice GroupsNovember 10, 2021
- November 4, 2021
- Ill. Judge Gives Final OK To $800K Deal Over Drug Faxes – Law360 Article Mentions Eric Samore and John OchoaOctober 4, 2021
- August 19, 2021
- JD Supra, July 16, 2021
- February 22, 2021
- November 5, 2020
- February 24, 2020
- Cook County Record, February 5, 2020
- November 1, 2019
- Law360, May 14, 2019
- February 26, 2019
- November 1, 2018
- Cirque Du Soleil Wins TCPA Decert, After China Agritech – Law 360 Article Mentions Eric Samore, Molly Arranz, Ronald Balfour and Albert BowerLaw 360, August 3, 2018
- Law360, January 16, 2018
- Citing Spokeo, Judge Blocks TCPA Class Against Pet Insurer - Law360 Mentions Eric Samore, Molly Arranz, John OchoaLaw360, August 17, 2017
- December 2, 2016
- Cirque US Arm Wants Out Of TCPA Junk Fax Complaint - Law360 Article Mentions Eric Samore and Molly ArranzLaw360, November 2, 2016
- Earlier Suit Didn't Pause Clock For TCPA Suit, 11th Circ. Says - Law360 Article Mentions Eric SamoreLaw360, August 3, 2015
- Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Highlights Significant Victory in Uesco Industries v. Poolman of WisconsinAugust 19, 2013
- August 18, 2021
- July 1, 2021
- June 2, 2021
- May 28, 2021
- July 16, 2019
- January 9, 2019
- March 20, 2018
- DC Circuit Invalidates FCC Fax Rule Effectively Closing the Door to TCPA Class Actions Based on Alleged ViolationsApril 7, 2017
- January 2017
- May 18, 2016
- Holster That Offer: Supreme Court Denies Company's Attempt to Pick-off Lead Plaintiff in a Class ActionMarch 7, 2016
- COVID-19 and University Closures - What Institutions Can Expect as Students File Class Actions Against ThemThe Defense Research Institution's Commercial Litigation Committee Newsletter, June 2, 2020
- USLAW Magazine, Fall 2016
Presentations & Events
- SmithAmundsen, Webcast, June 16, 2021
- 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