Class Action

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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. 

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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
  • Mass Tort
  • Labor & Employment
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Antitrust
  • Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)

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.

Recognitions

U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants – National Tier 3

U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" – Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants – Tier 2 – Chicago Metropolitan Area

Experience

  • 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. 
  • 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.

FALSE ADVERTISING

  • 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. 

Data Breach/Privacy 

  • 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.
  • Retained to represent business in class action for alleged violations of Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. 
  • 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.

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.
  • Mass Tort 

    • 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.
    • Represented university in class action alleging defendants knowingly concealed dangers associated with concussions that result from playing college football.

BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY

  • Retained to represent registered investment financial advisor managing over $1B in assets in class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, triggering Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 defense.

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