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what we do / Class Action Litigation

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overview

Our trial lawyers are experienced and accomplished in handling class action litigation in jurisdictions throughout the United States. We resolve suits brought by consumers, competitors, suppliers, employees, investors, shareholders, and regulators across many areas of the law – including consumer fraud, product warranties, contracts, insurance, employment, product liability, antitrust, securities, employee benefits, and business torts. Our lawyers have the right skills and experience to handle any type of class action dispute for our clients.

Our team approach to our class action matters, as well as our use of technology and litigation management techniques, maximizes efficiency and promotes collaboration both within our firm and with our clients. Our experience handling class actions allows us to help our clients efficiently resolve cases to their satisfaction and in conformance with their goals. Because class actions are frequently filed in jurisdictions nationwide, our lawyers commonly work in “virtual law firms” with other firms around the country to bring our clients the best lawyers for the task at hand and to coordinate a consistent defense across jurisdictions.

Tucker Ellis holds a National Tier 1 ranking in Mass Tort Litigation and Class Actions – Defendants in U.S. News Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” and we were named one of the 15 "Most Active Class Action Defendant Law Firms" for 2014 (as ranked by Class Action Reporter, a daily newsletter devoted solely to the key details of virtually every major class action suit filed in the United States). We are also proud to be ranked in Chambers USA in the category of Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio), where one client remarks, “The firm is very interested in making and keeping us happy; they make us feel valued.” Another source adds, “They have been consistently knowledgeable and timely, and they demonstrate good judgment.”

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areas of class action emphasis

consumer

Our lawyers handle consumer class action matters that include business torts, product liability, data security, software licensing, false advertising, Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), food and cosmetic labeling, product warranties, and state consumer law. We also advise clients on marketing and labeling claims, including false advertising counseling to avoid consumer class actions and enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission; food, beverage, supplement, and cosmetic manufacturer counseling regarding the requirements of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; and counseling on the use of claims such as “Organic,” “non-GMO,” and “Natural.”

drug and medical device

Our nationally renowned Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Liability Group teams with our class action attorneys to advise and defend our clients in high-profile class action cases involving drugs and medical devices, including class certification briefing and precertification strategy in cases around the country.

employment

Our Class Action Litigation Group is experienced in litigating a wide range of class- and collective-action cases, including wage-and-hour and discrimination claims.

ERISA and pension

Our seasoned employee benefits class action attorneys serve as lead counsel in a variety of ERISA, ESOP, and pension cases at both the trial and appellate court levels. Our class action attorneys provide expert consulation services and advice to government entities as they lobby for and enact legislation to maintain the solvency of governmental pension systems.

insurance

Our lawyers leverage their extensive experience representing major insurance carriers in insurance coverage matters to defend our clients in class action litigation related to policy interpretation and claims handling practices.

securities

We handle securities class actions ranging from defending companies and board members against shareholder derivative suits to representing law firms and other parties in professional liability actions arising from their involvement in securities transactions.

appellate

Our innovative Appellate and Legal Issues Group partners with our Class Action Litigation Group to represent clients before federal and state appellate courts in class certification appeals, as well as appeals on the merits.

Key Contacts

Karl A. Bekeny
Partner
John Q. Lewis
Partner
experience

experience

consumer

  • Represent a leading private-label manufacturer of flushable wipes in class actions brought by consumers and municipalities that allege violations of various state consumer protection laws and common-law claims and seek national injunctive relief
  • Represent national retailers in consumer class actions involving gift certificates, return policies on merchandise, truncation of credit card receipts, and false advertising
  • Represent a food company in a nationwide consumer class action challenging the use of partially hydrogenated oils (PHO) and the use of the term “No Trans-Fat” on product labels
  • Defend a food manufacturer in a “Made in USA” false advertising class action, which includes CLRA claims
  • Served as lead trial counsel in a class action related to “natural” claims brought by an individual; obtained a nuisance-value resolution before protracted litigation
  • Obtained dismissal for a large consumer products company in a class action asserting claims for violations of the state statutes, including CLRA, involving an anti-wrinkle/anti-aging cream product line
  • Served as trial counsel and national coordinating counsel in class actions in four states alleging design and manufacturing defects in residential furnaces; all cases were resolved after class certification was denied in one jurisdiction
  • Obtained dismissal and a favorable settlement without payment by the client of a class action against a leading ecommerce subscription service in a nationwide class action alleging breach of contract, fraud, RICO, and violation of state consumer protection statute claims, including CLRA
  • Represented a nationwide retailer/rental agency in a consumer class action alleging violations of state consumer protection actions, including CLRA, regarding pricing, rates, and discounting
  • Served as lead counsel representing a major credit reporting agency in more than 80 cases involving the FCRA in federal courts throughout the Midwest, including putative class actions
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a real estate lead-generation company of a TCPA class action
  • Represented a banking association and its independent contractors/service providers in a case alleging violations of federal consumer statutes on credit transactions and alleged fraudulent practices
  • Represented a national banking institution in a consumer class action arising from a credit card protection offer

drug and medical device

  • Served as trial counsel and international coordinating counsel for over 15 years in individual and class action proceedings related to aesthetic medicine throughout the world for an international medical device manufacturer; acted as lead or co-lead appellate counsel in multiple affirmances in state and federal circuit courts
  • Obtained dismissal of a medical monitoring class action against an international medical device manufacturer of transvaginal mesh
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a putative medical monitoring class action regarding a needle-free jet injection device used to administer a flu vaccine
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in a consumer class action arising from the Digitek® recall; class rejected
  • Obtained summary judgment for a medical device company because plaintiff was a member of a non-opt-out class action settlement in a case involving injuries allegedly caused by silicone gel breast implants
  • Obtained dismissal for a generic drug manufacturer in a class action asserting claims for breach of implied warranty of merchantability, fraudulent concealment, and unfair business practices; successfully defended judgment on appeal
  • Defended a pharmaceutical company in a class action alleging economic damages resulting from off-label promotion; the matter settled favorably for the client shortly before trial
  • Represented a pharmaceutical company in a class action following contraceptive recall

employment

  • Represent employers in numerous wage-and-hour law class actions and collective actions under federal and state law
  • Represented large retailers against employment class actions that included allegations of unfair competition and/or unfair business practice claims, in addition to underlying misclassification and unpaid overtime claims
  • Represented a foodservice client in the defense of a collective action, resulting in decertification of the class and the restructuring of the client’s operations to ensure compliance with the law and minimize the risk of future legal claims
  • Represented a retail client in the defense of a wage-and-hour collective action, resulting in the plaintiffs’ voluntary dismissal of the claim with no payment by the client
  • Served as lead or co-lead regional counsel in a series of class action employment and discrimination lawsuits, obtaining seven pre-trial wins, including Sixth Circuit precedent-setting decisions relating to reverse discrimination claims
  • Represented national clothing retailers in consumer class actions alleging their employment applications violated a statute prohibiting inquiry on prior misdemeanor drug convictions
  • Defended manufacturers of vinyl chloride in personal injury, wrongful death, and class action claims in federal and state courts throughout the country relating to workers’ alleged occupational exposure to vinyl chloride

ERISA and pension

  • Served as lead counsel for internal ESOP trustees and the plan administrator in the defense of class action ERISA claims for breach of fiduciary duty, prohibited transactions and injunctive relief, and a parallel state-law shareholder derivative claim asserted by plan participants
  • Served as co-counsel in the defense of ERISA breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction claims asserted against the trustees of two union-sponsored multi-employer ERISA plans; obtained dismissal of all claims upon the filing of two motions to dismiss
  • Served as lead counsel in a class action ERISA benefits claim regarding the proper credits owed to plan participants in a defined benefit pension plan after a change in control
  • Served as special counsel to the independent settlement fiduciary upon the agreement to a $13.5-million settlement of class action ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims regarding the fees incurred by a 401(k) plan
  • Served as lead trial counsel in two class action ERISA cases regarding the benefits owed to class members after a corporate change in control
  • Represented a state retirement system in litigation brought by a putative class of higher education employees who participate in alternative retirement plans and contest the right of the retirement system to hold back a statutorily required “mitigating rate” from the employer’s contribution to their retirement plans

insurance

  • Represent a major insurance carrier as Ohio counsel in a class action challenging the calculation of the actual cash value of the repair of damaged property
  • Represented a major insurance carrier in a class action seeking medical payments coverage; obtained voluntary dismissal of the case after dispositive briefing
  • Served as trial counsel for a major insurance carrier in a class action of more than 100,000 policyholders during a 22-year class period involving windshield repairs; obtained a favorable settlement prior to trial
  • Represented a major insurance carrier as Ohio counsel in a class action alleging price fixing through direct repair programs
  • Obtained a voluntary dismissal of a class action against a major insurance carrier alleging a pattern of bad faith negotiations and settlement practices

securities

  • Represent a law firm in a securities fraud and professional negligence class action
  • served as lead counsel in defending a company and board members in a transaction-related shareholder class action lawsuit brought by a national shareholder plaintiff firm; defeated claims for injunctive relief and obtained complete dismissal of lawsuit
  • Served as co-lead counsel in defending a company against fiduciary duty class actions brought against a director in connection with an unsolicited proposal by a third party; obtained complete dismissal

appellate

  • Obtained reversal of certification in the Third Circuit of a consumer class action regarding run-flat tires on luxury vehicles
  • Prevailed in two class action ERISA cases regarding the benefits owed to class members after a corporate change in control in the Sixth Circuit and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal
  • Obtained reversal of court of appeals’ class action certification of “Light” smokers in a case of first impression under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act before the Ohio Supreme Court
  • Obtained affirmation of dismissal of class plaintiffs’ merit appeals from decisions of a Special Master appointed to oversee the settlement trust in a case alleging defective prostheses
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