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Class Actions

Our attorneys bring a wealth of experience and sophistication to their representation of the firm’s clients in high-stakes class actions, serial litigation, mass torts, and other forms of group, representative, and collective actions. Our litigators, based strategically in 16 markets across eight states and Washington D.C., have defended class actions in state and federal courts on both coasts and in between, compiling an impressive record of success in extricating clients from a form of litigation in which adverse outcomes can be devastating. From toxic torts to product liability, to wage and hour litigation, to ERISA and insurance class actions, we have racked up numerous wins for our clients in some of the most significant cases in the United States.

Key Contacts

Theresa A. Canaday Profile Image
Theresa A. Canaday

Litigation Department Chair

Louisville, KY

Jason P. Renzelmann Profile Image
Jason P. Renzelmann

Partner

Louisville, KY

Neal Shah Profile Image
Neal Shah

Partner

Cincinnati, OH

Peter M. Cummins Profile Image
Peter M. Cummins

Practice Group Leader

Louisville, KY

How We Help Clients

Success for our clients is defined by both how the case is managed and the ultimate result.  To that end, our litigators are adept at identifying aggressive and creative strategies to seek favorable, early resolution to class action matters where possible, while employing efficient case management practices along the way.

  • We seek quick resolution. Our class action litigators rigorously challenge class claims beginning at the earliest stages of the case, looking for opportunities to defeat claims or narrow the scope of issues on motions to dismiss, summary judgment, and motions to strike class allegations on the pleadings. Our aim is to head class cases off at the pass to avoid years of litigation and discovery over meritless claims.
  • We are adept at defeating class certification. In class and representative litigation, cases are often effectively won or lost at the class certification stage. Once a class is certified, the stakes of the case expand exponentially, and the pressure to settle can become insurmountable. Our attorneys are well versed in the complex procedural, legal, and factual requirements for certification. We know how to persuasively present a thorough and robust response to class certification motions and have a proven track record of defeating certification in high-stakes cases.
  • We employ efficient case management. Our firm has been, and will continue to be, at the forefront of best and developing practices in case management, including the use of common defense groups and dedicated staff attorneys for high-volume document review through our Electronic Data Discovery group. We also strategically employ technology to manage large-scale litigation in an efficient manner.
  • We achieve favorable resolutions. While we approach every case with a focus on achieving victory at or before trial, there are times when the best result for a client may be a class-wide settlement and release of claims. Our rigorous defense of class claims often creates powerful leverage for settlement, and we have experience negotiating creative and favorable outcomes that suit our clients’ needs.

 

Class Action Experience

Product Liability

We have extensive experience litigating class actions involving pharmaceuticals (Rezulin, Phen-Fen, Oxycontin, Propulsid, Omniflox, Tylenol, DES, Baycol, Halcion); medical devices (breast implants, orthopedic bone screws, mechanical heart valves, latex gloves); consumer products (halogen lamps, lead paint, clays and glazes, component parts for motorhomes, synthetic stucco,); and food and tobacco.

  • Merck & Co. v. Ratliff, NO. 2011-CA-000234-MR, Ky. App. Represented Merck & Co. in first appeal under Kentucky Rule 23 provisions for interlocutory review of class certification orders. Prevailed on appeal, reversing state court order certifying class of users of drug Vioxx, based on individualized nature of plaintiffs’ common law claims.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of a construction product in a “bet the company” class action in federal district court in California. Defeated certification four different times by undertaking a unique electronic discovery strategy and initiating a sophisticated attack on opposing experts. The case also involved issues of first impression under the California Right to Repair Act that were resolved in favor of the construction industry.
  • Represented one of the two largest manufacturers of motorhome hydraulic slide-outs and leveling jacks and electric automatic doorsteps in dozens of design and manufacturing defect cases, obtaining a defense verdict in a multimillion dollar case tried in Santa Barbara County.

Other Product Liability Class Actions Experience

  • Brown v. Swagway, LLC, No. 3:15-cv-0588 (N.D. Ind.) (hoverboard product liability class action)
  • Ivanoff v. Walmart, Inc., No. 1:20-cv-00896 (S.D. Ohio) (nationwide consumer class action related to defective candles, case pending)

Labor & Employment

We have represented employers across the country in class and collective actions alleging wage and hour violations, discrimination, employer intentional torts, and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. We have extensive national experience in defending wage and hour class actions filed under state law and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act, Equal Pay Act, and Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as PAGA claims in California. Learn more about our Wage and Hour experience here.

  • Abner v. Convergys, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Nationwide class and collective action alleging unpaid pre and post shift time against several call centers. FLSA collective action and Rule 23 state law wage and hour class action claims. Efficiently managed litigation with a very favorable settlement.
  • Barnett v. Concentrix, U.S. District Court for Arizona. Class and collective action alleging off-the-clock work claim. Helped client institute pre-litigation class and collective action waivers that led to conditional certification motion being denied.
  • Williams v. Angie’s List, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Class and collective action alleging unpiad overtime claims. Defeated multiple conditional certification motions.
  • Knight v. Concentrix and Tomer v. Concentrix, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and Superior Court of California. Companion cases alleging class and collective action alleging violations of the FLSA, various state laws and PAGA.  Partial motion to dismiss granted and favorable settlement.
  • Todd Dowda v. Cascade Process Controls, Inc., et al. U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Plaintiff claimed that defendants failed to pay overtime to oil field technicians in Texas and Canada. Case was settled without class certification.
  • Breslin et al v. MPW Industrial Water Services, Inc. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of PA. Class action under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act alleging employer did not pay employees correctly when it used the fluctuating work week method. State Supreme Court rejected the employees argument and a favorable settlement was reached involving limiting the class, liquidated damages and time frame for damages.
  • Lee v. Caregivers for Independence LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Class and collective action alleging unpaid overtime by nursing care provider.  Case dismissed on motion for judgment on the pleadings based on statutory interpretation.
  • Roland v. Convergys, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Class action claims alleging violations of the WARN Act. Efficiently managed litigation with favorable settlement.
  • Statewide class action regarding alleged misclassification of delivery drivers; settled class of 273 employees for $250,000.
  • Statewide class action and PAGA claim, alleging meal and rest period violations, resulting in a settlement of $140,000.

 

ERISA Litigation

We have defended numerous class actions asserting claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including claims challenging health insurance coverage policies, claims alleging employer violations of ERISA, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and claims by participants in employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) challenging valuations in ESOP purchases or sales of stock.

 

  • Represented insurer in putative nationwide class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA based on allegation that insurer’s medical policy guidelines improperly denied coverage of surgical procedures as investigational or experimental.
  • Represented selling shareholders in ERISA class action by ESOP participants who alleged erroneous valuation used in sale of stock to ESOP and crediting of participants’ accounts.

 

Securities Litigation

We have defended accounting firms in many class actions involving alleged violations of Rule 10(b)-5 and other securities laws. We have defended companies in securities law class actions involving alleged material misstatements and omissions, share offerings, tender offers, and minority shareholders. We have also prosecuted securities law claims on behalf of plaintiff classes.

Experience defending against the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

  • Defended client in complaint where plaintiff accused client of violating the Unfair and Deceptive Practices, the Fair Credit Reporting, and the Magnuson Moss Warranty Acts.
  • Provided legal advice to a machinery company surrounding the use of a QR code for warranty disclosures for a piece of equipment in compliance with the presale availability requirements imposed by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
  • Defended numerous clients, including a multinational Midwest conglomerate, in California breach of warranty claims that included lawsuits based on the Magnuson-Moss Act, Song Beverly Act, and the Tanner Act.

Other Experience

  • Defended dozens of clients against claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act and its Business and Professions Act, Section 17200, which encompasses unfair, deceptive and unlawful acts. Clients have included manufacturers of motorhome component parts, commercial clay and glaze, and electronic car testing equipment.
  • Defended numerous clients against alleged violations of unfair competition and trade secret violations, taking three such cases to defense verdicts.
  • Under California’s False Advertising Law, prosecuted national deceptive business practices claim resulting in $50 million settlement against Ticketmaster for padding delivery costs.

Insurance & Bad Faith

We have defended insurers against class actions alleging bad faith, data breach, unfair denial of coverage, premium tax collection, vanishing premiums, and churning and inadequate dividends.

  • Franklin County, Ky. v. Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Co. of America, 368 F. App’x 669, 6th Circuit. Represented insurer in class action by Kentucky municipalities alleging improper collection and payment of local government taxes on premium payments. Prevailed on motion to dismiss in trial court and obtained affirmance on appeal.
  • Represented national insurer in Indiana class action arising from data breach and release of personal identifying and health information.
  • Represented numerous California entities in wage and hour class actions and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims. 

Antitrust & RICO

Hyland v. Homeservices of America et al. — No. 3:05-cv-612 (W.D. Ky.). The plaintiffs, a class of sellers of residential real estate, alleged an antitrust conspiracy among real estate brokers and agents to fix the price of real estate commissions. Early in the case, the district court had certified a class of more than 70,000 individuals who had sold homes from October of 2001 through October of 2005 and had paid a commission to a Kentucky broker. After the certification of the class, most of the defendants named in the lawsuit had settled. Frost Brown Todd represented a Coldwell Banker franchisee that had 12 offices throughout Kentucky during the class period. In July of 2012, after extensive discovery, the district court granted summary judgment for the remaining defendants.

Toxic Tort & Mass Disasters

We have defended operators of industrial facilities and public utility companies in toxic tort and nuisance class actions alleging property damage and other harms to neighboring residential properties from facility emissions and operations.  We have also long been active in defending class actions involving fires (Rhode Island Station Club, San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel, Happy Land Social Club, MGM Grand Hotel, Beverly Hills Supper Club, Younkers Department Store, 6th Avenue Telephone Exchange, One Meridian Plaza), explosions (Oklahoma City bombing, Louisville sewer explosions), and airplane crashes (Air Canada Flight 797, 2006 Comair crash in Lexington, Kentucky).

  • Represented Ohio steel production facility in putative class action by thousands of neighboring residents alleging nuisance and property damage from facility’s air emissions and odors.
  • Represented manufacturer of HVAC units in alleged mold exposure case in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained dismissal of client after a six-week trial, proving that the mold allegation had no merit.
  • Little v. Louisville Gas & Electric Co., 2020-CA-0137, 2020 WL 7295199, KY. App. Represented public utility in multiple class actions by homeowners residing in vicinity of coal-fired power plant, alleging nuisance and property damage claims related to coal combustion emissions. Defeated class certification in each such case and settled with individual plaintiffs.
  • Cox v. American Synthetic Rubber Co., No. 3:06-CV-422, 2008 WL 5381909, W.D. KY. Successfully represented chemical manufacturing plant in nuisance and toxic emissions class action, defeating class certification.

See additional experience highlights on our Fire & Explosion page.

Business, Banking & Consumer Protection

We have represented businesses and financial institutions and other businesses in class action and representative litigation involving consumer protection, tax payments/reductions, antitrust allegations, Medicaid issues, RICO allegations, Retail Installment Sales Act violations, FACTA, fraud regarding conversion of a mutual savings and loans to a shareholder owned financial institution, as well as alleged violations of state consumer protection statutes, consumer financing issues, and other allegations.

  • Kenneth & Sandra Biery: Biery v. Beneficial Kentucky, Inc. and HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc., US Bankruptcy Court, ED KY Case No. 10-23338, Us Bankruptcy Court, EDKY. Putative class action for alleged systematic violation of bankruptcy discharge and stay injunctions, case pending.
  • Stephens v. Upstart Network, Inc., United States Bankruptcy Court, ED KY. Bankruptcy class action alleging defendant violated the bankruptcy stay as to a class of individuals in Kentucky, case pending.
  • Represented credit company in class action alleging violations of bankruptcy stays in consumer debt collection practices.
  • Represented gasoline refiner and distributer in action by state attorney general asserting mass consumer protection claims for alleged price gouging violations related to gasoline prices in wake of Hurricane Katrina. Achieved favorable settlement after years of litigation.
  • Represented nationwide retailer in class action alleging claims related to collection of sales tax on transactions involving coupons and tax-exempt food items.
  • Represented nationwide mortgage company in class action asserting claims related to alleged failure to timely file satisfaction of mortgage in county recorder’s offices.

Other Torts

Our class action experience includes other tort actions as well as employer intentional torts, Section 1983 constitutional torts, invasion of privacy claims, toxic torts, and environmental claims.

  • Blake V. ChemLawn, No. 86-3413 (USDC E. District Pennsylvania). Complaint filed in federal court in Philadelphia alleging a nationwide class of customers of Chemlawn and others allegedly exposed to the chemical used by ChemLawn. Allegations of harm included multiple chemical sensitivity, brain damage, immune deficiency and other damages. The parties engaged in class-based discovery which was followed by briefing and argument of the motion for class certification. Class certification was denied. The cases were then transferred to individual plaintiffs’ jurisdictions for trial.
  • Burkhead v. Louisville Gas & Electric Co., No. 3:06CV-282 (Western District of Kentucky). Class action brought on behalf of property owners residing near a coal-fired power plant in Kentucky, alleging property damage to their homes and personal property as a result of emissions from the plant. Successfully represented the plant owner through the class certification process, resulting in an order denying class certification. Following the denial of certification, individual cases were settled on terms favorable to our client.
  • Guy v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Gov’t, No. 624 F. App’x 922 (6th Cir. 2015). Successfully represented municipal government in putative class action asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for alleged deliberate indifference to acts of abuse by director of non-profit corporation that received local government grant funding. In the trial court, defeated class certification, and obtained summary judgment dismissing individual claims on state action and statute of limitations grounds.  Successfully affirmed on appeal.
  • Cobra Tactical, Inc. v. Payment Alliance International, I, et al, Civ. Case. No.: 1:17-cv-01827-MHC, Northern District of Georgia. Represented ATM portfolio management company as lead counsel in putative class action case in the N.D. Ga. Filed a motion to dismiss, working on it collaboratively with our co-defendant, that the court granted.
  • MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC v. J.F. Allen Company, et al,.Judgement Order, Civ. Action No. 16-C-82, Wetzel Co. Cir. Court. Obtained judgment in favor of natural gas processor for $8.4 million after a four-week bench trial in which the design-build team was found liable for repair and delay damages caused by defective design and construction of a soldier-pile retaining wall. Successfully preserved said judgment on appeal to Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, styled Redstone International, Inc. v. J.F. Allen Company, et al, 2023 WL 3971863.
  • Baker v. Cleveland-Cliffs Steel Corporation, Butler County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas. Nuisance and trespass claims based on alleged particulate matter – case

Civil Rights & Government Liability

We have represented a number of governmental entities in class actions alleging claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1983 and other civil rights and governmental liability statutes. We also have extensive experience representing state governments and municipalities in individual litigation and are able to leverage that expertise in the class action context.

  • Guy v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Gov’t, 624 F. App’x 922 (6th Cir. 2015). Successfully represented municipal government in putative class action asserting claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for alleged deliberate indifference to acts of abuse by the director of a non-profit corporation that received local government grant funding. Defeated class certification in the trial court, and obtained summary judgment dismissing individual claims on state action and statute of limitations grounds. Successfully affirmed on appeal.
  • Successfully defended City of Indianapolis and Marion County Sheriff’s Office in civil rights class action brought by 14,000+ member putative class claiming that a change in IT systems caused a systemic delay in processing inmates for release from the Marion County Jail.
    • Driver v. Marion County Sheriff’s Office, et al., 1:14-cv-2076-RLY-MJD. Served as lead counsel defending Indiana’s largest jail system in multi-year class action challenge by a class of15,000 inmates who alleged they were unlawfully detained after courts ordered their releases due to a systemic delay caused by IT system transition.
    • Marion County Jail Inmates v. Sheriff Frank Anderson, IP72–0424–C–B/S (S.D. Ind.). Brought successful resolution to 35-year conditions of confinement class action involving Marion County Jail in Indianapolis.
  • Flood v. Lake County Indiana, Cause No. 2:08-CV-00153-PPS-PRC (N.D. Ind). Successfully litigated class action challenge to conditions of confinement claim in Indiana’s second largest jail system.

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