Companies across all industries face an escalating number of class, collective and representative actions, including high-profile multi-district litigation matters. Our veteran Class Action Litigation group is poised to defend our clients against these types of claims. From getting class claims stricken at the pleading stage to defeating class certification to winning at trial, our attorneys have successfully guided clients through the most challenging of class, collective and representative actions.
Our team has successfully defended class actions in numerous industries and practice areas, including:
- Consumer protection and products liability
- Food and agribusiness
- Labor and employment
We have a deep bench of trial lawyers with extensive pre-trial, trial, appeal and alternative dispute resolution experience. We have served as lead, national coordinating and regional counsel, and we have an extensive track record of success.
We have worked on some of the largest and most complex class action cases in the world. Winning in the major-league class action context takes experience, creativity, a thorough knowledge of the applicable procedural rules, and strategies optimized for each individualized case. Our class action lawyers have been winning cases using these principles for over 50 years.
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We have successfully defended many of the world’s most prominent companies, both large and small, against myriad complaints.
We defend clients in a wide variety of industries against all types of antitrust class actions, including matters related to monopolization, price fixing and cartelization. Our litigators work closely with the members of our Antitrust and Competition Law group to reduce client risk and achieve the optimal result possible.
Some of the Antitrust class actions we have successfully defended include:
- Midwestern Machinery Co. v. Northwest Airlines. Defended major airline against class action claims of Clayton Act violations allegedly arising from consummated merger; obtained dismissal of all claims. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
- In re: MSG Antitrust Litigation. Acted as local counsel for Japanese and Korean manufacturers of food additives in direct, indirect and foreign purchaser cases alleging price fixing; domestic cases settled, foreign case dismissed. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota and Dane County District Court, Wisconsin)
- In re: Pettit and Stupca. Defended international manufacturer of generic drugs against class action antitrust claims involving manufacturer pricing; favorably settled. (Minnesota District Court, Hennepin County)
- In re: Residential Doors. Defended window and door manufacturer in multi-district class action alleging antitrust violations in the residential door industry; favorably settled. (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
- Bjerken, et. al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield et. al. Lead co-counsel for major health insurer in a federal class action lawsuit brought by a group of chiropractors alleging antitrust, ERISA, RICO and state insurance violations; favorably settled. (U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota)
Our firm has been representing clients in the banking industry for more than 100 years. We have an extensive and successful history of defending banks and other financial institutions against matters related to federal and state mortgage and lending laws, unfair competition, credit reporting, securitization and consumer protection. The members of our Securities and Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement and our Securitization teams always stand ready to provide any needed expertise with respect to these types of matters.
Some of the banks and other financial institutions we have defended against purported class action claims include:
- Lamperti v. U.S. Bank. Defended national bank against class action claims concerning customer access to safe deposit boxes; obtained dismissal of all claims, affirmed on appeal. (California Superior Court, County of San Mateo & First Appellate District, Division Five)
- Brown v. Wells Fargo & Co. Successfully defeated motion for class certification in dispute alleging violations of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
- Sullivan v. Fair Isaac Corporation. Defended large financial consulting firm against class action claims of violations of California and federal credit reporting and consumer protection laws; case dismissed by plaintiffs. (U.S. District Court, Central District of California)
- Bohnsack, et. al. v. Bank of New York. Defended major bank against class action claims of fraud and RICO violations allegedly arising from loan transactions; obtained a stay due to related litigation and subsequent dismissal. (U.S. District Court, Central District of California)
- [Multiple putative class representatives] v. U.S. Bank. Acted as appellate counsel for major national bank on appeals of summary judgment in favor of bank in multiple class actions that alleged violations of federal and state law arising from loan refusals; obtained affirmation of summary judgment in all cases. (U.S. Court of Appeals for Eighth Circuit)
Consumer Protection and Products Liability
Class action consumer protection cases can, and do, arise under any number of federal and state laws (e.g., Truth In Lending Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as well as state usury and installment sales statutes) and our lawyers, assisted by the members of our Consumer Financial Services group, are adept at defending matters brought under any of them. We also work with our Products Liability team to defend clients against high-stakes product liability actions.
Some of the consumer protection and products liability class action cases we have defended include:
- Choi v. Canon U.S.A. Inc. Defended distributor of digital cameras in putative class action alleging breaches of warranties, violations of consumer protection statutes and unjust enrichment; following consolidation with other putative class actions in Southern District of New York, obtained summary judgment on all claims after denial of class certification. (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York)
- Halperin v. Penguin Group, Inc. Counsel to defendant publisher in a class action commenced on behalf of purchasers of James Frey’s book, My Friend Leonard, alleging deceptive trade practices under New York State law; obtained dismissal of all claims. (New York Supreme Court, New York County)
- Kathy Reilly, et. al. v. Ceridian Corporation. Defended payroll processor against putative class claims brought by individuals who alleged their personal and confidential information was accessed by a hacker who allegedly breached its computer systems; case dismissed, dismissal confirmed on appeal. (U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals)
- Mangone v. U-Haul International et. al. Defended leading truck rental company against class action claims alleging violations of Colorado Consumer Protection Act; successfully defeated class certification; affirmed on appeal. (Colorado State Court, District of Denver and Colorado Court of Appeals)
- In re: Northwest Airlines Privacy. Defended major international airline in seven class actions all alleging violations of privacy rights arising from U.S. government use of passenger data in testing of computerized terrorist tracking; obtained dismissal of all claims in all actions. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
Claims alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and improper benefit denials and reductions are often asserted in the class action context. We, together with the members of our ERISA Litigation team, have successfully represented clients in numerous cases involving, among other things, allegedly improper 401(k) investment options, options backdating, securities lending and denials of ERISA benefits.
A representative sample of the class action cases based on alleged ERISA violations that we have defended would include:
- Cress et. al. v. Wilson et. al. Defended executives of major international airline against class action claims alleging violations of their fiduciary duties under ERISA in connection with airlines’ pension plans; obtained dismissal of all claims. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York)
- Jackson v. Fortis Benefits Insurance Company. Obtained summary judgment and denial of class certification on behalf of fiduciaries in nationwide class action seeking interest on payments of benefits under welfare plan. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
- Figas et. al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et. al. Defended national financial institution against class action claims alleging the imposition of improper fees in its 401(k) plan. Case settled (U.S. District Court of Minnesota)
- Zilhaver v. United Health Group Inc., et. al. Represented corporation and executives in class action brought on behalf of 401(k) plan alleging breach of fiduciary duty in connection with options backdating; favorable settlement (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
- Hastings v. Gary Wilson, et. al. Obtained dismissal of claim against officers and directors of major international airline against claim alleging fiduciary violations in allowing plan participants to invest 401(k) accounts in company stock that experienced significant decline in price. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
Labor and Employment
We have experience defending all types of employment-related claims, including claims asserting wage and hour infractions, WARN violations, improper classifications, sexual harassment and gender, age and racial discrimination. The lawyers in our Labor and Employment [Link] group are always available to provide any needed supplemental expertise with respect to these types of matters.
Examples of the types of labor and employment class action matters we have defended include:
- Arnold v. Cargill. Defended major agribusiness company against class action claims of racial discrimination in the workplace; obtained disqualification of plaintiffs’ counsel for unethical behavior and denial of class certification. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
- Contreras v. Clougherty Packing LLC. Defended pork processing and packing company against class action claims involving pay stub violations, failure to pay overtime wages, off-the-clock work and violation of Business and Professions section 17200; obtained dismissal of all claims. (U.S. District Court, Central District of California)
- Good, Jr. and Miller v. Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Defended national financial services company against class action claims involving breach of contract related to commissions paid employee and franchisee financial advisors; successfully opposed class certification and obtained a dismissal of all claims. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
- Matthews, et al. v. SunMicrosystems, Inc. Defended large computer manufacturer in Title VII class action arising out of reductions in force; obtained dismissal of all claims. (U.S. District Court, District of Colorado)
We have defended issuers, directors and corporate officers and underwriters against all types of securities class action claims, including those based on alleged violations of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933, state Blue Sky laws and state law fiduciary duty requirements. Our efforts with respect to these types of case are also supported by the lawyers in our Securities and Financial Services Litigation and Enforcement group.
- Little Gem Life Sciences LLC, et. al. v. Orphan Medical, Inc., et. al. Defended specialty pharmaceutical company in shareholder litigation alleging failure to disclose material information in connection with stockholder vote to approve merger; case dismissed, with dismissal affirmed on appeal. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota; United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit)
- Falkonski v. Imation Corporation. Defended medical imaging manufacturer in claims by employees of former subsidiary regarding exercise of options; motion for summary judgment granted; affirmed by state court of appeals. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit & Alameda County Superior Court of Appeals First District)
- Ongstad v. Piper Jaffrey & Co. Defended leading financial services firm against class action claims alleging common law negligence and breach of contract related to alleged unauthorized trading by financial consultants; obtained dismissal of all claims. (U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota)
- Levy v. United HealthCare et al. Counsel to company and officers and directors in federal securities class action; voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs after filing of motion for sanctions by defendant. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota)
- In re: Ceridian Corporation. Defended major business services company against class action claims of securities fraud by shareholders; complaint dismissed without prejudice. (Delaware Court of Chancery)
Industries & Practices
- Antitrust & Competition Law
- Commercial Litigation
- ERISA Litigation
- Health Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- LegalMine Document Review Solutions
- Products Liability
- Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement