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Class Action Litigation
Troutman Sanders has extensive experience defending class actions in state and federal courts across the country. Regardless of the forum chosen or the claims made, Troutman Sanders has the expertise, experience and resources to successfully defend “bet-the-company” class actions. Troutman has successfully defended class actions in more than 20 states, including class actions brought in forums considered “plaintiff-friendly” such as California, Florida and Illinois.
Troutman Sanders’ successful record in defending class actions is the result of a variety of defense techniques, including obtaining early dismissal on the merits, enforcing arbitration clauses, securing the denial of class certification, disqualifying opposing experts, negotiating favorable settlements, trying cases to a favorable verdict, and winning appeals. When litigating class actions, Troutman Sanders employs a proactive approach to discovery and has the resources available to successfully manage all phases of class action discovery and minimize costs.
Troutman Sanders has a proven class action track record against some of the most prominent plaintiffs’ class action firms in the country. The breadth and depth of our class action experience has afforded us insight into the tactics used by plaintiffs’ class action counsel and how those tactics may be thwarted. In addition, our class action experience crosses many disciplines. Troutman Sanders has successfully litigated class actions in many different subject areas, including antitrust, financial services, labor and employment, products liability, mass tort, securities, RICO, unfair business practices, and environmental law.
The Class Action Litigation Practice Group’s representative experience includes:
- Representing a large appliance manufacturer and distributor in a nationwide class action alleging understatement of appliance’s energy usage on the EnergyGuide label.
- Representing a class of resellers of 800 telephone service in obtaining an $87.5 million settlement of telephone rate overcharges.
- Successfully winning on appeal an order compelling individual arbitration of claims brought in putative nationwide class action against a bank alleging claims arising out of the bank’s posting order and overdraft fees.
Defending large fast-food restaurant chain in a race class action brought in Arkansas state court under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act in which the named plaintiff seeks to represent a nationwide class of African American applicants who allegedly have been denied jobs and/or employees who allegedly have been denied pay and promotions purportedly based on their race.
- Defending textile rental company in numerous state and national class actions brought on behalf of customers seeking recovery of environmental surcharges. A denial of class certification was won in the lead case involving antitrust claims, and shortly thereafter all pending actions were settled.
- Defending major manufacturer of fiberglass insulation in class action antitrust case alleging price fixing conspiracies among fiberglass manufacturers.
- Winning denial of class certification in lawsuit against large pharmaceutical company in which third party payors alleged that the company’s marketing and promotion of a prescription drug gave rise to claims under RICO and the consumer fraud protection acts of 43 different states.
- Representing a snack food company in related class actions filed in New York, New Jersey, California, and Florida alleging that the company misrepresented the fat and caloric content of its products.
- On appeal, overturning class certification orders in each of three class actions alleging RICO and fraud claims against a telecommunications carrier in connection with its marketing practices in the sale of telecommunications services.
- Obtaining an order denying class certification in defense of the nation’s largest timeshare provider in class action filed on behalf of over 300,000 timeshare owners alleging violations of RICO, FLSA, and common law claims.
- Defending lender in class action involving ECOA and TILA claims arising out of consumer loans. Lender’s motion to dismiss was granted, which was affirmed on appeal.
- Defending title pawn company and company principle in class action case involving claims under RICO and for usury in title pawn transactions. Defendants’ motion to dismiss was granted and affirmed on appeal.
- Lead counsel in over twenty consumer class actions for lenders in state and federal courts in Georgia, Texas, Florida, Missouri, Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Illinois. The majority of these cases involved allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices and other fraud-based claims against financial services companies.
- Representing Fortune 500 bank in a class action involving the bank’s access to consumer files for purposes of its direct-mail marketing program. Plaintiff claimed that the bank lacked a permissible purpose under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. After a detailed factual investigation, we were able to convince plaintiffs’ counsel that their assumed facts were incorrect. The case settled on an individual basis.
- Securing dismissal of FDCPA class action claims for alleged overshadowing and contradictory statements in a dunning letter.
Representing a national mortgage services company in a case involving allegations of improper broker payments and violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).
Defending a lender in several lawsuits regarding the sale of non-filing insurance, a credit insurance product. Following the filing of a petition for writ of mandamus in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the district court sua sponte decertified four nationwide class actions challenging the lenders’ practices.
- Defending an insurance company in class action brought under Florida’s Valued Policy Law on behalf of all Florida policyholders.
- Obtaining dismissals or negotiated pre-certification settlements of several class actions alleging wrongful collection of premium taxes on personal lines of insurance.
- Representing an insurer in connection with its $2 billion class action settlement of asbestos liabilities.
- Defeating a proposed class action involving property owners adjacent to a site characterized by U.S. EPA Region 4 as the most contaminated in the Southeast.
- Representing an insurer in connection with its interests in the resolution of mutli-national litigation involving alleged defective plumbing.
- Representing chemical manufacturer in defense of purported 50,000-member federal class action and numerous state court purported class actions alleging mass tort claims for strict liability, negligence, trespass, nuisance, fraud in negotiated settlements, and other claims arising from a chemical warehouse fire.
- Representing a public utility holding company in a putative class action alleging that various utilities, coal companies, and chemical companies substantially contribute to global warming, which intensified Hurricane Katrina.
- Representing a significant technology company in an ADEA collective action that challenged two different company-wide programs that the plaintiffs alleged were designed to eliminate older workers from the client’s workforce. Despite the plaintiffs’ attempts to represent a company-wide class, we convinced the trial court to limit discovery to a smaller business unit. We filed a motion to dismiss based on the named plaintiffs’ failure to file consents (a novel theory) and we defeated the class on that theory. We then won summary judgment on the individual claims raised by the named plaintiffs. Both the class certification and summary judgment rulings were affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Representing one of the world’s largest utilities in an FLSA collective action brought by current and former employees who alleged the on-call time for thousands of employees was compensable under FLSA. The Court granted our motions to compel discovery from Plaintiffs and awarded sanctions, then granted our motion to dismiss some of the Plaintiffs for their failure to engage in the discovery process. The remaining Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims.
- Defeating motion for class certification in race discrimination case that sought to establish a class of approximately 2,400 employees of a Fortune 500 client; then obtained summary judgment on all remaining individual plaintiffs’ claims. Successfully represented client throughout the appellate process, which ultimately ended before the United States Supreme Court.
- Representing publicly held medical device firm in hostile takeover action alleging invalidity of various corporate anti-takeover measures and defense of related class action alleging loss in value of shareholders’ investments.
- Defending corporate officers in class action relating to tender offer/leveraged buyout brought under the federal securities laws and for breach of fiduciary duty.
- Defending accounting firm in securities fraud class actions relating to various projections that were included in the offering materials for certain limited real estate syndications.
- Defending international manufacturer and distributor of equipment and its officers and directors in related shareholder class actions alleging securities fraud in violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 for alleged materially false and misleading statements regarding the client’s financial results during the class period.
- Representing insurers in connection with coverage issues arising from numerous securities class actions.
- Defending two directors of beverage bottler and distributor in shareholder class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, and violation of Delaware shareholder voting requirements in connection with a pending merger transaction.
- Representing financial holding company, bank and individual officers and directors in putative securities fraud class actions asserting claims under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
- Representing national home builder and certain of its officers and directors in (1) a consolidated ERISA class action; (2) a consolidated securities fraud class action; and (3) state and federal derivative litigation.