Shook, Hardy & Bacon has defended hundreds of class actions challenging our clients’ business practices. These cases encompass virtually every jurisdiction in the United States across a wide variety of industries. As a result, we have become adept at devising innovative procedural and substantive strategies to bring such cases to an early favorable resolution. If necessary, we also have an arsenal of accomplished trial lawyers who successfully try class actions to verdict. A few of our notable results include:
- We defended Nissan North America in a putative nationwide class action alleging concealment of design defects in Altima and Maxima vehicles. Relying on recent Supreme Court jurisdictional authority that had not previously been addressed in the class context, the Court dismissed the case with prejudice. DeMaria v. Nissan North America, Inc., 2016 WL 374145 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 1, 2016).
- We pioneered the use of non-class arbitration clauses as a method for efficiently and fairly resolving consumer claims without the cost and expense of class litigation. Lieschke v. RealNetworks, Inc., 2000 WL 198424 (N.D. Ill. 2000); In re RealNetworks, Inc. Privacy Litigation, 2000 WL 631341 (N.D. Ill. 2000) (sixteen nationwide putative class actions dismissed and ordered into individual, non-class arbitrations). More than a decade later, the use of non-class arbitration clauses was expressly endorsed by the United States Supreme Court and we have continued to counsel and represent numerous clients with respect to state-of-the-art use of such provisions.
- On behalf of a liability insurer, we invoked the rarely used defendant class action procedure to bring to an end the coverage demands of 20,000+ asbestos claimants who had sued an insolvent asbestos manufacturer and distributor. Continental Casualty v. Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau, et al., 871 N.Y.S.2d 48 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008) (following four-month bench trial, court held no insurance coverage available for defendant class claims).
- We won a defense verdict in the first Rule 23(c)(4) consumer fraud class action ever tried in the United States. MDL 1840 – In Re: Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litigation, 2012 WL 4794355 (D. Kan. Oct. 3, 2012).
- We obtained a $36 million verdict against a leading plaintiff class action firm. We established that the law firm breached its obligations in connection with the settlement of a class action that provided millions of dollars in fees to the firm, but little relief for the class.
- Shook has defeated class certification in over 90 cases. Two recent examples include:
- class certification defeated on behalf of Union Pacific Railroad in 23 putative class actions alleging wrongful conduct in connection with laying of fiber optic cable on the railroad’s right of way; and
- class certification defeated on behalf of Sprint in a putative nationwide class action brought on behalf of entities engaged in the retail sale of pre-owned wireless telephones.