Class Action

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Overview

By practicing in some of the most challenging venues in the country, our class action group is experienced at defending high-stakes class actions. The group’s attorneys, with industry-specific expertise, have successfully handled all facets of class action practice, including trial of class action claims to verdict before juries and judges, as well as multidistrict litigation (MDL). Coupled with our team’s trial experience and depth of knowledge, we focus on defeating class actions at the earliest stage possible.

We have litigated all facets of class actions from initial pleading challenges through class certification, trial or settlement and claims processes. We routinely address issues under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and have experience with the unique issues of damages, the use of experts and settlements in the class action context, as well as with contractual class action waivers.

Some of our work has thrust the group to the forefront of the cutting-edge issues in class action practice. The firm handled the key case in Missouri establishing ascertainability standards for class definitions at the pleading stage at the time ascertainability had been given new vigor as a defense by courts around the country. The group has litigated the evolving standards for class certification that have been the result of recent Supreme Court decisions, including the enforcement of arbitration clauses and defeating unconscionability challenges even before the Concepcion decision by the Supreme Court.

Our work has also involved supervision of the administration of the claims and notice processes for class sizes in the millions. Our class action experience runs the gamut of the modern economy, including in the areas of:

  • Consumer protection claims
  • Advertising
  • Product defects
  • Motor fuel sales
  • Health care services and billing practices
  • Insurance company policy and claims practices
  • Automotive
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Privacy and data breach
  • Securities
  • Wage-and-hour
  • ERISA
  • TCPA

The group is defending several consumer class claims based on the need for Daubert quality expert opinions to establish classwide injury, which the Supreme Court has yet to address. In addition, the group is challenging on constitutional grounds cy pres awards by courts for absent class members who choose to not make claims, an issue signaled by some on the Supreme Court as a potential abuse of the class action process. 

Attorneys

Experience

Representative Matters

General 

  • Defended a class action involving a claim by all Missouri insurance purchasers claiming breach of fiduciary duty in advertising an insurance calculator that allegedly inflated insurance needs. After significant discovery, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the client, a financial services firm, on all pending counts. Affirmed on appeal. 
  • Defended claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), representing a spectrum of clients in defense of private individual and class action lawsuits brought in state and federal courts throughout the United States. 

Consumer Protection 

  • Lead counsel for one of the big six oil companies in multidistrict litigation involving 34 class actions alleging consumer fraud for allegedly failing to temperature adjust motor fuel sales. 
  • Trial of a class action to jury verdict where a class consisted of millions of consumers. 
  • Defense of a multistate class action asserting consumer protection claims based on advertising.

 Financial Services 

  • Defended the revenue-sharing practices for a national stock brokerage firm, including Consolidated Securities Class Actions alleging the failure to adequately disclose more than $384 million in revenue-sharing payments, negotiating with federal and state agencies to resolve regulatory concerns, and defending state civil enforcement actions including those brought by California. 
  • Lead counsel for a national brokerage firm in consolidated class actions alleging wage-and-hour violations for more than 10,000 brokers. 

Health Care 

  • Successfully defending numerous hospital systems in putative class actions challenging hospital charges to uninsured patients. 
  • Defended a large health care network in class action lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri alleging failure to pay for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Missouri law. The cases were resolved on favorable terms for client through settlement. 
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a hospital system in a class action alleging the hospital system violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by balance billing patients with out-of-network insurance. 
  • Represented two hospital systems in four separate class actions alleging that, among other things, hospitals violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by charging uninsured patients more than insured patients for the same hospital products and services. Greensfelder obtained dismissals for the hospitals in all four cases. 
  • Represented health care providers in two class actions alleging that providers violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by pursuing alternative payment sources (automobile medical payments) before pursuing payment from in-network healthcare insurance at contracted rates. 
  • Represented a hospital system in a class action alleging that a hospital’s facility fee charge violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

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