Quick Results
Practices

Class Action

Print Version

Baker Donelson's trial lawyers have an enviable record of success in defending class action suits affecting a wide variety of industries.

Featured Video

Class & Collective Actions: How to Communicate With Putative Class Members September 24, 2014

Featured Experience

Represented an international building products manufacturer in the defense of thousands of class action claims associated with its allegedly defective Chinese-manufactured drywall. The multi-district litigation was assigned to the Eastern District of Louisiana, and involved complex issues regarding construction, product liability and international law. After conducting several bellwether trials, a settlement was reached.

Defended a global automobile and truck manufacturer with respect to a nationwide class action alleging defective brake assemblies on one of the manufacturer's truck lines. After we removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act and filed a motion to dismiss under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and common law fraud, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal.

Represented an oil refiner in the defense of hundreds of class action property damage, personal injury and groundwater contamination claims arising from the largest land-based oil spill in Louisiana history, and at the time the largest oil spill in the U.S. since the Exxon Valdez. The oil spill was the result of widespread flooding associated with Hurricane Katrina, which caused a crude oil storage tank to breach and release thousands of gallons of crude oil in the neighboring residential community. The class certification hearing lasted a week and included the parties' presentation of multiple geotechnical, hydrological and mechanical experts. The claims area certified was much smaller than what the plaintiffs were seeking, resulting in a cost savings of hundreds of millions of dollars. The claims were successfully settled prior to trial.

Practice Overview

Overview

Baker Donelson's trial lawyers have an enviable record of success in defending class action suits affecting a wide variety of industries. We know the defensive strategies for dealing with initial class certification and discovery related to class issues. And if class certification is granted, we have the experience and the resources for effective class action management. We serve as primary class counsel in national, regional and statewide class action suits and work effectively with out-of-state coordinating counsel in class action litigation.

There is no substitute for organization and client communication in class action litigation. We leverage industry-leading technology to give clients instant, secure access to discovery documents and litigation work product, so that they can track progress and ask questions. We deliver such information through customized, secure extranets built to specification. We also deploy this technology to local and regional counsel to efficiently assist with multi-jurisdictional litigation management. We team up with our professional litigation support staff for trial preparation and discovery management.

We are proud to have among our ranks some of the most notable and outstanding trial lawyers in the south central United States – seasoned attorneys with substantial experience in complex class action cases. They include attorneys listed in Best Lawyers in America® and Chambers USA. Many are licensed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and before multiple state and federal courts of appeals, and several have served as judicial clerks with state or federal trial courts or courts of appeal. We are members of organizations dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of litigation practice, such as the American College of Trial Lawyers, DRI, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Representative Matters
  • Represented an international building products manufacturer in the defense of thousands of class action claims associated with its allegedly defective Chinese-manufactured drywall. The multi-district litigation was assigned to the Eastern District of Louisiana, and involved complex issues regarding construction, product liability and international law. After conducting several bellwether trials, a settlement was reached.

  • Defended a global automobile and truck manufacturer with respect to a nationwide class action alleging defective brake assemblies on one of the manufacturer's truck lines. After we removed the case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act and filed a motion to dismiss under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and common law fraud, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal.

  • Represented an oil refiner in the defense of hundreds of class action property damage, personal injury and groundwater contamination claims arising from the largest land-based oil spill in Louisiana history, and at the time the largest oil spill in the U.S. since the Exxon Valdez. The oil spill was the result of widespread flooding associated with Hurricane Katrina, which caused a crude oil storage tank to breach and release thousands of gallons of crude oil in the neighboring residential community. The class certification hearing lasted a week and included the parties' presentation of multiple geotechnical, hydrological and mechanical experts. The claims area certified was much smaller than what the plaintiffs were seeking, resulting in a cost savings of hundreds of millions of dollars. The claims were successfully settled prior to trial.

  • Represented a multibillion dollar international construction company in connection with federal class action and multiple state lawsuits concerning mass tort claims allegedly totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • Defended an international contractor in primary and copycat matters alleging nationwide FLSA and state law class action claims, resulting in the client incurring no out-of-pocket settlement contribution or attorneys' fees.

  • Successfully defended a finance company in a class action suit against alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, relating to debt collection notices sent to customers.

  • Defended a leading regional bank in a putative class action brought on behalf of customers claiming their automobile loan accounts had been charged excessive amounts for force-placed collateral protection insurance secured by the lender through an alleged "captive" insurance provider.

  • Defeated class certification in a class action arising out of the release of a chemical that allegedly dispersed throughout a community, and successfully defended a subsequent mass action with more than 5,000 plaintiffs.

  • Represented an oil refiner regarding class action exposure and property damage claims associated with a major fire in the refinery's crude unit. After class certification was defeated, the case was settled for a sum less than the cost of defense.

  • Successfully defeated a motion for class action certification on behalf of a developer against claims alleging undisclosed buried munitions near a large residential subdivision.

  • Successfully defended an automobile dealership in a putative class action seeking certification of approximately 14,000 class members challenging a charge imposed by the dealership, with the result that the state supreme court reversed the trial court, holding that class actions were not allowed under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

  • Successfully represented a leading financial institutions against individual and class-wide claims brought on behalf of mortgagors in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in both Louisiana state and federal courts, obtaining involuntary dismissals in eight separate cases.

  • Successfully defended Nashville-based insurance agency and its affiliates in class action alleging improper rate adjustments on policy terminations. The opposing party's administrative costs of the settlement exceeded the amount of funds that went to the class and their counsel.

  • Defended major insurance company and settled in consumer Tennessee class action case over loss of use claims under uninsured motorist property damage policy.

  • Represented captive automobile finance company in statewide class action alleging violation of Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and obtained a dismissal that was upheld by the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

  • Achieved dismissal of nationwide automobile financing class actions in the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas involving consumer protection claims, civil RICO and federal antitrust claims.

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of major automobile insurer in class action involving claims for diminished value.

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of claimants to $200 million in publicly traded stock held by retirement plan.

  • Represented defendant in a nationwide securities fraud class action involving common law claims. Class certified and many claims dismissed on motion for summary judgment.

  • Represented manufacturers in connection with putative class action alleging that material omissions and misstatements had been made in clients' SEC filings and in statements to public analysts. The action was dismissed with prejudice and the dismissal was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Conducted internal investigation and settled without a fraud charge a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of managed earnings allegations against Tennessee-based company and related federal class action discovery issues.

  • Obtained dismissal in several class action suits brought against mortgage lenders seeking damages based on claimed excessive real estate closing costs, usurious interest charges and fees in violation of state and federal laws. 

  • Represented a regional national bank in various individual and class action suits seeking damages in excess of $100 million for imposition of checking account fees, which resulted in judgment in favor of the bank.

  • Represented state and national banks in obtaining dismissal of class action claims asserting damages in excess of $130 million for violation of federal and state law arising out of banks' charging insurance premiums in connection with automobile loans.

  • Tennessee class action involving consumer vehicle financing and claimed violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. Dismissed, affirmed on appeal.

  • Represented class of claimants to $200 million in publicly traded stock held by retirement plan. Summary judgment was granted.

  • Defense of tobacco company in claim by Steamfitters Union on behalf of its members for health benefits paid as a result of smoking-related illnesses resulting in dismissal granted to client by Tennessee Court of Appeals on interlocutory appeal.

  • Defended major chemical manufacturer in class action brought on behalf of 5,000 landowners and occupants alleging personal and property injury from pollution from chemical plant. Settled after class notification by co-defendant with no contribution by Baker Donelson client.

  • Represented Japanese chemical manufacturer in purported class action alleging indirect purchaser claims for alleged price-fixing; the action was dismissed by trial court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Press Releases
In the News

They were instrumental in developing and building out a program around how we handle litigation. That includes protocols around first response when it came in the door, technology, understanding the process, creating good protocols around discovery, building and customizing solutions for us as well as AFA pricing around the cases they handled. They excel in every one of those areas. I’d say their willingness to think differently is exemplary.

General Counsel at one of the world's largest independent claims management companies

Email Disclaimer

NOTICE: The mailing of this email is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Anything that you send to anyone at our Firm will not be confidential or privileged unless we have agreed to represent you. If you send this email, you confirm that you have read and understand this notice.
Cancel Accept