Experienced, Tailored Class Action Defense
Butler Snow’s Class Action team has successfully defended numerous and varied class actions. Our client-centric approach focuses on the needs of each client and the unique challenges they face. Butler Snow class action attorneys deftly craft tailormade, case-specific strategies to achieve the results our clients seek. This approach, combined with an understanding of our clients’ businesses, has led to significant victories against allegations of antitrust violations, lender liability, securities fraud and consumer claims. Butler Snow has successfully defended against class actions of all magnitudes, including those involving the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Truth in Lending Act, the Telephone Consumer Protections Act (TCPA) and whistleblower claims.
Our broad class action experience includes cases involving:
- Investment advisors, banks and other financial services institutions
- Correctional facilities and departments of corrections
- Video game designers
- Health insurance and health care reimbursement practices
- Antitrust and RICO claims
- Auto financing and insurance
- Various consumer products, pharmaceuticals and even musical instruments.
Butler Snow served as lead trial counsel in a bellwether antitrust class action in Federal court in Tennessee. After a two-month trial, the jury hung – a victory from the defendant’s perspective, enabling the client to leverage a settlement for less than 5% of the amount offered prior to trial.
Butler Snow litigators defended a pipe manufacturer in a consumer class action that alleged that plastic, heat-resistant pipes were defective due to cracking. Our team successfully bifurcated discovery and worked with engineers on a series of tests to show that the claims were not suitable for class action treatment, leading to a denial of the class certification.
Our team recently defeated class certification in a combined fraud and RICO action arising from advertising that the defendant’s popular veterinary pharmaceutical product was 100% effective. By delving into the scientific evidence, we vigorously defended the client during a five-day class certification hearing. The clear, scientific presentation supported the truth of the client’s representations. Separately, we discredited the named plaintiffs’ expert and purported the data he relied on, successfully arguing that there was no proof of reliance as a matter of law under Fifth Circuit RICO precedent.
Financial Services Highlights
Our experience in the financial services arena includes defending a putative nationwide class action based on amendments to the Truth in Lending Act. In that case, we persuaded the court to limit initial discovery to a narrow issue that could be dispositive as a matter of law. This strategy positioned the defendant to file an early, well-supported summary judgment motion that there was no private right of action. The court entered summary judgment for the defendant, a ruling later affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In another putative class action involving auto financing, our team conducted a proactive internal investigation that led to early mediation and a reasonable settlement before a single deposition took place – the very result that the client sought.
FLSA Class Action Highlights
We have spearheaded the defense of numerous class or collective actions under FLSA, many of which were litigated in California state court, bringing a hotbed of novel claims and theories by plaintiffs’ class action attorneys. We developed a unique, carefully tailored strategy for each case, ranging from the limited size or ascertainability of the putative class, lack of predominance and superiority and weaknesses in plaintiffs’ damages theories, to the magnitude of reputational risk facing the client, which led to a string of favorable results. In one California case, for example, the team’s early, in-depth investigation revealed that the claims rate for any certified class would be extremely low. Based on the client’s specific goals in that litigation, we negotiated a tactical settlement, including a reversion clause that unclaimed funds would be returned to the defendant. The projection of a low number of claims was spot-on. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in unclaimed funds flowed back to the client, in addition to significant savings in legal costs due to the early resolution.
Insurance Class Action Highlights
In a separate action, our attorneys were retained by an excess carrier after a class was certified against the insured. Butler Snow was asked to reassess viable defenses to class claims of defectively designed residential windows. The insured, represented by the New York office of a prominent international firm, was on the verge of settling for a significant amount. Our team prepared in record time and formulated a defense theory potent enough to reduce the class’s settlement demand by approximately $10 million.