Class actions are civil lawsuits brought on behalf of a group of people or a group of business entities who have suffered common damages as a result of a defendant’s conduct. In a class action, one member of the class (or a smaller group of members of the class) acts as a representative for everyone else. The issues leading to a class action lawsuit are varied, but regardless of what the issues are, they generally must be common to all class members. Class actions might be brought in state or federal court. Ordinarily, a class action is brought where a large group of individuals or entities have common claims, and it is easier to handle one case with common issues than countless smaller ones.
Payne & Fears has litigated and successfully resolved California and nationwide class actions with hundreds of thousands of alleged class members, representing both unjustly sued businesses and wronged consumers. Our seasoned attorneys’ unique experience on both sides of these cases gives them great insight into how to successfully respond to any challenge. Our consumer class action attorneys have decades of experience handling major class actions, including securing more than $100 million in settlements representing plaintiffs. Our plaintiffs’ work informs the work we do to defend class actions to better serve clients who are targets of consumer class claims.
Our class action experience includes matters regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), unfair competition, false advertising, Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). We’ve litigated and successfully resolved California and nationwide class actions with hundreds of thousands of alleged class members.
We fight aggressively and creatively both in trial courts and on appeal. Our approach is tailored to avoid expensive discovery (if possible) and efficiently meet the needs of each client and case. We take a proactive stance from the outset, highlighting the other side’s weaknesses, and presenting the motions we believe will get the best results.
Sometimes settlement is the most sensible solution to a matter. In those instances, we negotiate with the other side to resolve issues. Our record for obtaining both individual settlements (in class cases) and class-wide settlements is extremely favorable. A selection of our varied experience and notable successes are provided below.
Consumer Class Actions: Plaintiffs’ Work
Our consumer class action attorneys have successfully handled a variety of cases for plaintiffs, including:
- Our class action attorneys secured final approval of the Interline class action settlement from Federal District Judge Amy J. St. Eve in Chicago. Under the settlement, Interline Brands paid $40 million to an 80,000-member class of its junk fax recipients. With this settlement, Payne & Fears attorneys secured the largest junk fax recovery in three decades. The settlement also broke new ground by automatically distributing funds to class members based on the number of faxes received, rather than requiring class members to submit claims. Judge St. Eve also awarded class representative Craftwood Lumber Company a $25,000 incentive award.
- Over the course of several years, long-term care facilities across the country were blanketed with faxes promoting Polaris Group products and services. Two prior lawsuits failed to provide relief to the targeted facilities. Consumer class action attorneys at Payne & Fears stepped in to secure a major victory in the litigation. Judge Dale A. Drozd granted final approval of a $25 million class settlement for the fax recipients of Polaris Group junk faxes. In his decision, Drozd concluded the settlement easily qualified as “fair, reasonable, and adequate” while noting that it was also “exceptional, because it is the third-largest TCPA settlement in the Ninth Circuit in recent years.” The court also noted that the automatic distribution to all class members, rather than merely those who submit claims, produced a recovery “more on a per-violation basis than many TCPA settlements of which this court is aware.”
- Payne & Fears class action attorneys secured a victory on behalf of client Craftwood Lumber Company in a TCPA litigation in Illinois state court. The Lake County Circuit Court granted final approval of the $11.75 million class settlement secured for recipients of faxes announcing price changes for Hardware Resources products.
Consumer Class Action: Defense Work
Our consumer class action attorneys have successfully defended a variety of cases, including:
- Achieving a beneficial class-wide non-monetary settlement after securing the class representative’s testimony that he was not deceived by alleged false statements on product packaging.
- Obtaining a beneficial settlement after filing crucial class certification opposition in alleged TCPA robocall, pre-recorded voice, and unsolicited text message matter, which is awaiting court approval.
- Obtaining a beneficial settlement for a fintech company alleged to have misled consumers about overdraft fees, which is awaiting final approval by the court.
- Negotiating a de minimis pre-litigation settlement of a CLRA and false advertising claim for a franchisee of several restaurant locations.