Class Action and Multidistrict Litigation Practice
Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP has been a leader in the bar throughout its 140-year history. We continue that tradition today with a reputation for legal excellence in numerous practice areas, including complex class action and multidistrict litigation representations in federal and state courts throughout the United States. As one of the largest firms in New Jersey, Riker Danzig has the ability to bring together a deep bench and superb team of professionals from several key practice groups to all of its cases.
Professional Experience and Capabilities
Riker Danzig has a long and successful history of representing a broad variety of clients in complex class action and multidistrict litigation in federal and state courts, including numerous cases involving allegations of consumer fraud and product defects, as well as cases in the insurance, banking and securities, and employment contexts. We serve as primary or New Jersey counsel for major drug, electronic, chemical and tobacco manufacturers, defending wrongful death and personal injury claims in both individual and “mass tort” settings. We also represent foreign manufacturers in class actions brought before U.S. courts, and have successfully argued class certification issues in several federal and state courts.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Banking and Securities
- Consumer Fraud
- Employee Benefits
- Labor & Employment
- Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals
- Product Liability
- Title Insurance Toxic Torts
- We successfully represented major trucking companies and their parent company in a class action that asserted claims for violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Act and its Truth in Leasing regulations, breach of contract and conversion. After obtaining summary judgment from the federal court in favor of the parent company as to the statutory, contract and conversion claims, and in favor of the trucking companies’ as to the conversion claim, the matter settled favorably as to the remaining claims.
- We have handled two class actions involving the manufacture of allegedly defective tires by major tire manufacturers.
- We have represented a manufacturer of steering wheel locks in a national consumer fraud class action.
Banking and Securities
- We have defended banks and other financial institutions against consumer class actions brought by their customers and others.
- We defended a bank client in a putative class action involving the charging of late fees on automobile leases and other alleged practices.
- We obtained summary judgment dismissing a class action that had been asserted against a bank client that challenged the bank’s collateral protection insurance program.
- We have defended a bank client against a class action involving New Jersey’s Secondary Mortgage Loans Act and the Federal Truth in Lend Act.
- We defended a financial services firm against a consumer class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- We successfully argued in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for the dismissal of a $120 million class action against a bank for alleged violation of funds availability practices.
- We prevailed on a motion to dismiss a putative class action against Lumber Liquidators, Inc., a national hardwood flooring distributor, alleging that it violated New Jersey’s CFA and Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA), which result was fully affirmed by New Jersey Appellate Division.
- We defended Nature’s Way and Whole Foods Market against a putative class action lawsuit brought by a consumer alleging that packaging on a calcium dietary supplement manufactured by Nature’s Way and sold by Whole Foods was deceptive and misleading in conveying the number of tablets that the consumer must take to ingest the daily recommended intake of calcium. The defendants procured dismissal of several of the New Jersey state law claims at the pleading stage.
- We have represented eleven significant computer companies in two large consumer fraud class action lawsuits.
- We have represented a major manufacturer of electronic equipment in a class action for alleged violation of the Consumer Fraud Act related to obtaining Underwriters Laboratory certification.
- We have represented a chemical company in a dispute under the Consumer Fraud Act,
- We have represented an international electronics firm, in defense of a putative nationwide class action lawsuit alleging violations of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, misrepresentation and breach of implied warranty relating to the sale of refrigerators.
- Successfully resolved for IBM a consumer fraud class action alleging that the rebate amount on the outside packaging for a speech-to-text product differed from the coupon inside the box for the consumer to submit to claim the rebate.
- We have represented a car manufacturer in a nationwide class action involving pension benefits for 2500 steel workers in 44 separate plants.
- We have defended an insurer in successfully defeating putative class action seeking over $150 million.
Labor & Employment
- We have defended against discrimination suits, wrongful termination suits and contract tort claims related to employment disputes in both federal and state courts brought on by a group or class basis.
Medical Devices & Pharmaceuticals
- We serve as joint coordinating counsel in the pelvic mesh litigation representing medical device manufacturer Ethicon, Inc. and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson. To date there are over 8,500 claims pending in the pelvic mesh Multi-County Litigation in New Jersey, over 35,000 claims pending in the Multi-District Litigation in the Southern District of West Virginia, a centralized litigation in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, as well as claims filed in other state and federal courts. Mesh litigation is one of the largest mass tort cases in the history of U.S. litigation, second only to asbestos. As co-coordinating counsel. Riker Danzig has participated in mesh trials at every level, from trial counsel to motion preparation and argument, negotiation of witness video cuts, preparation of live witnesses, and at the appellate level, both as lead appellate counsel and as appellate support counsel.
- We have represented as New Jersey Counsel a manufacturer of mammography equipment in a putative class action alleging defects in such equipment.
- We have represented a pharmaceutical company in a class action alleging consumer fraud in the pricing of prescription medicine.
- We have defended against purported class action lawsuits filed in state courts in New York, Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania against a German manufacturer of dental restorative materials.
- We successfully represented LG Electronics in connection with a putative nationwide class action involving several hundred thousand allegedly defective refrigerator units, which were also the subject of a Consumer Products Safety Commission investigation. The lawsuit, which involved alleged violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), misrepresentations, and breach of implied warranty relating to the sale of the refrigerators, was settled favorably.
- We served as national defense counsel to Sharp Electronics in putative class action lawsuits in five federal jurisdictions in the United States, arising from plaintiffs’ allegations that a consumer electronics product manufactured by Sharp suffers from manufacturing and design defects. In addition to product liability claims, the plaintiffs asserted violations of express and implied warranties as well as violations of various state consumer protection statutes.
- We presently represent numerous school districts and municipalities as plaintiffs in a nationwide class action litigation concerning claims for defective fields and deceptive marketing practices against artificial turf manufacturer FieldTurf USA, Inc. and affiliates. This dispute involves approximately 1,500 FieldTurf artificial turf athletic fields (valued at over $500,000 each) containing defective fibers that degrade prematurely, requiring expensive repairs and field replacement.
- We have represented a leading tobacco company in class actions involving cigarette pricing and product liability theories.
- We successfully resolved for 10 computer monitor defendants a class action lawsuit in NJ which alleged that the 14” screens were really only 13.8”.
- We defeated a class action in a long and hard-fought litigation brought against our clients, the Fidelity National Title family of insurers. In Chassen, et al. v. Fidelity National Financial, Inc., et al., the putative class of plaintiffs claimed that they were overcharged by their settlement agents (title agencies and closing attorneys) to record deeds and mortgages in connection with New Jersey real estate purchases and refinancings from 2003 until the present. Despite having never sought recovery of those purported overcharges from the settlement agents themselves, plaintiffs looked to recover in excess of $164 million in claimed damages on behalf of the alleged class. The putative class sought in excess of $100 million from our clients alone. The District Court denied plaintiff’s motion for class certification on November 10, 2020, finding that the class claims failed to establish commonality or predominance.
- We have defended numerous title insurers and title agents against various putative class action claims, including New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, and title insurance coverage matters, ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to close to two hundred million dollars of coverage at issue..
- We serve as New Jersey counsel to a major cigarette producer in the defense of smoking and health-related cases.
- We represented a New Jersey municipality against plaintiffs seeking to certify a medical monitoring class of over 80,000 residents who consumed municipality water between 1974 and 1988.
- We represented United Steel & Wire Company in a high profile massive toxic tort class action in Camden County. There, plaintiffs sought to certify a medical monitoring class of every person who used or consumed Camden drinking water for a period of 180 days or more between 1974 and 1998. We served as lead defense counsel in successfully opposing class certification and obtaining the dismissal of the underlying action on statute of limitations grounds.
- We played a central role in a five-month trial of a groundwater contamination case brought under CERCLA, in which Riker’s client prevailed at trial.