The Plaintiffs’ Hot List Award
The National Law Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP as one of the top plaintiffs’ law firms in the nation for over a dozen years. In compiling its annual list, the National Law Journal looks for firms “representing the best qualities of the plaintiffs’ bar.” Below are brief profiles of many of the noteworthy cases our firm litigated that the National Law Journal highlighted in its Hot List awards.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation – TCPA Cases (various). We spearheaded a series of groundbreaking class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), which prohibits abusive telephone practices by lenders and marketers, and places strict limits on the use of autodialers to call or send texts to cell phones. The settlements in these cases have collectively put a stop to millions of harassing calls by debt collectors and others and resulted in the recovery by consumers across America of over $200 million.
In re Toyota Motor Corp. Unintended Acceleration Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2151 (C.D. Cal.). We serve as Co-Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs in the Toyota injury cases in federal court representing individuals injured, and families of loved ones who died, in Toyota unintended acceleration accidents. In December 2013, Toyota announced its intention to begin to settle the cases. Lieff Cabraser played a key role in creating an innovative resolution process that has settled scores of cases in streamlined, individual conferences.
In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11 CV 2509 (N.D. Cal.). We serve as Co-Lead Class Counsel in a consolidated class action charging that Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corporation, Intuit Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd., and Pixar violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the pay of technical, creative, and other salaried employees. In September 2015, the Court approved a $415 million settlement with defendants Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe. Earlier, in May 2014, the Court approved partial settlements totaling $20 million resolving claims against Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar.
In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1827 (N.D. Cal.). We represented direct purchasers in litigation against the world’s leading manufacturers of Thin Film Transistors – Liquid Crystal Displays that are used in flat-panel televisions, computer monitors, smart phones, and other devices. Plaintiffs charged that defendants conspired to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels for over a decade. The classes reached settlements with all defendants except Toshiba. The case against Toshiba proceeded to trial and the jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs. The case was subsequently settled, bringing the total settlements in the litigation to over $470 million.
In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, MDL No. 2036 (S.D. Fl.). We serve on the plaintiffs’ executive committee in Multi-District Litigation against the nation’s largest banks for engaging in unfair business practices intended to charge customers multiple overdraft fees on debit card transactions. In 2011, the Court approved a $410 million settlement with defendant Bank of America.
In re Broadcom Corp. Derivative Litigation, No. CV 06-3252-R (C.D. Cal.). A federal judge threw out the government’s criminal case against former Broadcom executives and co-founders over an alleged stock-backdating scheme. In the shareholder derivative litigation, however, we served as Lead Counsel and achieved a settlement on the eve of trial valued at $79 million. Combined with an earlier partial settlement with Broadcom’s insurance carriers, the settlements in the case were valued at over $197 million.
U.S. ex rel. Hendow v. University of Phoenix, No. 2:03-00457 (E.D. Cal.). The crux of this suit filed under the False Claims Act was the allegation that the University of Phoenix defrauded the U.S. Department of Education by obtaining federal student loan and Pell Grant money based on false statements of compliance with the Higher Education Act. Lieff Cabraser achieved a $78.5 million settlement, a record settlement under the False Claims Act involving fraud and the U.S. Department of Education.
Bextra/Celebrex Marketing Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation, MDL-1699 (N.D. Cal.). Lieff Cabraser was appointed to oversee all personal injury and consumer litigation nationwide arising from the sale and marketing of COX-2 inhibitors manufactured by Pfizer, Pharmacia, and G.D. Searle. The team overcame the fact that the drugs had dissimilar regulatory histories and different liability issues, plus the risk of dismissal on pre-emption grounds. A global resolution resulted in a Pfizer payout of approximately $850 million.
Sullivan v. DB Investments, No. 04-02819 (D.N.J.). Lieff Cabraser represented consumers who sued De Beers S.A. in California state court over its alleged conspiracy to monopolize the sale of rough diamonds. The resultant class certification orders were one factor in persuading De Beers to settle. The court granted final approval in May 2010 to a nationwide agreement under which De Beers would pay $295 million.
Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler, No. BC 332487 (Cal. Sup. Ct.). Lieff Cabraser obtained a $54.4 million verdict for the family of a man whose Dodge Dakota pickup jumped from park to reverse and backed over him. The jury concluded that the automaker was negligent in designing the vehicle, for failing to warn of the defect, and for failing to issue a recall. The verdict included $50 million in punitive damages.
Cox v. Microsoft, No. 105193/00 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.). Lieff Cabraser represented a class of consumers who charged that Microsoft engaged in anticompetitive conduct and/or violated state business practice statutes to harm competition and monopolize the markets for Intel-compatible software. The firm reached a settlement with Microsoft that made up to $350 million in benefits available to New York consumers and businesses.
Gonzales v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, No. C03-2817 (N.D. Cal.). Lieff Cabraser represented female and minority employees and job applicants who claimed that because they failed to conform to the “A&F Look,” Nordic preppy, they were not hired or were banished to the back room. Abercrombie & Fitch agreed to pay approximately $50 million, including $40 million in damages, and to institute a range of policies and programs to promote diversity among its workforce and to prevent discrimination based on race or gender.
Natural Gas Antitrust Cases (Cal. Sup. Ct.). Plaintiffs charged that during the California energy crisis in 2000-2001, El Paso manipulated the market to drive up natural gas prices. In a landmark victory for California residential and business consumers of natural gas, the Court approved a $1.5 billion settlement against El Paso Natural Gas Co.
Claghorn v. Edsaco Ltd. (N.D. Cal.). In this securities fraud suit, a federal jury found that Edsaco set up phony companies as part of a scheme to report fictitious sales for another software company, and delivered a $170.7 million verdict agaisnt Edsaco. The verdict included $165 million in punitive damages.