Victoria S. Nugent is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and Co-Chair of the Public Client practice group. She has been with the Firm since 2000 and her work has focused on consumer protection and public health and safety.
Ms. Nugent began at Cohen Milstein in the Firm’s Consumer Protection & Unsafe Products practice, where she focused on consumer protection and public health litigation. Past cases include In re StarLink Product Liability Litigation, in which she represented farmers suing Aventis CropScience after an unapproved variety of genetically modified corn was detected in the U.S. corn supply and drove down prices for all U.S. corn exports. More than $100 million was recovered for the class in a landmark settlement. In 2009 and 2010, Ms. Nugent filed suit on behalf of consumers challenging the post-transaction marketing practices (also sometimes called “negative option marketing”) and in two significant rulings persuaded federal courts in California and Washington that these practices run afoul of state consumer protection laws. Ms. Nugent has argued cases before the high courts of Georgia, Nebraska and the District of Columbia, as well as the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Nugent joined the Firm’s Public Client practice group in 2011, where she is currently representing several states in investigations into Medicaid and consumer fraud by numerous for-profit nursing home chains that promised, but failed to provide, basic care to their elderly residents. Ms. Nugent has been overseeing all aspects of these investigations.
Ms. Nugent has represented public clients on other matters involving consumer and financial fraud. Some of her successes include:
- Represented the states of Arizona and Nevada in litigation against Bank of America for deceptive conduct in connection with servicing approximately 500,000 mortgages; resulting in financial payments to consumers and the states, commitments to mortgage modifications and other equitable relief valued at nearly $1 billion.
- Represented the state of Nevada in investigations into the conduct of Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland, two of the investment banks that encouraged and enabled the predatory lending practices of retail lenders. Ms. Nugent helped develop the State’s legal theories and claims and handled numerous aspects of these investigations.
Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Nugent worked for seven years at Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization. There, she worked on many legislative and regulatory campaigns addressing issues that ranged from automobile safety to international trade policy. After graduating from law school in 1998, Ms. Nugent received a two-year fellowship sponsored by the National Association for Public Interest Law (NAPIL). As a NAPIL Fellow, she worked at Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, where she helped develop and prosecute impact litigation in the areas of arbitration, banking, credit and insurance.
Ms. Nugent has served on the D.C. Bar Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct since 2012.