2019 Consumer Protection Group of the Year: Cohen Milstein


January 17, 2020

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC helped guide a landmark Equifax data breach deal, with the credit reporting giant agreeing to pay consumers up to $425 million to settle claims involving about 150 million people’s data, landing it a place among Law360’s 2019 Consumer Protection Groups of the Year.

Other recent wins include court approval of a $220 million settlement from Florida-based HCA Inc. hospitals for a class of patients allegedly charged exorbitant sums for emergency X-rays and CT scans, final approval of a $36 million settlement with Lumber Liquidators over false labeling of Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring, and a bid for preliminary approval of a $40 million settlement in a proposed class action against Facebook over video ads.

Consumer protection practice co-chair Andrew N. Friedman said the nine-attorney team of four partners and five associates focuses on representing everyday consumers who are subjected to deceptive or fraudulent practices or defective products. The team’s offices are in Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, according to Friedman, named a Law360 Cybersecurity & Privacy MVP in 2018.

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“Our mission and focus has always been first and foremost to help consumers,” Friedman said. “The goal has always been to help the little guy. Most of our cases tend to involve relatively small purchases on a per-person basis, with some exceptions, such as automobile cases.”

Cohen Milstein’s team also won a spot among Law360’s consumer protection groups for 2018, notching a big win for plaintiffs with a record-breaking $115 million settlement in data breach litigation against health insurer Anthem over a 2015 incident that put 79 million consumers’ personal information at risk.

In another landmark win for Cohen Milstein, a Michigan federal court on April 1 kept the high-profile Flint water crisis litigation alive by reinstating former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as a defendant based on new evidence in a parallel criminal case, according to consumer protection practice co-chair Theodore J. Leopold.

The law firm is co-lead class counsel in the environmental toxic tort class action claiming that the city and state failed to provide safe drinking water to more than 30,000 citizens of Flint, Michigan.

“Certainly, the Flint matter is the most prominent and important water contamination case that has ever been litigated in the country,” Leopold, named a Law360 Environmental Law MVP in 2018, said. “What happened to this community should never have happened to any city or town, and our practice’s goal is to provide a full measure of justice for all of the citizens of Flint.”

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