settlement in historic
data breach litigation
Our Consumer Protection practice is at the forefront of protecting consumers across the United States from corporate malfeasance, including false and misleading advertising, warranty violations, personal data theft, fraudulent billing, and other types of unfair or deceptive business practices. Our primary objective is to protect consumer rights through class actions under federal and state laws, bringing a full measure of justice to consumers, while holding corporate wrongdoers responsible. Some of our cases have achieved historic settlements, while others have established historical legal precedent in consumer law. Many of our cases are closely watched by industry and the media.
We have received numerous accolades for our work in consumer law:
- The National Law Journal – Winner – 2022 Elite Trial Lawyers – Consumer Protection – Practice of the Year (2022)
- Law360 Practice Group of the Year – Class Action (2017, 2020, 2021)
- Law360 Practice Group of the Year -- Environmental (2018, 2020)
- Law360 Practice Group of the Year – Consumer Protection (2018, 2019)
- The National Law Journal Winner – Elite Trial Lawyers – Environmental Protection (2019, 2021)
- The National Law Journal Winner – Elite Trial Lawyers – Consumer (2018, 2022)
- Law360 Practice Group of the Year – Privacy (2017)
We represent individuals and small businesses in state and federal consumer class actions, spanning all industries, including automotive and trucking, consumer products, data protection software, financial services, insurance, social media, telecommunications, and many others.
We also welcome co-counsel opportunities with other consumer protection law firms, nationwide.
The scope of our practice includes, but is not limited to:
- Breach of Data Privacy
- Unfair Business Practices, including False Advertising and Deceptive Marketing
- Automotive and Product Defects
- Healthcare Fraud
We gladly take on formidable opponents, which have included Anthem, Caterpillar, Lumber Liquidators, Vizio, Facebook, Apple, Providian Financial Corporation, Symantec, HCA and others.
We have spent much of our legal careers fighting for justice on behalf of consumers. Several of our team members hail from distinguished, senior leadership roles in consumer protection law, including the former Deputy Associate Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice and a former president of Public Justice, the nation’s foremost not-for-profit plaintiffs’ foundation, which leads social advocacy and corporate reform through precedent-setting class actions and trials.
Individually, we are nationally recognized and ranked leaders in consumer protection class and mass action litigation:
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2019 - 2021) – Theodore J. Leopold and Victoria S. Nugent
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers (2019, 2020) – Theodore J. Leopold and Victoria S. Nugent
Legal 500 Leading Lawyers: Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions (2020) – Theodore J. Leopold
- Daily Business Review Distinguished Leader (2019) – Theodore J. Leopold
- Law360 MVP – Environmental (2018) – Theodore J. Leopold
- Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year – Mass Tort Litigation and Class Action"(2018) – Theodore J. Leopold
We are often involved in consumer protection class actions involving cutting-edge legal issues, many of which we have the unique honor and distinction of being court appointed Lead or Co-lead Counsel, including:
- In Re Anthem, Inc. Data Breach Litigation (N.D. Cal.) – On August 16, 2018, the Court granted final approval to a $115 million settlement – the largest data breach settlement in U.S. history – ending claims that Anthem Inc., one of the nation’s largest for-profit managed health care companies, put 79 million consumers’ personal information, including social security numbers and health date, at risk in a 2015 data breach. Cohen Milstein was Co-Lead Counsel in this watershed nationwide class action.
- In re Equifax, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation (N.D. Ga.) – On December 19, 2019 the Court granted final approval a landmark $1.5 billion settlement concluding this data breach class action affecting more than 147 million people in the U.S. The settlement consists of a record-breaking $425 million in monetary and injunctive benefits and requires Equifax to spend $1 billion to upgrade its security and technology. Cohen Milstein was on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and was Co-Chair of the Expert Committee.
- LLE One, LLC, et al. v. Facebook (N.D. Cal.) – On June 26, 2020, the Court granted final approval of a $40 million settlement in a consolidated, consumer class action against Facebook for allegedly disseminating inflated video metrics – as much as 150% - 900% – to advertisers. Plaintiffs’ allegations against Facebook include violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law (§ 17200), breach of implied duty to perform with reasonable care, as well as fraud.
- In Re Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Laminate Flooring Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (E.D. Va.) – On October 9, 2018, the Court granted final approval of a $36 million settlement that ends this multidistrict product liability and consumer litigation against Lumber Liquidators, the largest specialty retailer of hardwood flooring in North America. Plaintiffs alleged that Lumber Liquidators falsely labelled and made false statements that its Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring, sold between January 1, 2009 and May 31, 2015, complied with California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) formaldehyde emissions limits. “60 Minutes” aired two investigative stories into these allegations. Cohen Milstein was Co-Lead Counsel in this nationwide class action.
- Herrera, et al. v. JFK Medical Center LP et al. (M.D. Fla.) – On December 14, 2018, Cohen Milstein secured final approval of a $220 million injunctive relief settlement from Florida-based HCA hospitals for patients who were allegedly overcharged for emergency X-rays and CT scans provided after they suffered an automobile accident and covered in part by their mandatory Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Cohen Milstein was Lead Counsel in this state-wide litigation.
- In re: Caterpillar, Inc. Engine Products Liability Litigation (D.N.J.) – On September 20, 2016, the Court granted final approval of a $60 million settlement, ending a consolidated class action lawsuit brought by 22 trucking and transportation firms and individuals in 18 states who had purchased or leased vehicles powered by defective MY2007 CAT engines, heavy-duty, on-highway diesel engines designed and manufactured by Caterpillar. Cohen Milstein was Co-Lead Counsel in this multi-state class action.
- Khoday et al v. Symantec Corp. et al. (D. Minn.) – In April 2016, the Court granted final approval of a $60 million all-cash deal one month before this certified class action was about to go to trial – one of the most significant consumer settlements in years – against Symantec, Corp. and Digital River, Inc. regarding the marketing of a re-download service in conjunction with the sale of Norton software. Cohen Milstein was Lead Counsel in this nationwide class action.
- Johnannessohn, et al. v. Polaris (D. Minn.) – In October 2016, Cohen Milstein filed a class action on behalf of purchasers of Polaris Sportsman four-wheel all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for violating state consumer protection and warranty laws related to a design defect of its exhaust system on some Sportsman ATVs, including models 450, 570, 850, and 1,000, manufactured between 2009 - 2016. The exhaust system gets so hot that it can burn riders and melt the ATV’s components. Polaris publicly denied any exhaust heat defect until it publicly recalled the models in March 2017.
- BK Trucking Co., et al. v. PACCAR, Inc. et al. (D.N.J.) – On August 20, 2015, Cohen Milstein and co-counsel filed a putative class action against PACCAR, the third-largest manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the world, and its subsidiaries, Kenworth Truck Company and Peterbilt Motors for breach of warranty and other products liability and unfair business practices related to the manufacture and sale of its 2010 PACCAR MX-13 diesel engines, which include a specially designed and defective emissions control unit, which causes engine power loss and shut downs, impeding commerce.
- Keithly v. Intelius, Inc. (W.D. Wash.) – In 2011, the Court granted final approval of a combined $15.5 million in settlements ($12 million in cash and a total of $3.5 million in vouchers), ending a consumer class action against Intelius or Adaptive marketing, LLC for deceptively enrolling product purchasers into additional subscription-based services, charging unwitting consumers up to $19.95/month – in perpetuity – for such subscriptions. Cohen Milstein was Co-Lead Counsel in this nationwide class action.