Andrew N. Friedman is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Consumer Protection practice group. Practicing in the class action field since 1985, Mr. Friedman specializes in litigating complex, multi-state class action lawsuits against manufacturers and consumer service providers such as banks, insurers, credit card companies and others. He is widely recognized as a leader in enforcing consumer rights and known as a hands-on lawyer who is ready to take litigation all the way through trial.
Over the years, Mr. Friedman has been lead or co-lead counsel in numerous important cases, bringing relief to millions of consumers and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in class actions. He was one of the principal counsel in cases against Nationwide and Country Life, which asserted sales marketing abuses in the marketing of so-called “vanishing premium policies,” where insurance agents sold insurance policies to unsuspecting consumers promising that after a relatively short time the dividends generated from the policy would be so high as to be able to fully pay the premiums. In fact, the calculations of the policies were based on unrealistic interest rate projections and, therefore, the premiums never “vanished.” The Nationwide case resulted in a settlement valued at between $85 million and $103 million, while a settlement with Country Life made $44 million in benefits available to policyholders.
Mr. Friedman was co-lead counsel in Keithly v. Intelius, Inc. (W.D. Wash.), where he negotiated two nationwide settlements with Intelius, Inc., relating to negative option programs and improper post-transaction marketing. The combined settlements made $12 million in cash and a total of $3.5 million in vouchers available to the Class.
Mr. Friedman has also litigated important consumer product lawsuits, including one against Thomson Consumer Electronics, which resulted in a settlement that made up to $100 million available for persons who paid for unreimbursed repairs to defective televisions. In addition, Mr. Friedman was one of the principal counsel in the Dex-Cool Litigation, a nationwide lawsuit alleging that General Motors sold millions of cars with defective coolant that gummed up and caused corrosion to engines. GM settled ahead of trial, offering relief of cash payments of up to $800 per repair.
More recently, Mr. Friedman litigated a lawsuit against Symantec, Corp., and Digital River, Inc., a four-year long nationwide class action battle regarding the marketing of a re-download service in conjunction with the sale of Norton software. The case settled in a $60 million all-cash deal one month before the case was about to go to trial – one of the most significant consumer settlements in years.
Prior to his current role as Co-Chair and member of the Consumer Protection group, Mr. Friedman was a member of the Securities Litigation & Investor Protection practice, litigating many important matters, including the Globalstar Securities Litigation in which he served as one of the lead trial counsel. The case settled for $20 million during the second week of the trial. In addition, Mr. Friedman served as one of co-lead or principal counsel in Norman Frank et al. v. David L. Paul (a recovery of over $18 million); In re Jiffy Lube Securities Litigation (D. Md.) (a recovery of over $12 million); and In re Immunex Securities Litigation (W.D. Wash.) (a recovery of $14 million).
Currently, Mr. Friedman is litigating such notable matters as:
- Anthem Data Breach Litigation: Mr. Friedman is co-lead counsel in a high-profile class action lawsuit against Anthem Inc. over its massive data breach that compromised the personal identification (including social security numbers, date of birth, medical ID number, etc.) and health information of 80 million insured customers. The lawsuit alleges Anthem, the second-largest insurance company in the nation, failed to ensure its data systems were protected, failed to prevent and stop the breach from happening and failed to disclose to its customers material facts regarding the breach. Mr. Friedman is involved in all aspects of the litigation.
- Sallie Mae Litigation: Cohen Milstein is co-lead counsel in a series of cases alleging that Sallie Mae charged usurious interest rates and improper late fees to California students. Mr. Friedman is overseeing all aspects of the litigation.
- Home Depot Data Breach Litigation: Mr. Friedman is a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee representing financial institutions and heads the expert committee in a class action lawsuit arising out of the Home Depot data breach, a cyber attack that affected hundreds of financial institutions and more than 40 million consumers.
Mr. Friedman is a noted speaker who has appeared on numerous panels for legal education seminars and institutional investor conferences on the issues of consumer and securities class actions. In 2011, LawDragon named him one of the Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers. His work has been cited in the media and he was profiled in the April 14, 2000, Washington Business Journal.
Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Mr. Friedman served as an attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Mr. Friedman attended Tufts University, graduating magna cum laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in Psychology. He earned his J.D. from the National Law Center, George Washington University.