Andrew N. Friedman is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and the immediate past Co-Chair of the firm’s Consumer Protection practice group.
Practicing in the class action field since 1985, Mr. Friedman is a nationally recognized leader in the area of complex, multi-state class action lawsuits against manufacturers and consumer service providers, such as banks, insurers, credit card companies, and others, who is ready to take litigation all the way through trial.
In 2018, Mr. Friedman was named Law360’s “MVP – Data Privacy and Security,” an award recognizing only five lawyers in the United States in this emergent area of law. In addition, under his leadership, Cohen Milstein’s Consumer Protection practice has received numerous industry awards, including Law360’s “Practice Group of the Year – Consumer Protection” (2018, 2019) and The National Law Journal’s “Elite Trial Lawyers – Consumer” award (2018), as well as Law360’s “Practice Group of the Year – Privacy” (2017).
Over the years, Mr. Friedman has been court-appointed Lead or Co-Lead Counsel in numerous high-profile and often precedent-setting class actions, bringing relief to millions of consumers and recovering hundreds of millions of dollars in class actions, including:
- In re Anthem Data Breach Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Mr. Friedman was Co-Lead Counsel in a data breach class action involving the theft of personal identification and health information of more than 78 million customers of Anthem, the second largest health insurance company in the nation. The lawsuit involved novel claims and cutting-edge damage theories, resulting in a $115 million settlement – at the time, the largest data breach settlement in history.
- In re Equifax, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation (N.D. Ga.): Mr. Friedman was a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and was Co-Chair of the Expert Committee in this data privacy breach class action against Equifax, a leading credit-reporting company that safeguards some of the most sensitive financial and personal information of over 147 million individuals across the United States, for its failure to inform the public of a massive data breach and theft of client data. On December 19, 2019 the court granted final approval of a landmark $1.5 billion settlement, consisting of a record-breaking $425 million in monetary and injunctive benefits and requiring Equifax to spend $1 billion to upgrade its security and technology.
- Symantec, Corp. and Digital River, Inc. (D. Minn.): Mr. Friedman also litigated a lawsuit against a four-year long nationwide class action battle related to 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.
- Nationwide (N.D.N.Y.) and Country Life (Cook Cty. Ill. Cir. Ct.): Mr. Friedman was one of the principal counsel in cases against two of the largest insurance companies in which plaintiffs 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.” Nationwide 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.
- Keithly v. Intelius, Inc. (W.D. Wash.): Mr. Friedman was Co-Lead Counsel, 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 available to the Class.
- Home Depot Data Breach Litigation (N.D. Ga.): Mr. Friedman was a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, representing financial institutions and headed the expert committee. This class action lawsuit arose out of the Home Depot data breach, a cyber-attack that affected hundreds of financial institutions and more than 40 million consumers who used their debit and credit cards to patronize Home Depot. On September 22, 2017, the court granted final approval of a $25 million settlement.
- HCA Litigation (M.D. Fla.): Mr. Friedman was one of the principal counsel in the a state-wide consumer class action in Florida federal court. Plaintiffs alleged that post-car accident emergency room patients were billed inflated fees for emergency radiology services, in excess of the amount allowed by law, covered in part by their mandatory Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. In December 2018, the court granted final approval of an injunctive relief settlement of $220 million.
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.
Prior to his Co-Chairing the Consumer Protection group, Mr. Friedman was a member of Cohen Milstein’s Securities Litigation & Investor Protection practice, litigating many important matters, including 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 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:
- In re: Marriott International Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation (D. Md.): On April 29, 2019, the court appointed Mr. Friedman Consumer Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel to oversee a putative nationwide class action related to the data breach of personal information of nearly 400 million customers of Starwood-branded hotels, subsequently acquired by Marriott in 2016, making it one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history.
- Facebook 2018 Data Breach Litigation (N.D. Cal.): On February 14, 2019, the court appointed Mr. Friedman Co-Interim Class Counsel in a putative nationwide class action against Facebook for breach of personal data. According to Facebook, the data breach was the result of a software vulnerability that existed for over a year (July 2017 – September 2018). On November 15, 2020, the court preliminarily approved an injunctive relief settlement, which will require Facebook to adopt, implement, and/or maintain a detailed set of security commitments for the next five years.
- COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Litigation: Cohen Milstein represents restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses across the United States in litigation against their property and casualty insurance providers for failing to cover their COVID-19-related business interruption losses.
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.