Douglas J. McNamara is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, and a member of the firm’s Consumer Protection practice group. In this role, Mr. McNamara 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 has helped litigate precedent-setting cases, involving issues of preemption, choice of law, and class certification. He is a hands-on litigator who takes pleasure in the details, facts, and documents of each case. Mr. McNamara is a highly regarded speaker who has presented at several forums on such topics as federal preemption, class certification and civil litigation, and is the author of scholarly articles focusing on emerging legal issues.
Mr. McNamara has worked on numerous cases involving dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, light cigarettes, defective consumer products, and environmental torts. Mr. McNamara is currently litigating the following notable matters:
- In re Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation: On January 9, 2018, Cohen Milstein and co-counsel, filed a putative nationwide class action against Apple Inc., on behalf of owners of Apple’s iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, and 7 Plus, for unfair and deceptive business practices in violation of California Business & Professions Code § 17200 and making material misrepresentations and failing to disclose material information related to Apple’s iOS software operating system updates for Apple iPhones. Mr. McNamara was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and is Co-Chair of the Expert Committee.
- HCA Litigation: Cohen Milstein is lead counsel in a class action, alleging 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 August 2018, Cohen Milstein filed for preliminary approval of an injunctive relief settlement that could save PIP patients an estimated $220 million.
- Cape Fear River Contaminated Water Litigation: On January 4, 2018, Cohen Milstein was appointed Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel in a consolidated toxic tort class action filed against DuPont and Chemours, alleging that for more than four decades the companies polluted the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, North Carolina with a chemical called GenX, contaminating the water supply of five counties, and misrepresented their conduct to state and federal regulators.
- CSX Litigation: On October 4, 2018, Cohen Milstein filed a putative class action on behalf of faith leaders, businesses, and residents in the southern and western portions of Lumberton, North Carolina who have twice suffered catastrophic flooding and damage due to CSX Corporation and CSX transportation entities ignoring and trying to block government entities from building a floodgate on a train underpass it owns and operates, including preventing the city from building a temporary berm in 2018 to protect its citizens from impending Hurricane Florence.
- Johnannessohn, et al. v. Polaris: 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. The exhaust system gets so hot that it can burn riders and melt the ATV’s components.
- BK Trucking Co., et al. v. PACCAR, Inc. et al.: 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.
Some of Mr. McNamara’s recent successes include:
- Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Flooring Products Liability Litigation: Cohen Milstein is co-lead counsel in a consumer class action lawsuit, alleging the nationwide retailer sold Chinese-made laminate flooring containing hazardous levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde while falsely labeling their products as meeting or exceeding California emissions standards, a story that was profiled twice on 60 Minutes in 2015. On October 9, 2018, the Court granted final approval of a $36 million settlement. Mr. McNamara was involved in all aspects of the litigation, including discovery, writing and arguing pleadings, and settlement.
- Khoday et al. v. Symantec Corp. et al.: Cohen Milstein was lead counsel in a nationwide class action involving the marketing to consumers of a re-download service in conjunction with the sale of Norton software. In April 2016, the case settled in a $60 million all-cash deal a month before it was to go to trial – one of the most significant consumer settlements in years. Mr. McNamara was involved in all aspects of the case, from managing the litigation to overseeing a staff of contract attorneys to settlement discussions.
- Caterpillar Engine Product Liability Litigation: Cohen Milstein was co-lead counsel on behalf of 22 trucking and transportation companies in 18 states in a class action lawsuit against Caterpillar alleging that the MY2007 CAT engine, designed to meet the EPA’s tougher Clean Air Act emissions standards, was defective, causing power loss and shutdowns that prevented or impeded vehicles from transporting goods or passengers. Caterpillar sought to dismiss the case claiming EPA approval of the engine preempted any state law claims. Mr. McNamara was the architect of the successful opposition to the motion, and he was involved in all aspects of the litigation. On September 20, 2016, the Court granted final approval of the $60 million settlement.
Mr. McNamara also is actively involved in the firm’s high-profile pro bono litigation, including:
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Donald J. Trump, President of the United States: Cohen Milstein is representing the NAACP and two unions in a lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump, Department of Homeland Security and other U.S. immigration enforcement agencies and their efforts to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Prior to joining Cohen Milstein in 2001, Mr. McNamara was a litigation associate at an international defense firm, specializing in pharmaceutical and product liability cases. He started his career at New York City's Legal Aid Society, defending indigent criminal defendants at trial and on appeal.
He has been the lead author on three law review articles: “Buckley, Imbler and Stare Decisis: The Present Predicament of Prosecutorial Immunity and An End to Its Absolute Means,: 59 Albany Law Review, 1135 (1996); “Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct: Applying New York’s Gender-Specific Sexual Misconduct Law to Minors,” 14 Touro Law Review, 477 (Winter 1998), and most recently, Douglas McNamara, et al, “Reexamining the Seventh Amendment Argument Against Issue Certification,” 34 Pace Law Review, 1041 (2014). He has also taught a course on environmental and toxic torts as an adjunct at George Washington University School of Law.
Mr. McNamara graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Albany, and he earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law.