Victoria S. Nugent is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and Co-Chair of the Public Client practice group. Ms. Nugent is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Since joining Cohen Milstein in 2000, Ms. Nugent’s work has focused exclusively on consumer protection and public health and safety. Specifically, Ms. Nugent represents state Attorneys General, counties, and cities in civil law enforcement investigations and litigation involving consumer protection, Medicaid fraud, and other areas of enforcement that protect government interests and vulnerable communities. In 2019, Ms. Nugent was named among Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers.
Ms. Nugent’s recent representations include:
- Opioids Crisis Litigation and Investigation: Representing New Jersey in its consumer protection, Medicaid fraud, and nuisance lawsuit against Purdue Pharma; representing Indiana in its investigation of all actors contributing to the opioid crisis, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and opioid distributors; representing Vermont in investigations and litigation against entities responsible for the deceptive marketing and sale of opioids.
- Nursing Homes: Representing the State of New Mexico in litigation related to Medicaid fraud and deceptive marketing by skilled nursing facilities that promised, but failed to provide, basic care to their elderly residents.
Ms. Nugent has represented public clients on other matters involving consumer and financial fraud. Some of her successes include:
- Representing the states of Arizona and Nevada in litigation against Bank of America for deceptive conduct in connection with servicing approximately 500,000 mortgages, resulting in financial payments to consumers and the states, commitments to mortgage modifications and other equitable relief valued at nearly $1 billion.
- Representing the state of Nevada in investigations into the conduct of Deutsche Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland, two of the investment banks that encouraged and enabled the predatory lending practices of retail lenders. Ms. Nugent helped develop the State’s legal theories and claims and handled numerous aspects of these investigations.
Ms. Nugent began her career at Cohen Milstein in the firm’s Consumer Protection practice group, where she focused on consumer protection and public health litigation. Past cases include In re StarLink Corn Products Liability Litigation, in which she represented farmers suing Aventis CropScience after an unapproved variety of genetically modified corn was detected in the U.S. corn supply and drove down prices for all U.S. corn exports. More than $100 million was recovered for the class in a landmark settlement. In 2009 and 2010, Ms. Nugent filed suit on behalf of consumers challenging the post-transaction marketing practices (also sometimes called “negative option marketing”) and in two significant rulings persuaded federal courts in California and Washington that these practices run afoul of state consumer protection laws. Ms. Nugent has argued cases before the high courts of Georgia, Nebraska, and the District of Columbia, as well as the federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Ms. Nugent worked for seven years at Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization. There, she worked on many legislative and regulatory campaigns addressing issues that ranged from automobile safety to international trade policy. After graduating from law school in 1998, Ms. Nugent received a two-year fellowship sponsored by the National Association for Public Interest Law (NAPIL/Equal Justice Works). As a NAPIL Fellow, she worked at Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, where she helped develop and prosecute impact litigation in the areas of arbitration, banking, credit, and insurance. Since 2018, Ms. Nugent has been a member of Public Justice’s Board of Directors.
Ms. Nugent served on the D.C. Bar Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct from 2012 to 2019. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee.