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OVERVIEW

Class Actions WHEN IT COUNTS

Barnes & Thornburg attorneys are regularly involved in class actions, almost always on behalf of one or more defendants. We have defended, or are currently defending, clients in over 50 cases filed as class actions in state and federal courts in 15 states as well as in arbitrations. The underlying claims in those cases have included product liability, consumer protection, securities laws, environmental laws, lender liability, antitrust, ERISA and labor laws.

Our experience enables us to advise our clients on the many special tactical issues presented by class actions, including:

  • Potential options for change of forum (e.g., federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act, arbitration clauses, multi-district litigation)
  • Evaluation of potential settlement on a class or non-class basis
  • Case management orders and sequencing of class and merits motions
  • Objections to certification of classes in whole or in part
  • Objections to class definitions and representatives
  • Contents and delivery methods for class notices
  • Administration of class settlement distributions
  • Positions to be taken with respect to requests for attorney fees

Class actions require early evaluation and strategic decisions. The experience of our attorneys, coupled with the firm's in house litigation resources, make such analysis possible. We employ aggressive and proactive case management techniques to pursue the client's chosen strategy in these complex cases.

EXPERIENCE
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney successfully represented Client in a class action case brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and FACTA. Hurley v. Denison Parking, Inc., No. 4:08cv32 (S.D. Ind., filed Mar. 11, 2008).
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney a defended Texas electrical cooperative against class action claims. The trial court denied a class seeking monetary relief and certified a class seeking non-monetary relief. The Barnes & Thornburg attorney successfully argued in the Court of Appeals that neither class should have been certified. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney acted as co-counsel for an auto finance company in the defense of two putative class actions alleging Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) violations. The United States district court dismissed the claims for lack of standing.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney acted as liaison counsel for a group of national and international companies in a class action property damage lawsuit brought by several hundred landfill neighbors; plaintiffs allege that vinyl chloride from the landfill contaminated private drinking water wells and created a vapor intrusion risk. (This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a broker-dealer in a class action alleging that its sales training caused its registered representatives to fraudulently minimize risk on mutual fund and limited partnership investments. After partial verdicts for only three out of over 35 named plaintiffs, plaintiffs voluntarily decertified class.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a data aggregator in class actions alleging violations of federal privacy statutes in Texas and Missouri. Both courts granted motions to dismiss on behalf of the data aggregator. The Fifth and Sixth Circuits affirmed both dismissals. The Barnes & Thornburg attorney successfully argued the case on behalf of all defendants in the Sixth Circuit. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a major international supplier of specialty steel pipe against class action claims brought in the Southern District of Texas. The case was settled for a nominal sum. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a major U.S. charity against class action conspiracy claims brought in the Northern District of Texas. The case was dismissed. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a manufacturer of strollers in consumer class action alleging consumer fraud and breach of warranty. On behalf of client, we achieved a favorable non-monetary class settlement.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a national restaurant chain in a class action alleging violations of a federal privacy statute. The case was settled for a nominal sum. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a regional supermarket chain against claims of attempted monopolization and conspiracy to restrain trade brought in the Western District of Texas. The case was settled shortly before trial. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended a retailer against class action claims of misrepresentation of health benefits of dietary supplements sold to the public. After lengthy discovery and denial of class certification, the case settled for a nominal amount. Osborne v. Musceltech Research and Development, Inc., et al., Case No. BC , Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended an agricultural cooperative against claims of fraud and violations of the Commodity Exchange Act asserted on behalf of putative classes in two cases regarding hedge-to-arrive contracts.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney defended two major companies in multibillion dollar class action suits alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in 17 states. The attorney served on the executive committee that coordinated the defense of all defendants in each case. After the defendants defeated class certification motions in five states, the plaintiffs agreed to a nominal settlement. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney is currently defending an Illinois municipal client against more than 19 lawsuits, including two class actions, arising from alleged contamination of a municipal water supply. The lawsuits involve several hundred plaintiffs and assert theories of wrongful death, fraud, fear of injury and negligence.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a broker-dealer in a putative class action alleging that the client had sold non-exempt securities that were not registered as required under the Indiana Securities Act and obtained a voluntary dismissal of those claims.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a cash advance lender in a putative class action, obtaining an order compelling arbitration of the claims despite a challenge that the arbitration clauses were illegal, unconscionable and unenforceable. Furgason v. McKenzie Check Advance of Indiana, Inc., 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2725 (S.D. Ind. 2001).
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a chemical distributor in a class action product liability case filed in Alabama federal court. Plaintiffs were coal miners who sought to have the case certified as a national class action, including numerous state sub-classes. They alleged that they were exposed to isocyanates contained in mine roof stabilization products, and that the alleged chemical exposure caused a variety of respiratory ailments and other injuries. Class Certification claims were defeated and individual claims were resolved favorably on client’s behalf. (This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a former CFO in securities fraud class action brought against issuer and its officers.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a global electronics manufacturer in the defense of a consumer class action assigned to the Complex Case Division of the Superior Court. The claims related to allegations of fraud in the conduct of product rebates offered by client. A very favorable, class-wide settlement was reached after the Court’s hearing on class certification indicated that the class certification for trial would be denied. Luis Ho v. Samsung Electronics of America, Case No. 03AS03429, Superior Court for the County of Sacramento. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a global electronics manufacturer in the defense of a consumer class action assigned to the Complex Case Division of the Superior Court. The claims related to alleged misrepresentations made during client’s sale of microwave ovens. The class action was defeated and the case was favorably settled thereafter. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a global electronics manufacturer in the defense of consumer class action assigned to the Complex Case Division of the Superior Court. The Plaintiffs alleged that client misrepresented the storage capacity of the memory on cell phones by stating the memory capacity in bytes. This was one of among several identical suits filed across the United States. The court granted client’s motion to dismiss based on the Metric Treaty, which permitted the unit of measurement used by client. This defense was later taken and applied in the cases pending in other States. Barbara Johnson, et al. v. Samsung Telecommunications of America, Case No. BC 323004, Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a global food manufacturer in the defense of a class action claims arising out of alleged misrepresentation of ingredients in snack foods sold by client. After achieving dismissal of most of Plaintiffs’ claims on a Rule 12 motion and aggressively pursuing discovery, the case was dismissed in exchange for a waiver of costs. Henderson, et al., v. Gruma Corporation, Case No., CV10 4173 AHM (AJWx), United States District Court for the Central District of California.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a major agricultural chemical distributor in multiple class actions involving the herbicide atrazine, which was allegedly present in surface water of multiple municipal water districts. (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a manufacturer of weight loss dietary supplement in numerous class actions filed across the country alleging misrepresentation, mislabeling and personal injuries. In the coordinated class actions in California, the client defeated the class action motion and negotiated a nationwide settlement in a competing class action pending in Michigan on very favorable terms. Perez, et al. v. Metabolife International, Inc., Superior Court for the County of San Diego, California. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a producer of apple juice in the MDL (Multi-District Litigation) arising out of numerous consumer class actions alleging that the producers misrepresented the ingredients in the juice. In Re Apple Juice Litigation, JPML No., United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a publicly traded Chinese company in obtaining recovery of substantial defense fees and costs arising from multiple class actions, derivative action and governmental investigations. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a publicly traded company in the recovery of defense costs and settlement payments in connection with a securities class action and derivative action. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented a regional power and energy company in a class action involving tariff violation claims. (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented an internet domain registry company in the defense of multiple cases coordinated in the Complex Case Division of the Superior Court. The claim involved allegations of consumer fraud and violation of the Penal Code arising out of the launch of a new Internet domain name registry (.biz). The class action was defeated and the case settled thereafter. Smiley, et al v. NeuLevel, Inc., et al., Case No. Case No. BC 254659 and ePrize, LLC v. NeuLevel, Inc., et al., Case No. BC 257632, Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented several health insurance entities in litigation to obtain insurance coverage for RICO class actions. Obtained significant rulings regarding discovery, summary judgment rulings applying estoppel and public policy, and a significant ruling regarding the recovery of attorneys’ fees under a surplus lines policy. The matter settled on the eve of trial. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented the three largest grocery companies in the United States in the joint defense of many consumer class actions that were coordinated under California’s equivalent of the federal MDL (Multi-District Litigation) and assigned to the Complex Case Division of the Superior Court for management of the cases. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants mislabeled farm-raised salmon but after three years of litigation that included an interlocutory appeal, all cases were dismissed in exchange for a waiver of costs. In re Farm-Raised Salmon Litigation, Case No. JCCP No. 4329, Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney served as co-counsel for underwriter defendants in a series of securities fraud class actions filed in 2000. In re Conseco, Inc. Sec. Litigation., No. IP 00-585-C-Y/S, IP 00-655-C-Y/S (S.D. Ind. 2000)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney serves as general coverage counsel to the nation’s largest family-owned and operated ice cream manufacturer. Barnes & Thornburg’s work for this client includes:

    The successful pursuit of D&O coverage for an underlying class action alleging deceptive advertising, labeling and marking of the calorie count of certain ice cream novelty bars.

    Advice and guidance on D&O coverage issues related to threatened shareholder derivative claims.

    The defense of a significant deductible reimbursement claim associated with underinsured motorist’s coverage.
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney successfully defended a Fortune 100 corporation against RICO claims. The District Court granted the client’s motion to dismiss the claims. (*This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg.)
  • A Barnes & Thornburg attorney was counsel in a class action case regarding the application of insurance coverage for 20,000 tort claimants with asbestos-related bodily injury claims pending against the Robert A. Keasbey Company (“Keasbey”). Keasbey was a defunct entity, leaving the defendant class as the real defendants in the action that CNA brought to terminate its insurance obligations. Scott Godes represented the defendant class from the answer and counterclaims through trial to protect the insurance interests. The case, worth an estimated more than $100M, included a four month bench trial regarding trigger of coverage, number of occurrences, products/non-products (premises/operations), waiver, estoppel, course of performance, course of dealings, notice, and wrap up coverage, among other issues. The trial resulted in a successful verdict for the defendant class. Continental Casualty Co. v. Employers Insurance Co. of Wausau, 16 Misc. 3d 223 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2007). (This matter occurred prior to the attorney joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • As trial counsel, achieved favorable outcomes in a series of eight class action, personal injury, and property damage lawsuits on behalf of a supplier of industrial solvents where plaintiffs alleged contamination of private drinking water supplies in Illinois; successful results in these cases were achieved either through a jury trial, settlement, or a summary judgment motion. (This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • Barnes & Thornburg assisted one of the parties to a $2 billion acquisition in successfully resolving claims that the acquirers had aided and abetted the breaches of fiduciary duty by the directors of the company to be acquired. The settlement provided for certain additional disclosures in the proxy statement of the acquired company and a payment of attorneys’ fees that were set by the Delaware Court of Chancery, and allowed the acquisition to close on time.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorney represented client in mandamus action concerning consolidation of competing class action lawsuits.
  • Barnes & Thornburg Attorney successfully defended client in class actions on multiple consumer statues including Deceptive Practices Act. Cases were all dismissed before class certification. Melton v. Oasis Legal Finance, No. 2008-CH-35854 (Cir. Ct. of Cook County); Bowen v. Oasis Legal Finance, LLC, No. 2008-CH-001045.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys are national counsel for Flexible Foam Products, Inc., a leading producer of polyurethane foam products for bedding and other industries.

    In July 2010, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Canadian Bureau of Competition and EU Competition authorities executed search warrants on several manufacturers of polyurethane foam based on information provided by an amnesty applicant concerning allegations of price fixing.

    Direct and indirect purchasers of foam products thereafter filed purported class action lawsuits in California, North Carolina and Ohio, now consolidated and transferred to the Northern District of Ohio under the MDL proceedings. Parallel proceedings are pending in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, Canada. More than a dozen manufactures have been named as defendants to date.

    Barnes & Thornburg is defending Flexible Foam Products in the MDL proceedings, and attorney Kendall Millard has been appointed co-liaison counsel for all defendants. In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2196 (W.D. Ohio 2010).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended a class action involving bonus and executive compensation claims arising out of sale of subsidiary. On behalf of client, we used denial of class certification and partial summary judgment to drive down ultimate settlement of the case.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended client in competing class actions brought on behalf of landowners adjoining railroad rights-of-way abandoned by Penn Central. The ten years of litigation led to several appeals to the Indiana Court of Appeals, an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court, and a writ of mandamus to the Indiana Supreme Court. Ultimately, a class action settlement was reached in which the client, a defendant, received payment from the co-defendant.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended client in purported class action on behalf of New York and New Jersey residents, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Plaintiff ultimately dismissed the class action allegations, and the individual claims by Plaintiff were resolved.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys defended Plaintiff’s class action brought against RV delivery company, on behalf of drivers, under wage act. The Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for class certification.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys obtained a favorable judgment on behalf of a municipal client against claims under the federal and state constitutions as well as the Indiana Home Rule Act in regard to an ordinance that required licenses for landlords. Peoples v. Town of Speedway, Ind., No. 1:06cv1324 (S.D. Ind., filed Sept. 6, 2006).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys obtained voluntary dismissal of class action allegations, and pursued successful summary judgment motion on merits of Equal Credit Opportunity Act claims on behalf of bank client.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represent defendant Knauf Insulation GmbH, a leading manufacturer of fiberglass insulation, in three related antitrust actions concerning allegations of price fixing and price differentials to a major customer. The direct purchaser plaintiffs, on behalf of a class of contractors who purchased residential fiberglass insulation, alleged that the five largest producers of fiberglass insulation engaged in price-fixing by agreeing with a large, common customer (Masco) to maintain a "price spread" between insulation sold to the customer and that sold to other contractors. Plaintiffs alleged damages in the action exceeding $750 million. After three manufacturers had already entered settlements in the direct purchaser case, Knauf negotiated a cost-of-litigation settlement that was less than half the settlement of any other defendant, and only 10% of one of the manufacturer's settlements. Masco settled on the eve of the trial in the summer of 2012.

    Two groups of indirect purchasers also filed suit. Barnes & Thornburg negotiated dismissal with prejudice on behalf of all defendants in one case in exchange for an agreement not to seek sanctions (Lummis). Motions to dismiss the second case are still pending in the Northern District of Georgia (Von Der Werth).

    Columbus Drywall & Insulation, Inc. et al v. Masco Corp., et. al., Case No. 1:04-cv-3066-JEC (N.D. Ga 2004) (Direct Purchaser Class Action); Von Der Werth v. Johns Manville Corporation, et al., Case No. 1:07-cv-2012-JEC (N.D. Ga 2007) (Indirect Purchaser Class Action); Lummis v. Johns Manville Corporation, 2:05-CV-298-FTM-29SPC, (M.D. Fla 2005) (Indirect Purchaser Class Action)
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a corporation, its directors and its investment banker and were obtained summary judgment in a class action alleging breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with cash out merger and subsequent sale of Michigan Corporation. The court rejected use of Delaware’s entire fairness test, holding that appraisal was the sole remedy available to dissatisfied minority shareholders, even in an alleged conflict transaction and found claims of failures to disclose/misrepresentations to be unwarranted. Krieger v. Gast, 179 F. Supp 2d 762 (W.D. Mich. 2001). See also Krieger v. Gast, 122 F. Supp. 2d 836 (W.D. Mich. 2001) (discussing appraisal remedy and burden of proof), and Krieger v. Gast, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15422 (N.D. Ill. 1998)(dismissing securities fraud claims).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a large residential real estate brokerage firm in a certified class action seeking over $600 million in damages for alleged illegal price-fixing under the Sherman Act. Plaintiffs alleged that real estate brokers conspired to fix the price of broker commissions in violation of Section One of the Sherman Act. The District Court granted our client’s Motion for Summary Judgment dismissing Plaintiffs' claims with prejudice on the grounds that Plaintiffs had not come forward with evidence sufficient to go to a jury on the existence of a conspiracy or sufficient to rule out legal market behavior. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented a national residential real estate brokerage firm in a class action seeking $15 million in damages for alleged RESPA violations related to purported receipt of unlawful kickbacks in the real estate settlement process. Achieved favorable pre-trial resolution of claims.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented an administrator of a trust for promoting home ownership for the underprivileged residents of Fort Wayne. The suit arose after a series of defaults by the homebuyers caused the Housing Authority to run out of money. This lawsuit was a putative class action filed against the Housing Authority by a group of low-income homebuyers alleging that they had been fraudulently induced to purchase homes that were worth much less than they had paid. After aggressive discovery and a successful effort to defeat class certification the case was settled on very favorable terms for the client.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented GasAmerica Services in a case where plaintiff, Tammy M. Goods, individually and on behalf of a class, alleged that our client printed credit card receipts in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(g), exposing Goods and other members of the class to identity theft and credit card and debit card fraud. After initial discovery showing plaintiff’s inability to 1) define a class, or 2) prove damages, Plaintiff dismissed all claims, including the alleged claims of the class, with prejudice. Goods v. GasAmerica Services, Inc., No. 2:07-cv-00181 (N.D. Ind. 2008).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys represented Marathon Petroleum Co. LLC and its subsidiary, Speedway SuperAmerica LLC, in obtaining dismissal in a class action brought before the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana. The class action was brought on behalf of more than 5,000 service station dealers who alleged violations of the federal antitrust statutes and multiple state laws. Plaintiffs alleged that Marathon illegally tied credit card processing fee services to the contracts that granted plaintiffs the right to operate a Marathon-branded service station, and that it conspired with banks to fix the cost of processing fees. The Court rejected both claims. The 7th Circuit affirmed in an opinion written by Judge Posner, holding that plaintiffs' tying claim failed because Marathon did not have market power in an adequately defined product market, and because there was no "tie" between two products. Judge Posner rejected plaintiff's conspiracy claim "for failure to plead a plausible theory of antitrust illegality under Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). Sheridan v. Marathon Petroleum Co., LLC, 2007 WL 290056 (S.D. Ind. 2007), aff’d 530 F.3d 590 (7th Cir. 2008).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys serve as Indiana counsel in defense of a leading automotive manufacturer involved in multi-district litigation resulting from consumer class actions alleging incidents of unintended acceleration. Complaints include allegations of breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, constructive fraud, negligence, and product liability.
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys served as trial counsel for an international aerospace industry manufacturing company defending against class action property damage lawsuit arising from alleged TCE and PCE contamination of a municipal water supply in Ohio. (This matter occurred prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg LLP.)
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys successfully defended and obtained case dismissal in a consumer class action case against Client who finances extended warranties. Sahim v. Dealers Warranty, LLC, No. 1:09cv4279 (N.D. Ill., filed July 16, 2009).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys successfully defended Client in a consumer class action suit. The plaintiffs brought suit in Alabama in contravention of the forum selection clause in the contract between the parties, which stated that any suit must be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The court refused to enforce the provision. Client appealed to Eleventh Circuit, which affirmed. Client petitioned for rehearing en banc, and en banc review was granted. The Eleventh Circuit reversed its opinion and entered judgment in favor of the client. Rucker v. Oasis Legal Fin., LLC, No. 2:09cv432 (N.D. Ala., filed Mar. 5, 2009).
  • Barnes & Thornburg attorneys were retained by client to assist insurance defense counsel in purported class action brought on behalf of Florida residents alleging violations of the respective Federal and Florida Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts. Plaintiff ultimately abandoned the class action claims and resolved the individual claims.
  • Barnes & Thornburg defended the Corrections Corporation of America, Inc. (“CCA”), which operates Marion County Jail No. II, in a class action alleging unconstitutional conditions in the jail. The case included evidentiary hearings on a motion for preliminary injunction and exhaustion of administrative remedies. After the court certified a limited class, CCA obtained summary judgment with respect to all of the claims of unconstitutional conditions. The case is now on appeal in the Seventh Circuit. Kress v. CCA of Tenn., LLC, No. 1:08cv431 (S.D. Ind. 2010).
  • Barnes & Thornburg LLP attorneys represented Oasis Legal Finance, LLC in Hennepin County, Minnesota, in a case involving two individual plaintiffs who filed a putative consumer class action claiming that its legal funding purchase agreements with Oasis were champertous and void ab initio as contrary to Minnesota public policy. Oasis removed the case to federal court in Minnesota and moved to dismiss based on a forum selection clause in the agreements. The plaintiffs amended their complaint, asserting a host of new allegations designed to avoid the forum selection clause and adding a second putative class, consisting of attorneys representing the Minnesota consumers who had contracts with Oasis, claiming a need for guidance regarding the attorneys' obligations flowing from the agreements between Oasis and the consumers. Oasis again moved to dismiss all counts of the complaint, continuing to assert the forum selection clause as to the consumer class and also arguing that the attorney class lacked constitutional standing to assert its claims. The court agreed with our client Oasis, dismissing the consumer class' claims based on the forum selection clause and the attorney class' claims based on lack of constitutional standing, as the attorneys had suffered no injury in fact.
  • Barnes & Thornburg represented a homebuilder in a consumer class arbitration relating to down payment assistance transactions. The arbitrator denied the petitioner's request for class certification. Bezaury v. Arbor Homes, LLC, No. 11 148 02161 04 (Am. Arb. Ass'n, June 30, 2006).
  • Barnes & Thornburg represented a homebuilding company in a multimillion dollar class action settlement by asserting claims against subcontractors. Colon v. Trinity Homes, LLC, No 29D02-0404-PL-374 (Hamilton Superior Court No. 2).
  • Barnes & Thornburg represented XM Satellite Radio in a class action relating to whether the plaintiff and purported class members were misled with respect to the equipment that would have to be purchased for a new car to allow the use of satellite radio. The contract between the plaintiff and the car dealer had a mandatory arbitration clause that barred class arbitration. In an attempt to avoid the arbitration clause, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the dealer. XM Satellite Radio, along with the Honda manufacturer and distributor, obtained an order compelling arbitration based on the doctrine of equitable estoppel. This ruling defeated the class allegations. The parties then settled the plaintiff’s individual claim. Agnew v. Honda Motor Co, Ltd., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53914 (S.D. Ind. 2009).
  • Barnes & Thornburg successfully represented The Finish Line in a class action case brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and FACTA. Bonner v. The Finish Line Inc., No. 2:07cv152 (N.D. Ind., filed May 7, 2007).
  • Plaintiffs were investors who allegedly suffered a multi-million dollar loss in their investment in a high-technology limited partnership. They sought class certification alleging fraud and breach of contract claims on behalf of similarly-situated investors. The district court dismissed plaintiffs’ fraud claim against Goldman in 2012. In 2013, the court granted summary judgment on plaintiffs’ contract claim. Kruse et al. v. Goldman Sachs & Co. et al., 897 F. Supp.2d 769 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 19, 2012); 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47918 (N.D. Ind. Apr. 2, 2013); Case No. 1:10-cv-00323 (Northern District of Indiana).
  • Represented a national lender as its lead counsel in its successful defense of seven federal class actions alleging a total of more than $200 million in statutory damages under alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act arising from its financing contracts and practices. The seven class actions were consolidated by the federal panel on Multi-District Litigation and, after pre-trial motions and discovery, were resolved for less than $2 million and less than the limit of the client’s insurance coverage.

    Forrest v. Ocean Bank FSB, No. 1:06cv3522 (N.D. Ill., filed June 26, 2006)

    Sheridan v. Ocean Bank FSB, No. 2:07cv42 (E.D. Wis., filed Jan. 11, 2007)

    Tremble v. Ocean Bank, No. 1:05cv2624 (N.D. Ill., filed May 2, 2005)

    Phillips v. Home Loan Bank, No. 1:06cv3516 (N.D. Ill., filed July 16, 2006)
  • Since 2010, Barnes & Thornburg LLP has served as co-lead counsel for a major medical device manufacturer in the defense of more than 4,000 product liability actions filed in state and federal courts throughout the United States alleging various causes of action including strict product liability.

    In May 2011, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the formation of a federal multidistrict litigation in the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas and the firm is playing a lead role in the multidistrict proceeding in the Northern District of Texas as well as in the various state court actions throughout the country.
  • The firm obtained dismissal of almost every claim against firm client Kenda Tires in a nationwide class action pending in the Southern District of Indiana. The plaintiff class alleged that thousands of high-end golf carts and all-terrain vehicles were rendered defective by faulty Kenda tires. The proposed class included more than 9,500 vehicles and a total exposure of more than $4 million. In an opinion that reconciled conflicting federal and state cases, the district court dismissed all but one warranty claim against Kenda on privity grounds. The district court also dismissed a claim under the consumer protection statutes of Indiana and several other states. The district court found that those claims were essentially fraud claims and must be pled with particularly. The court also held that the class complaint could not show that the named plaintiff actually relied on any statement by Kenda and therefore could not satisfy the reliance element necessary for a fraud claim.
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