Class action litigation represents a fast-growing threat to manufacturers and sellers of products because it is not dependent on the occurrence of an actual injury in the traditional sense. Rather, these so called “no-injury” class actions are dictated by the vehicle that the plaintiffs’ lawyer believes is the most dangerous to the defendant and the most lucrative to the plaintiffs. Despite recent legislation (the Class Action Fairness Act or CAFA) designed to mitigate unfairness to defendants, no-injury tort class actions and large consolidations remain very prevalent and very dangerous. These cases are often used to leverage defendants to settle claims that would never be brought as single plaintiff lawsuits.
In addition to the challenges presented by any toxic tort matter, class action litigation presents a unique procedural posture that dramatically increases both risk and the pressure. Our lawyers thoroughly understand the procedural rules and techniques that apply to class actions in Federal and State Courts. Defeating class certification is often the most effective way to fend off plaintiffs’ allegations even before reaching the merits — and sometimes before even reaching discovery on the merits.
By providing a robust and cost-effective defense at an early stage in the litigation, Schiff Hardin lawyers have saved their clients significant money and aggravation. We are also intimately familiar with the special requirements that must be satisfied in order to productively resolve a class action and administer a settlement. Effective lawyering, even though the administration phase of a case, delivers real value to our clients.
Beyond its our Product Liability and Mass Tort experience, Schiff Hardin has a very successful and nationally regarded Class Action practice that has defended literally hundreds of class action cases around the country in a wide variety of contexts. Our Product Liability lawyers frequently collaborate with our Class Action lawyers in order to capitalize on the strengths of both groups and deliver outstanding results for our clients.