CLASS AND COLLECTIVE ACTIONS
KCO has substantial experience and unparalleled success handling class and collective action litigation. Over the past few years alone, our attorneys have successfully handled more than 100 federal and state class and collective actions, obtaining exceptional outcomes in those cases. These cases have ranged from nationwide wage and hour class and collective actions to environmental nuisance, banking overdraft fee, fraud, unjust enrichment, and antitrust cases. We have also successfully defended dozens of class actions asserting claims under various federal and state statutes such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Biometric Information Privacy Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Georgia Debt Adjustment Act, California Invasion of Privacy Act, Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act, and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.
KCO’s attorneys have obtained excellent results in these cases in a variety of ways, including defeating numerous cases at the class certification stage, while winning others by moving to dismiss or obtaining summary judgment on the plaintiffs’ individual claims early in the lawsuit, thus mooting all class issues. We have also had great success obtaining voluntary dismissals with prejudice prior to class certification in many cases, including several where the plaintiffs voluntarily “walked away” from the litigation or agreed to nuisance value settlements on an individual basis after the deposition of the named plaintiff.
One of the keys to our attorneys’ success is understanding that class and collective actions are frequently won long before the case ever proceeds to the certification phase. Because certification drastically raises the stakes of the litigation, we pride ourselves on being particularly creative and aggressive in identifying and asserting meritorious dispositive motions prior to the certification phase, including motions to strike defective class allegations. We also have an unparalleled record in obtaining “phased” or “bifurcated” discovery schedules that allow us to challenge the named plaintiff’s individual claims at the outset of the litigation, before our clients have to incur the expense of class discovery and litigation.
KCO’s attorneys have litigated class and collective actions in dozens of federal and state courts across the country, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Our success in this area led to our firm representing numerous Fortune 500 companies in class action cases, including serving as national employment class action counsel for Time Warner Cable, handling all of their employment class and collective actions. Other clients for whom KCO attorneys have handled class action work include Charter Communications, Marriott International, Comcast Corporation, Hyatt Corporation, Global Payments, FleetCor Technologies, Cox Communications, BearingPoint, the Scion Group, Icahn Automotive, Birch Communications, Micron Electronics, and many industry leaders in the retail energy industry.
Our attorneys are recognized as leaders in the field, with more than half of our firm having been named Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars® as well as named AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell, Best Lawyers in Georgia, and “Top Rated Lawyers in Labor & Employment.” Our labor and employment group’s successes in class and collective litigation resulted in our former firm’s selection as a “Go-To Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies in Labor & Employment Law.” Likewise, Ryan Watstein, who leads the consumer class action group, was recently recognized as a Top Class Action Attorney Under 40 by Law360.
Representative Class/Collective Action Matters
- In a putative nationwide wage and hour class action based on allegation that client’s rounding policy was unlawful, defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment on all claims. In a published opinion that contained favorable rulings on multiple issues of first impression, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s order in its entirety.Corbin v. Time Warner Entm’t-Advance/Newhouse P’ship, 821 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 2016).
- Represented international consulting company in class action Americans with Disabilities Act and ERISA lawsuit brought by former employee. Obtained dismissal of all claims on first motion (motion to dismiss). Craig v. BearingPoint, Inc., No. 1 08-CV-2476 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 10, 2008).
- Represented international consulting company in FLSA collective action in District of Massachusetts. Bifurcated discovery and moved for summary judgment against named plaintiff on grounds that she was exempt from overtime under FLSA administrative exemption. While motion was pending, negotiated favorable settlement of plaintiff’s individual claims and dismissal of all class claims.
- Defended Fortune 50 telecommunications company in Southern District of Florida (Miami) in FLSA call center collective action alleging off-the-clock work. Settled individual opt-in claims on favorable basis, resulting in dismissal of class claims.
- Obtained summary judgment in nationwide wage and hour class action on complex issues of first impression involving proper computation of the employees’ “regular rate of pay” for purposes of calculating overtime compensation.
- Obtained summary judgment for national telecommunications company on class action wage and hour and meal/rest breaks claims in federal court in California, and prevailed on appeal in matters of first impression before Ninth Circuit. Deleon v. Time Warner NY Cable LLC, No. 11–56699, 510 F. App’x 545 (9th Cir. 2013).
- Obtained summary judgment based on outside sales exemption, prior to class certification, in matter of first impression in Sixth Circuit on behalf of Fortune 50 telecommunications provider in Fair Labor Standards Act collective action. Fields v. AOL Time Warner, Inc., 261 F. Supp. 2d 971 (W.D. Tenn. 2003).
- In matter of first impression in Eleventh Circuit, obtained dismissal with prejudice of class claims on behalf of international web hosting company in FLSA collective action on mootness grounds. Prior to dismissal, obtained emergency injunction prohibiting plaintiff from contact with putative class. Thomas v. Interland, Inc.,
1:02-CV-3175-CC, 2003 WL 24065651 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 25, 2003).
- In ERISA/unjust enrichment class action and FLSA collective action, prevailed on motion to dismiss various state common law and statutory claims, obtained summary judgment on ERISA claim, and defeated conditional collective action certification on FLSA claims. Botello, et al. v. COI Telecom, L.L.C., et al.,
SA-10-CV-305-XR, 2010 WL 5464824, 50 Employee Benefits Cas. 1916 (W.D. Tex. Dec. 30, 2010).
- Defended national telecommunications company in FLSA “off-the-clock” work collective action in Western District of Oklahoma. Obtained nominal settlement of named plaintiff’s individual claims with dismissal of all class claims following named plaintiff’s deposition.
- Retained by national computer company after conditional certification of FLSA collective action. Defeated plaintiffs’ motion for final certification and obtained decertification of class in matter of first impression in District of Idaho. Smith v. Micron Electronics, Inc., Case No. CV-01-244-S-BLW (D. Idaho Feb. 4, 2005).
- Defended Fortune 150 company in consumer fraud class action in Minnesota. Won complete dismissal of plaintiff’s claims based on application of filed rate doctrine in first decision in country to hold that filed rate doctrine applies to regulated rates for cable television service. Dismissal upheld on appeal by United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Crumley v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 554 F. Supp.2d 933 (D. Minn. 2008), aff’d. 556 F.3d 879 (8th Cir. 2009).
- Defending Fortune 150 company in Fair Credit Reporting Act putative class action.
- Defending publicly-traded company in Telephone Consumer Protection Act putative class action.
Class and Collective Actions