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Class Actions

Both state and federal courts permit actions to be brought on behalf of entire classes of persons so long as the class of persons is sufficiently numerous, the issues that are common to members of the class predominate and outweigh the issues unique to each member, the claims or defenses are typical of the member and the class and the person or persons bringing the actions and their attorneys will adequately represent the class. Class actions present complex questions concerning whether a class action is appropriate in the particular case and have special procedures for litigating such actions. Recently, Connecticut has revised its rules of procedure regarding class actions to make them more similar to the class action rules applied in federal court. Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg & Knuff, LLC members David Slossberg and David Belt were both on the Connecticut Judicial Department special committee that recommended and drafted the proposed changes in the Connecticut class action rules.

Lawyers at HSSK have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in class actions in both state and federal courts in a wide variety of matters, including reinsurance, unfair trade practices, antitrust, securities, employment and personal injury actions. In November 2009, HSSK, with David Slossberg as lead counsel, won a jury verdict of $14.765 million in a class action on behalf of some 500 Connecticut auto body shops against a major insurance company based on a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. Post-trial motions on that case are now pending. See Artie's Auto Body Shop v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 287 Conn. 208, 947 A3d 320 (2008) (affirming certification of the class) and Artie's Auto Body Shop v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 50 Conn. L. Rptr. 790, 2010 WL 4354114 (Conn. Super. Ct. Oct. 14, 2010)(denying motion to set aside the verdict).

Other class actions in which attorneys at HSSK have been involved include:

  • Connecticut counsel for plaintiff in federal antitrust class action brought by purchasers of high quality paper alleging that defendant sellers of paper conspired to fix prices in violation of federal antitrust laws. See In re Publication Paper Antitrust Litigation, 2005 WL 2175139, 2005-2 Trade Cases ¶75,005 (D.Conn. Sept. 7, 2005).
  • Represented plaintiffs in class action on behalf of purchasers of children's bedroom furniture alleged to contain formaldehyde. See Stefan v. P.J. Kids, LLC, 2005 WL 834208 (Conn. Super. Ct. Mar. 1, 2005).
  • Connecticut counsel for plaintiffs in securities fraud federal class action on behalf of purchasers of common stock in secondary public offering against genomic sequencing company and its officers and directors. See In re PE Corporation Securities Litigation, 221 F.R.D. 20 (D.Conn. 2003).
  • Connecticut counsel for plaintiffs in securities fraud federal class action against corporation and its officers and directors alleging misrepresentation of corporation's financial condition. See In re Mercator Software, Inc. Securities Litigation, 161 F.Supp.3d 143 (D.Conn. 2001).
  • Represented major supermarket chain in class action alleging improper collection of sales tax and unfair trade practices.
  • Represented plaintiff investors in securities class action alleging misrepresentations in connection with the sales of limited partnership interests settling case for $3.4 million, representing a recovery of 86 percent of plaintiffs' original investment.
  • Local counsel for investors in company arising from misrepresentations in connection with the mapping of the human genome.
  • Co-counsel in consumer class action against Ford Motor Company and Firestone for defective tires and defective design of the Ford Explorer that lead to multiple rollovers.
  • Local counsel in multiple wage and hour cases against pharmaceutical companies concerning whether sales representatives are non-exempt employees under overtime laws.
  • Local counsel in numerous securities fraud class actions concerning misrepresentation or material omissions in reporting information about the financial circumstances of the corporation.
  • Liaison counsel for plaintiffs in federal consumer class action against Trilegiant Corporation, several prominent internet retailers, and several banks for conspiring to make unauthorized charges to consumers' credit cards in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, and federal wire fraud statutes.

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