A sampling of the Firm’s consumer litigation representations include:
Southern District of West Virginia
In March 2013, G&E filed a class action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company alleging that many thousands of Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicle models manufactured in North America between 2002 and 2010 are at risk for unintended acceleration due to a dangerous design defect in those vehicles’ electronic throttle control systems. The lawsuit seeks to represent a nationwide class of purchasers and lessees of these vehicles who have suffered material financial harm due to Ford’s concealment of the defect and its lack of adequate failsafe measures, as well as its failure to provide warnings and instructions to owners and lessees about sudden acceleration events.
Southern District of New York
G&E was appointed to the Executive Committee of this class action against General Motors based on one of the largest automotive safety crises in recent years, which resulted in the recall of more than 2,000,000 affected vehicles and numerous attributed deaths and injuries. The vehicles at issue in this litigation are equipped with faulty ignition switches that may slip out of the “on” position while driving which can completely disable the vehicle, powering down the car and rendering safety features, such as airbags, useless. Plaintiffs allege that this is a common, uniform, and defective design, resulting in these vehicles being of a lesser quality than GM represented, and class members overpaying for those vehicles. Plaintiffs allege a massive cover up by GM executives who may have kept dangerous vehicles on the road for more than a decade, while concealing their knowledge of the safety defect.
District of New Jersey
As consumer subclass counsel and member of the steering committee, G&E attorneys obtained a $41.5 million recovery on behalf of consumers who overpaid for Merck & Co.’s Vytorin and Zetia, which defendants deceptively marketed as being more effective than other anti-cholesterol drugs. This case was brought on behalf of consumers and insurers who bought, used or paid money toward the purchase of these cholesterol drugs, accusing those companies of marketing the drugs in a misleading manner and failing to disclose the results of a negative clinical study in a timely fashion.
Northern District of California
In one of the largest-scale auto industry scandals in history, G&E was a member of the Court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee overseeing and prosecuting In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation filed in the Northern District of California on behalf of vehicle owners affected by German auto giant Volkswagen’s admitted installation of “defeat devices” in the software of its diesel engine vehicles to cheat on emissions tests in up to 11,000,000 Passats, Jettas, Golfs, Beetles, and Audi A3s. The cheat was allegedly developed after VW managers realized their costly “clean diesel” engines weren’t up to par with pollution standards of the Environmental Protection Agency and regulators in other countries. Plaintiffs claimed that VW executives knew about the diesel engine problem as early as spring 2014 – a full eighteen months before the public was made aware of the issue – and sought economic redress from the steep diminution in value and performance of their affected vehicles. The 2.0 liter vehicle class action case was settled for $14.7 billion, with Volkswagen agreeing to pay $10 billion buying back or repairing the 475,000 VW and Audi automobiles 2.0 liter diesel vehicles. In addition, and as part of that settlement, between $5,100 and $10,000 in additional compensation was earmarked for vehicle owners and an average of $3,500 for those who leased an affected VW diesel vehicle. The 2.0 liter settlement also includes $2.7 billion for environmental modification, as well as $2 billion geared toward Volkswagen’s “zero-emissions” plan. That settlement has obtained final approval. Volkswagen has also reached agreement to settle diesel-cheating claims concerning its 3.0 vehicles for $1 billion and Bosch has agreed to settle related claims for $338 million. Each of those settlements has been approved by the Court.
G&E, a part of the plaintiffs' steering committee, reached an unprecedented settlement in this litigation surrounding the Volkswagen and Audi “clean diesel” emissions scandal.