Firm Director and head of G&E’s mass tort practice group, Beth Graham has been selected by Law360 as a “Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar” for 2021. This year’s list from Law360 includes only 11 lawyers, each of whom obtained significant achievements on behalf of their clients over the past year.
NEW YORK (January 6, 2021) – Leading plaintiffs’ law firm Grant & Eisenhofer announced the arrival of Barbara Hart, a nationally recognized litigator with a distinguished track record of recoveries for investors in securities class actions as well as antitrust and whistleblower cases ... Ms. Hart is the second major addition to G&E in recent months, following the arrival late last fall of noted mass tort litigator Sindhu Daniel to the firm’s Wilmington, Delaware, office.
Launched in 2017, G&E’s environmental group represents numerous state, county and municipal government agencies and other public entities in large-scale litigations against corporate polluters that have damaged critical natural resources.
The National Trial Lawyers has selected Grant & Eisenhofer director Kimberly Evans for inclusion to the Top 10 Civil Rights Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Top 10 Women’s Rights Trial Lawyers Association. The honor of membership is bestowed upon only a select group of attorneys in each state who have exhibited superior leadership skills and achieved outstanding results as a trial lawyer. Ms. Evans represents victims of discrimination, sexual assault, wrongful incarceration, and other forms of harassment to bring justice to survivors of these types of civil rights violations.
Lawdragon’s Katrina Dewey delves into G&E Managing Director Jay Eisenhofer’s storied career, the Firm’s successful history, and G&E’s continued growth in representing plaintiffs.
Read the Lawdragon Profile
Resolving a years-long multidistrict lawsuit, G&E, serving as co-chair of the litigation committee, worked with co-counsel to reach a $2.67 billion class settlement with Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers. Plaintiffs, a class of more than 40 groups of insurance subscribers, accuse BCBS entities of engaging in an illegal conspiracy to thwart competition for health insurance customers, thereby establishing and maintaining monopoly power throughout the regions in which they operate. The settlement is one of the largest monetary recoveries reached in an antitrust class action, and also incorporates sweeping anti-competitive practice reforms.
Read the Law360 Article
On behalf of investors and investment managers dedicated to ESG principles, the Grant & Eisenhofer ESG Institute submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, for consideration in the pending Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe I case. Respondents, former child slaves, allege that Nestlé USA is liable under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) for incorporating and facilitating child slave labor operations on cocoa farms in West African countries in its cocoa supply chain. Writing in support of Respondents, the G&E ESG Institute argues that ESG investors have a particular interest in ensuring that the ATS be available as a legal mechanism for holding corporations accountable for their ESG transgressions.
The ESG Institute further asserts that permitting corporate liability under the ATS would incentivize U.S. companies to adopt and enforce humane and ethical business operations, such as closely monitoring their supply chains, in an effort to eradicate forced and child labor. The ESG Institute believes that doing so will ultimately advance the goals of ESG investing, which continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. The date set for the case to be argued before the Supreme Court was December 1, 2020.
NEW YORK (Oct. 5, 2020) – In an important human rights order issued Sept. 30, U.S. Customs and Border Protection banned all palm oil and palm oil products manufactured by Malaysia’s biggest palm oil producer, FGV Holdings Berhad.
The CBP’s order comes after the Grant & Eisenhofer ESG Institute, a policy group focused on environmental, social and governance issues for institutional investors, petitioned the agency last summer to ban U.S. importation of FGV’s palm oil and palm oil products. The petition alleged widespread evidence of forced labor and illegal child labor practices on the company’s palm oil plantations in Malaysia.
On behalf of residents living in communities north of Chicago, G&E filed a complaint against Medline Industries, Inc, Steris Corporation, and other medical sterilization companies seeking damages related to defendants’ dangerous emission of Ethylene Oxide. The toxic gas is known to cause cancer, yet was knowingly emitted into the atmosphere for decades by defendants, the complaint alleges. The suit seeks to hold these companies responsible for their reckless behavior by paying affected individuals for costs associated with monitoring for the development of certain types of cancer, blood disorders, and other organ damage.
PHILADELPHIA (August 25, 2020) – Continuing its support of small businesses that have been unjustly denied insurance coverage for losses suffered due to shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, G&E has filed a pair of class actions against 11 insurance companies.
The suits were brought on behalf of a fitness center in Tennessee and a group of Philadelphia cafés and wine and beer bars, respectively. They were filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
G&E represented the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against chemical manufacturer Monsanto concerning its production, marketing, distribution, and sale of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The toxic chemical, sold by Monsanto for almost 50 years, caused widespread contamination of the District’s natural resources, including major waterways such as the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. The $52 million settlement holds Monsanto responsible for environmental damage as well as health risks to the District’s residents, and will help fund the clean-up of the contaminated waterways.
Read the Attorney General for the District of Columbia’s Press Release.
After the Delaware Court of Chancery dismissed G&E’s shareholder lawsuit last June alleging breach of fiduciary duty in the $18 billion Towers Watson merger, G&E recently secured a reversal in the Delaware Supreme Court. The case asserts a post-closing damages claim on behalf of a class of stockholders of insurance brokerage Willis Group when it merged with Towers Watson & Co. to form Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company. The reversal sends the case back to the Chancery Court for reconsideration.
Read the Law360 article here.
The Mayor & City Council of Baltimore and Baltimore County, Maryland, are serving as proposed class representatives in a nationwide class action settlement with Monsanto Co. relating to contamination of public water systems with toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). If approved, the settlement would establish a fund benefiting cities, counties, townships, and other municipalities across the country dealing with PCB contamination in stormwater systems and other public resources. G&E is serving as co-counsel to the Baltimore City Law Department and Baltimore County Office of Law, along with Maryland-based Gordon Wolf & Carney Chtd. and proposed lead class counsel Baron & Budd P.C.
The Mayor & City Council of Baltimore has initiated litigation against e-cigarette company JUUL Labs, Inc. Baltimore alleges that JUUL’s products and deceptive, youth-oriented marketing campaigns have injured the City and its residents in several ways, including by endangering the health of City residents, increasing funding requirements for City agencies and City public schools, and increasing costs relating to youth tobacco enforcement and compliance. Baltimore asserts public nuisance, design defect, failure to warn, negligence, and Maryland Consumer Protection Act claims.
G&E and Maryland-based Gordon Wolf & Carney Chtd. will serve as co-counsel with the Baltimore City Law Department in prosecuting this action. The case has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
CHICAGO/BIRMINGHAM, AL (June 24, 2020) – Grant & Eisenhofer has filed suit today against Deerfield, Ill.-based Markel Insurance Co. for failing to accept claims from franchisees of national fitness chain Anytime Fitness that were shuttered and lost business due to state-imposed COVID-19 restrictions.
The four Anytime Fitness outlets named in the complaint are operated by Fountain Enterprises, of West Point, Miss., and located in Mississippi and Alabama. They represent a tiny fraction of the 4,500 Anytime Fitness gyms nationwide, all of which are insured by Markel.
Chief Judge Freda L. Wolfson, in the District of New Jersey, has upheld securities fraud claims asserted against Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. and its former Chief Financial Officer, Karen L. Rosenberger, arising from alleged accounting violations that forced Synchronoss to restate three years of financial statements. On behalf of Lead Plaintiff the Employees’ Retirement System of the State of Hawaii and a proposed class of Synchronoss investors, G&E filed a securities fraud complaint alleging that the company’s revenue recognition procedures and controls were deficient, resulting in premature recognition of revenue and inflated financial reports. The complaint alleges that Synchronoss and Rosenberger repeatedly violated accounting rules for revenue recognition and misrepresented the company’s financial performance to investors during the class period of October 28, 2014 to June 13, 2017, and that the stock price dropped precipitously from over $30 per share to under $12 per share once the misrepresentations were corrected.
The class action seeks to recover damages for persons who purchased Synchronoss securities during the class period. Judge Wolfson’s detailed opinion rejecting Synchronoss’ and Rosenberger’s dismissal arguments is available here.
Southfield, MI (May 29, 2020) – A group of local businesses devastated by the catastrophic dam failures in Michigan have joined individual plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the dams’ owners over their alleged, years-long failure to maintain the structures.
Leading plaintiffs’ law firms Grant & Eisenhofer, Morgan & Morgan and Jenner Law have jointly filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court in for the Eastern District of Michigan that adds business claimants seeking damages from dramatic dam failures a week ago that forced mass evacuations in locations across Midland, Gladwin and Saginaw Counties, MI.
NEW YORK (May 18, 2020) – A diverse group of individual and corporate investors has filed a class action lawsuit today against blockchain software firm Block.one, alleging it defrauded them through a year-long illegal initial coin offering that netted the company in excess of $4 billion but left investors with an unregulated asset that became virtually worthless.
Three Firm Directors, Elizabeth Graham, Olav Haazen, and Lisa Weinstein, have been named to the National Law Journal’s list of Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Trailblazers for 2020. The honor is bestowed upon a select number of lawyers who have pioneered significant change in plaintiff-side litigation and led groundbreaking cases in their sectors. Ms. Graham leads G&E’s mass tort practice, and also represents survivors of sexual assault and victims of gender rights abuses. Mr. Haazen represents plaintiffs from around the world in cross-border securities fraud litigation and arbitration. Ms. Weinstein represents families and children who sustained catastrophic injuries at birth.
Read the National Law Journal supplement.
Settlement of the derivative action brought by G&E on behalf McKesson Corporation shareholders against the company’s current and former officers and directors has been approved in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The $175 million settlement amounts to one of the largest derivative case settlements in history. In addition to the monetary recovery, the settlement provides for governance reforms designed to improve Board oversight and fix compliance failures at McKesson.
McKesson, as a distributor of pharmaceuticals, has had a significant role in the increase of opioid drug abuse in the United States. In 2008, the company entered into a settlement agreement with the government and paid a $13.5 million dollar fine. McKesson failed to implement and adhere to the terms of the agreement and in 2017, was hit with a record $150 million fine.
In 2017, G&E filed In re McKesson Corp Stockholder Derivative Litigation on behalf of the Police & Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit. The action filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery was stayed. The action in the Northern District of California remained in discovery while mediation was ongoing.
ATHENS/NEW YORK (February 10, 2020) – In a landmark decision issued Feb. 7, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an international tribunal affiliated with the World Bank, ruled that it has jurisdiction over arbitration proceedings brought by Grant & Eisenhofer against the Republic of Cyprus on behalf of almost 1,000 Greek bank depositors and bondholders who claim heavy losses in the wake of Cyprus’s 2013 financial crisis.
A report released by Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.’s Securities Class Action Services highlights the top 25 largest securities class action recoveries reached outside the U.S. Topping the rankings is the $1.5 billion settlement against Fortis in the Netherlands and Belgium, where G&E served as global counsel. The Netherlands tops the list as the jurisdiction with the most funds obtained, but Australia leads with the highest number of settlements.
The majority of these settlements occurred after 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Morrison v. National Australia Bank. The ruling precludes investors who purchased securities on foreign exchanges from suing under U.S. federal securities laws. “[International shareholder litigation] has proliferated in the wake of that decision because it was no longer possible to bring cases on behalf of institutional investors or other types of investors who purchase outside the United States,” said G&E Director Olav Haazen. “They obviously still have the same case — it’s still the same fraud — but had to find a different venue.”
G&E has once again been selected as one of Law360’s Delaware Regional Powerhouses. The 2019 honor was bestowed upon six firms that are “handling some of the biggest deals and most high-profile courtroom battles….”
LOS ANGELES (August 5, 2019) – Rosette Pambakian, a former senior executive at dating app Tinder and the woman responsible for the brand’s breakout success, has sued former Match Group and Tinder CEO Gregory Blatt for sexual assault, along with Match Group and IAC/Interactive Corp. for its cover-up and her wrongful termination for speaking out. The lawsuit was filed by leading plaintiffs’ law firm Grant & Eisenhofer.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys reach Agreement-in-Principle with Columbia Gas; settlement will compensate communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover …
“These explosions devastated the communities and economy of the towns in Merrimack Valley. Families suffered for months in the gripping cold. Businesses shuttered, and lives were upended,” said Plaintiffs’ Co-Lead Counsel, Elizabeth Graham of Grant & Eisenhofer. “To this day, the people most impacted by the explosions are not fully back on their feet, but we believe this settlement is the quickest and most just method to ensure that residents and businesses are made whole again.” In addition to Ms. Graham, G&E Associate Adam Gomez serves as plaintiffs’ counsel in the matter.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. (August 8, 2019) – A California judge has ordered that all California lawsuits brought against drugmaker Gilead Sciences, Inc. over HIV medications containing tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) will be coordinated before a single judge in San Francisco County Superior Court going forward.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (July 18, 2019) – Leading plaintiffs’ law firm Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. announced the filing of sexual assault lawsuit against Massage Envy, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based therapeutic massage franchisor and largest employer of massage therapists nationwide. The legal action advances G&E’s advocacy and representation of women in assault cases in various industries, including financial services and technology.
OAKLAND, CALIF. (July 8, 2019) – Personal injury lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of patients against drugmaker Gilead Sciences, Inc., are moving forward in numerous California State Courts, having been cleared by state and federal judges. The plaintiffs allege that the Foster City, Calif.-based company withheld from sale for more than a decade a medication for HIV treatment that Gilead knew was safer and more effective than the drug the company promoted on the market during that period.
NEW YORK (June 24, 2019) – The Grant & Eisenhofer ESG Institute announced the filing of a petition to ban importation of palm oil produced in Malaysia by that country’s biggest, and one-third government-owned palm oil producer, FGV Holdings Berhad (formerly known as FELDA Global Ventures Berhad), due to widespread evidence of forced labor and illegal child labor practices on FGV’s oil-palm plantations. The petition was filed with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency within the Department of Homeland Security that enforces laws and facilitates lawful trade.
Jay Eisenhofer has been inducted into The Legal 500 Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame distinction is reserved for law firm partners at the pinnacle of their profession that have received constant praise from their clients. Mr. Eisenhofer has been consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 United States for his expertise in the Dispute Resolution – Securities Litigation: Plaintiff category.