Class Action Defense - Insurance

Overview

As a go-to law firm for class action matters for insurance industry giants and regional carriers alike, BakerHostetler has defended hundreds of class actions against insurers on claims involving property and casualty, life, title, collateral protection and other types of insurance.

Our Insurance Class Action team is adept at managing complex, national class actions, statewide matters, and individual “opt-out” cases because our attorneys have extensive class action procedural knowledge and a thorough understanding of the insurance industry, including coverage types, claims adjustment procedures and related laws and regulations.

Many times we have successfully defended alleged class claims prior to discovery or have substantially limited discovery prior to dispositive motions. Other times we have succeeded in having the class allegations stricken from the case at the outset. And on those occasions when it is best to settle, we are experienced in creatively resolving cases as inexpensively and efficiently as possible. Our attorneys are no stranger to the courtroom and have successfully battled class allegations in Circuit Courts of Appeal, federal district courts and state trial, appellate and supreme courts.

Select Experience

  • Obtained reversal of certification of a class of more than 44,000 insureds against State Farm Insurance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied. The seminal decision explained and applied several principles of certification of a class action under Rule 23(b)(2) not previously addressed in prior authorities and authoritatively rejected the use of injunctive relief on a class basis for consumer claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment prior to class discovery in alleged class action against Associated Estates Realty Corp., the largest owner of rental property developments in Ohio, challenging the use of non-refundable bonds in lieu of security deposits that sought the return of all bond premiums for a 15-year period. Decision was affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained affirmance of a summary judgment in favor of Chicago Title, which was accused by a certified class of Florida homeowners of overcharging homeowners for title insurance in their mortgage refinance transactions. The Third District Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court’s summary judgment that language in a Florida regulation did not impose an obligation on title insurers or their agents to conduct such a search or to disclose the availability of a lower reissue rate to the borrower in the refinance transaction. Appellant filed a motion for rehearing en banc, which was denied.
  • Defended three consolidated, alleged class actions against State Farm asserting claims relating to non-duplication clauses applied to benefits under medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage. A case dispositive certified question of law was accepted by Ohio Supreme Court and answered affirmatively in favor of client, reversing decades-old Ohio Supreme Court precedent that allowed insureds to recover for the same medical expenses twice under the medical payments and uninsured motorists coverages.
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Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Partner Denver
Partner Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Columbus
Partner Denver
Partner Orlando
Partner Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Partner Orlando
Partner Columbus
Partner Cleveland
Partner Houston

Experience

  • Obtained reversal of certification of a class of more than 44,000 insureds against State Farm Insurance in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied. The seminal decision explained and applied several principles of certification of a class action under Rule 23(b)(2) not previously addressed in prior authorities and authoritatively rejected the use of injunctive relief on a class basis for consumer claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment prior to class discovery in alleged class action against Associated Estates Realty Corp., the largest owner of rental property developments in Ohio, challenging the use of non-refundable bonds in lieu of security deposits that sought the return of all bond premiums for a 15-year period. Decision was affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtained affirmance of a summary judgment in favor of Chicago Title, which was accused by a certified class of Florida homeowners of overcharging homeowners for title insurance in their mortgage refinance transactions. The Third District Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court’s summary judgment that language in a Florida regulation did not impose an obligation on title insurers or their agents to conduct such a search or to disclose the availability of a lower reissue rate to the borrower in the refinance transaction. Appellant filed a motion for rehearing en banc, which was denied.
  • Defended three consolidated, alleged class actions against State Farm asserting claims relating to non-duplication clauses applied to benefits under medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage. A case dispositive certified question of law was accepted by Ohio Supreme Court and answered affirmatively in favor of client, reversing decades-old Ohio Supreme Court precedent that allowed insureds to recover for the same medical expenses twice under the medical payments and uninsured motorists coverages.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Litigation
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio) – Band 2 (2019)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado) – Recognized (2019)
    • Retail: National – Recognized (2019)
  • Chambers USA:
    • Paul Karlsgodt – Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado), Band 4 (2019)
    • Daniel Warren – Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio), Band 2 (2019)
    • Ernest Vargo – Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio), Band 4 (2019)
  • Law360: Class Action "Practice Group of the Year" (2014)
  • LA Daily Journal: Top Appellate Reversals of 2014
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2018:
    • Rodger Eckelberry
    • Joseph Ezzie
    • Mark Johnson
    • Richard Knoth
    • Jerry Linscott
    • George Tzanetopoulos
    • Ernest Vargo
    • Daniel Warren
  • Corporate Counsel® magazine guide to in-house law departments: "Go-to Law Firm" for litigation.
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2019 BTI Client Service 30 for the fifth consecutive year.

News

Blog

In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Standing in Uncertainty: Spokeo Three Years Later
By Brittany N. Lockyer, Kenneth G. Prabucki
May 21, 2019
In 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, holding that even when Congress has granted parties a statutory right, a procedural violation of that right will not by itself satisfy the “concrete harm” requirement...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Supreme Court: Express Consent Required for Class Arbitration
May 14, 2019
On April 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an ambiguous arbitration agreement does not provide a sufficient basis to conclude that parties agreed to class arbitration. In Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
BakerHostetler Q1 2019 Insurance Class Action Update
April 25, 2019
The new year began with dramatic growth in vehicle total loss class actions over payment of sales tax and title transfer and registration fees, interpretations of the filed rate doctrine, and further activity in labor depreciation class...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Caution: Precertification Communications with Absent Class Members
March 28, 2019
Are absent members of an uncertified class or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action “parties” and thus “represented” by plaintiff’s counsel? If so, is defense counsel prohibited from speaking with absent class members? At first...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Trial Courts Wrestle with Expert Testimony and Daubert at Class Certification
By William DeVinney
March 19, 2019
Expert testimony plays a critical role in nearly all putative class actions, including at the class certification stage where parties rely on expert evidence to address the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The Supreme...
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