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 New York
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

  • Law360: Class Action "Practice Group of the Year" (2014)
  • LA Daily Journal: Top Appellate Reversals of 2014
  • Chambers USA 2017: Two Attorneys Listed
    • Paul Karlsgodt
    • Daniel Warren
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2017: Seven Attorneys Listed
    • Rodger Eckelberry
    • Joe Ezzie
    • Mark Johnson
    • Richard Knoth
    • Jerry Linscott
    • George Tzanetopoulos
    • Dan Warren
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, we were named to the 2018 BTI Client Service 30 for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Corporate Counsel® magazine guide to in-house law departments: "Go-to Law Firm" for litigation

News

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In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
What Constitutes an Autodialer Under the TCPA is in Flux
By Rand L. McClellan
October 4, 2018
Partner Rand McClellan recently posted an article to BakerHostetler’s Financial Services Blog on the Ninth Circuit’s recent ruling on what constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Judge Kavanaugh's Limited Class-Action Jurisprudence Reveals a Healthy Skepticism for Class Action
By Robert J. Tucker
September 26, 2018
By: Robert J. Tucker and Katherine R. Johnston* Judge Kavanaugh has had very few occasions to address the procedural mechanism of Rule 23. This is not surprising given that few class-action cases end up in the D.C. Circuit. But where he...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Sixth Circuit Upholds Class Certification of FDCPA Claims Despite Spokeo Challenge
By Erika Dackin Prouty
August 22, 2018
Last month, the Sixth Circuit in Macy et al v. GC Services Ltd Partnership unanimously upheld certification of a class under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), despite arguments that the named plaintiffs failed to establish...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
BakerHostetler Insurance Class Action Quarterly Update, August 2018
August 14, 2018
This quarter has seen a few new types of class actions against insurers as well as aging of some more mature theories wending their way through the courts. BakerHostetler’s Class Action Defense – Insurance team has published a report with...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The US Supreme Court's Ruling in American Pipe Does Not Extend to Allow Tolling of Statutes of Limitation in Successive Class Actions
June 13, 2018
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has limited the reach of its landmark decision in American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), which tolled the statute of limitations applicable to a timely filed putative class...
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