Consumer and False Claims Act

Massey & Gail has substantial experience with consumer litigation, including class actions and claims under state and federal false claims statutes.

Our lawyers have defended and prosecuted class actions related to consumer issues across numerous industries.  We also have represented clients in complex, high-stakes False Claims Act disputes, and we have both defended against those claims and brought them on behalf of qui tam plaintiffs.  Our experience includes significant trials and appeals, as well as successful settlements.

One of our partners was chief of the Public Interest Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, where she supervised more than 60 attorneys and staff responsible for enforcing laws regarding antitrust, civil rights, disability rights, public utilities, special litigation, tobacco enforcement, and workplace rights.  Another firm partner oversaw investigations and cases involving the False Claims Act for the State of Illinois.

Representative matters include:

  • Firm lawyers represented consumers in a wide range of product liability, unfair competition, fraud, and other cases, including plaintiffs alleging harms from tobacco, diet drugs, and a pesticide whose registration was suspended in the United States by the EPA due to its carcinogenic and other health effects, but whose export continued thereafter.
  • We successfully briefed the leading U.S. Supreme Court cases on settlements in class actions (Amchem and Ortiz).
  • We successfully briefed and argued the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court AU Optronics case involving the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), winning 9-0, after another CAFA action had been decided 9-0 the other way during the previous Term.
  • We briefed and argued the U.S. Supreme Court case governing the proper standard of appellate review in punitive damages cases (Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.).  We also briefed U.S. Supreme Court cases establishing the constitutional limits on punitive damages awards, including State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. CampbellBMW of North America, Inc. v. GoreHonda Motor Co. v. Oberg, and TXO Production Co. v. Alliance Resources Corp.
  • The firm secured a $6.49 million jury verdict after a month-long trial in favor of a small telecommunications company in a case involving breach of contract and other state-law claims.
  • Firm lawyers defended a consumer class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, successfully negotiated a favorable settlement as between defendant, the class, and objectors, and then successfully defended the settlement on appeal before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • We prosecuted (and won reversal of dismissals in state appellate court) two Illinois False Claims Act cases involving application of the “public disclosure bar” and “government action bar.”
  • The firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of non-profit taxpayer groups in a case deciding whether the Illinois False Claims Act can encompass claims for underpayment of sales tax.