Class Actions & Aggregate Litigation

We foresee trends and emerging issues in class actions, navigate clients away from costly and potentially devastating business disruptions and help them achieve effective and efficient resolutions, in and out of the courtroom.

Our approach

Our nationwide team of more than 50 litigators has successfully represented a variety of organizations in thousands of class actions involving hundreds of millions of potential class members with well over $1 trillion of collective amounts at issue. We have decades of experience representing clients at every level of the judicial system, in international forums, and arbitration and mediation.

We regularly serve as national counsel and national coordinating counsel for class or mass actions filed simultaneously or successively in multiple courts and jurisdictions. While we are a full-service law firm with offices in major cities across the country, we also maintain a unique footprint with class action litigators based in locations not typically served by other large national firms such as Buffalo, Rochester and Manchester. We leverage our combined experience, regional presence, reputation, talent and resources to efficiently and effectively handle complex class actions and aggregate matters.

We help our clients develop processes and strategies for avoiding or limiting class action exposure, and we perform audits to identify particular class action risks. Our team includes experienced mediators who have worked with clients on how they communicate positions in disputes to avoid creating or expanding class action risks. And, we have practitioners with experience in enforcing arbitration agreements with class action waivers.

Through our class action representations, we’ve also worked with most of the major insurers across the globe. In addition, our team is looked to as leaders in class action analysis: we file amicus curiae briefs on significant class action issues, we teach classes to judges on class action procedure, and we write and speak on class action topics.

We represent clients facing all manner of aggregate actions, including classic opt-out civil class actions, non-opt-out class actions, “private attorney general” actions, public attorney general civil actions seeking state-wide restitution, multidistrict/MDL actions, class-wide arbitrations, and parallel processes. Our cross-disciplinary teams defend businesses against:

Consumer-based class actions involving:

  • Privacy and telemarketing
  • Lending and debt collection laws
  • False advertising and marketing including:
    • Food, beverage, and agribusiness advertising and labeling
    • Unfair and deceptive trade practices
    • California’s Prop 65

Investments, securities, corporate governance and partnership disputes involving:

  • Securities fraud
  • Mutual fund expense and market timing
  • Shareholder suits (dissenting shareholder and derivative actions)
  • M&A, leveraged buyout and limited partnership claims, including multinational hedge fund issues

Healthcare class actions

Products liability and mass torts, including:

  • Complex litigation involving pharmaceuticals and medical device
  • Toxic tort and environmental contamination

Employment class actions involving:

  • Discrimination
  • Wage-hour (FLSA and state equivalents)
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Statutory focus

We have experience with complex consumer privacy, data protection and security laws impacting businesses nationwide, including, among others:

  • Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)
  • Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM)
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)
  • Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA)
  • Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (Credit CARD Act)
  • Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations
  • State consumer protection laws in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico

Who we work with

Businesses operating in regulated industries that deliver products or services, including:

  • Communication services
  • Financial services
  • Franchisors
  • Health care
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing and distribution

Representative experience

  • Served as lead counsel for 26 hospitals in multiple actions and appeals enjoining the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from implementing unlawful changes to Medicaid reimbursements; negotiated settlement provides $1.7 billion in Medicaid reimbursements over seven years. Also obtained an award of attorneys’ fees because the government’s position was not substantially justified. See N.H. Hosp. Ass’n v. Burwell, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29549 (D.N.H. March 2, 2017), aff’d, N.H. Hosp. Ass’n v. Azar, No. 17-1615, 2018 WL 1616956 (1st Cir. Apr. 4, 2018); N.H. Hosp. Ass’n v. Azar, No. 15-cv-460-LM, Opinion No. 2019 DNH 057 (D.N.H., March 28, 2019).
  • Class counsel to stop the unconstitutional attempted financial raid of a quasi-governmental malpractice association; the class of approximately 6,000 healthcare providers received a gross distribution of $196 million. See Georgia Tuttle, M.D., et al. v. The State of New Hampshire, Belknap County Superior Court, NH, Docket No. 09-E-148; NH Supreme Court Docket No. 2009-0555.
  • Extensive experience with parallel processes and multi-faceted issues. As an example, we represented a hospital as coordinating counsel in criminal and regulatory proceedings that arose from an infectious disease outbreak, and we remained in that role to manage the civil actions that spun off those proceedings. We guided the hospital through a federal criminal investigation, a subsequent drug diversion investigation by the DEA, as well as a parallel state agency regulatory process and then secured dismissal of two putative class actions against the hospital. In addition, we worked closely with the hospital’s in-house and external communication professionals to provide timely information and to restore the hospital’s brand.
  • Serving regularly as national counsel or national coordinating counsel for class or mass actions filed simultaneously or successively in multiple state and federal courts and jurisdictions. Recently, for example, we successfully handled 12 overlapping consumer class actions in 10 jurisdictions, state and federal, for Carfax, Inc., and six overlapping cases in four different federal courts for the world’s largest winemaker.
  • Resolved a nationwide class action over millions of bottles of allegedly fraudulent wine for less than the amount of the settlement paid by the client’s primary competitor. Relatedly, we helped that client defeat multiple claims and attempts to create a multidistrict litigation, eventually securing complete dismissals in five different jurisdictions. See Zeller v. Constellation Brands, Inc., Case No. BC443338 (Cal. Super. Ct.); Charles v. The Wine Grp., Inc., No. BC 576061 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2015), Crespo-Bithorn v. The Wine Grp., Inc., No. 3:15-cv-01424-CCC (D. P.R. 2015), Lopez v. The Wine Grp., Inc., Case No. 2:15-cv-01131-KDE-DEK (E.D. La. 2015), Marvin v. The Wine Grp., No. 3:15-cv-00176-JJB-SCR (M.D. La. 2015), Washington v. The Wine Grp., Inc., No. 4:15-cv-00163-RH-CAS (N.D. Fla 2015, and In re: California Wine Inorganic Arsenic Levels Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2632 (Jud. Panel on Multidistrict Litig. 2015).
  • For a leading technology company, eliminated both a mass action and a mass arbitration that threatened to disrupt its unique sales and distribution channels. Digital Documents Store v. Xerox Corp., Case No. 72 155 Y 00474 08 JENF (AAA) and Elite v. Global Imaging Sys. Inc., No. BC379155 (Cal. Super. Ct.).
  • Helped establish new law in the United States Fifth Circuit regarding whether governmental entities can be members of putative consumer classes. See Ackal v. Centennial Beauregard Cellular LLC, Case No. 12-30084 (5th Cir. 2012). Wireless telephone service providers had been sued over allegedly improper billing practices, but we successfully persuaded the Fifth Circle Court of Appeals to reverse the class certification order on the grounds that the order effectively created an impermissible “opt-in” class.
  • Defended KeyBank, National Association against class action allegations that the bank’s student loan business should be held derivatively liable in the shuttering of a non-Title IV flight school in California. We successfully appealed to the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, and obtained a significant ruling enforcing the bank’s arbitration clause which effectively ended plaintiffs’ class action bid. This was a precedent-setting decision that invalidated California’s “public injunction” exception to arbitration. See Kilgore v. KeyBank, Nat’l Assoc., 718 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2013) (en banc).
  • Represented a database company in the country’s largest-ever class action, a case that we resolved quietly and on extraordinarily favorable terms even after our client’s codefendants decided to settle. Ultimately, plaintiffs were denied all economic relief, and our clients simply codified their existing internal controls. Notably, the statute at issue, the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2721-25, meant that the minimum statutory damages for the class would have exceeded $1 trillion because the class comprised all persons in the United States who had been issued a driver’s license at any time over more than a decade. See Fresco v. Automotive Directions, Inc., No. 03-61063 (S.D. Fla.), and Fresco v. Acxiom Corp. and R.L. Polk & Co., No. 07-60695 (S.D. Fla.).

Illinois Workers’ Comp Law Doesn’t Pre-Empt Biometric Privacy Claim

HR Magzine | September 28, 2020

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Rich Tilghman and John Ruskusky, and associate Henry Caldwell contributed this article, based on their recent blog post, on the rise in putative class actions in Illinois by employees against entities that employ biometric technology.

Biggest Illinois Decisions So Far in 2020: Midyear Report

Law360 | July 16, 2020

This article includes commentary from Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners John Ruskusky and Seth Horvath on some of the most noteworthy Illinois decisions thus far in 2020. John discusses a decision related to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, while Seth comments on a decision regarding parents suing paint makers for children’s lead test costs, as well as a ruling on a record destruction provision in the Chicago police union contract.

What’s Next: Why Facebook’s $550M biometrics settlement isn’t a huge deal

The American Lawyer | February 05, 2020

This article features Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners John Ruskusky and Richard Tilghman analyzing Facebook’s recent $550 million settlement in a class action suit alleging violations of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Unwanted pre-recorded calls don’t violate TCPA

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | January 23, 2020

This article mentions Manchester Complex Commercial Disputes partner Dan Deane and Boston Complex Commercial Disputes associate Troy Lieberman, who earned a favorable ruling on behalf of defendant Boston Scientific in a class action suit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

FTC steps up actions against VoIP providers to abet scammers

Rochester Business Journal | January 17, 2020

In his latest monthly column, Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk analyzes a recent action by the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on VoIP providers who turn a blind eye to their clients’ unlawful telemarketing practices. Washington, DC, Complex Commercial Disputes associate Brian Donnelly and Rochester Complex Commercial Disputes associate Zach Osinski contributed to the article.

California data security law to have widespread impact

Rochester Business Journal | November 29, 2019

Rochester Corporate associate Jenny Holmes talks to the Rochester Business Journal for their special report on the impact of the California Consumer Privacy Act, which goes into effect January 1. Jenny anticipates that companies will have to comply with the strictest state law on the books if Congress does not pass a federal law.

Keep up with laws developing to protect our consumer data

Rochester Business Journal | November 15, 2019

In the latest installment of his monthly column, Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk analyzes state-level legislation aimed at enhancing consumer privacy rights and protections, similar to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. Rochester Corporate associate Jenny Holmes contributed to the column.

“Ascertainability” in pharmaceutical and medical device cases

Defense Research Institute | September 04, 2019

Complex Commercial Disputes partner Vivian Quinn and associate Tracey Scarpello, both of the Buffalo office, co-wrote this article in the Defense Research Institute’s publication, analyzing the impact of the ascertainability requirement on pharmaceutical and medical device class actions.

Boston Scientific asks judge to toss robocall suit

Law360 | July 12, 2019

This article highlights Boston Intellectual Property associate Troy Lieberman, who is representing Boston Scientific in a proposed class action suit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.


Dan Deane

Leader, Class Actions and Aggregate Litigation;
Co-Leader, TCPA & Consumer Privacy Team

Phone: 603-628-4047

Christopher M. Mason

Deputy Leader, Class Actions and Aggregate Litigation
Leader, Arbitration Team
Former Member, Firm Policy Committee
Member, Firm Pro Bono Committee

Phone: 212-940-3017

  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020 ranked as National Tier One in: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Employment Law—Management, Energy Law, Franchise Law, Health Care Law, Labor Law—Management, Litigation—Construction, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Real Estate, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, Patent Law, Public Finance Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Regulation, Tax Law
  • In addition, many Nixon Peabody practices received U.S. News/Best Lawyers Tier 1 rankings at the regional level in the following geographies: Albany, NY; Boston; Buffalo; Chicago; Long Island; Los Angeles; Manchester, NH; New York City; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; San Francisco; and Washington, DC.
  • BTI Litigation Outlook 2019: “Most Feared Law Firm”—Honor Roll
  • Chambers USA/Global
  • Legal 500
  • Law 360—Employment 100
  • Benchmark: Litigation/Appellate
  • Best Lawyers “Lawyers of the Year” 2014
    • Scott O’Connell, Boston Litigation—Banking & Finance
    • Carolyn G. Nussbaum, Rochester—NY Litigation—Securities
    • Susan C. Roney, Buffalo—Civil Rights Law

Groundbreaking Class Action Returns $110 Million to JUA Policyholders

Back to top