A representative list of data security breach, consumer protection, and antitrust cases litigated by Barnow and Associates, P.C., appears below.
Data Security Breach Cases
In Re: TJX Retail Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 1838.
Ben Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel for the Consumer Track in this MDL proceeding relating to the theft of approximately 45,000,000 credit and debit card numbers used at TJX stores and the personal information of over 454,000 TJX customers. Mr. Barnow took the lead in negotiating a settlement with TJX’s attorneys that made available benefits valued at over $200 million to the Class. The Honorable Judge Young granted final approval to the settlement, which he referred to as “excellent” and as containing “innovative” and “groundbreaking” elements.
Lockwood v. Certegy Check Services, Inc.
This consolidated proceeding related to the theft of approximately 37 million individuals’ private and confidential information from Certegy Check Services, Inc.’s computer databases. Mr. Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel and organized all plaintiffs’ counsel and pending cases without the benefit of an MDL and negotiated a settlement that was granted final approval, making benefits valued at over $500 million available to Settlement Class Members. At the final fairness hearing, the Honorable Judge Merryday described the settlement as a “good deal,” providing “a real benefit to a large class of persons” as “the result of the focused attention of skilled counsel for a protracted time.”
In Re: Countrywide Fin. Corp. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 1998.
This forty-case MDL proceeding related to a former Countrywide employee’s theft and sale of millions of Countrywide customers’ private and confidential information. As one of Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel, Mr. Barnow negotiated a settlement that was granted final approval, making benefits valued at over $650 million available to approximately seventeen (17) million Settlement Class Members. In the opinion granting final approval to the settlement, the Honorable Chief Judge Russell noted that “Co-Lead Settlement Counsel are nationally recognized in the field of class actions, particularly those involving security breaches,” and stated that “the Court was impressed with Co-Lead Counsel and Countrywide counsels’ knowledge and skill, as represented in the various motions and hearings that took place throughout this settlement process.”
Rowe v. Unicare Life and Health Insurance Co.
This proceeding related to the defendants’ alleged failure to secure the private health information of approximately 220,000 individuals enrolled in the defendants’ health insurance plans, resulting in such information being accessible to the public via the Internet. Mr. Barnow was Lead Counsel and negotiated a settlement that was granted final approval, making benefits valued at over $20 million available to Settlement Class Members. At the preliminary approval hearing, the Honorable Judge Hibbler described the efforts of the parties as “exemplary.”
In Re: Heartland Payment Systems Inc., Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 2046.
Ben Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Counsel for the Consumer Track in this MDL proceeding relating to what has been reported as one of the largest (if not the largest) data security breaches in history. Mr. Barnow negotiated a settlement on behalf of a Settlement Class that is estimated to include more than 120 million members. Notice of the settlement was completed and only one objection was received. Final approval of the settlement has been granted.
McGann v. Schnuck Markets, Inc.,
This case related to the theft of the credit and debit card information of an estimated 777,000 individuals from point-of-sale terminals at affected Schnucks stores. Mr. Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel and negotiated a settlement that has been granted final approval, making significant benefits available to the Settlement Class.
In Re Sony Gaming Networks and Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL 2258.
The Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia appointed Ben Barnow to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee—a committee of seven firms established to lead the litigation—in this MDL proceeding involving over 60 cases relating to a data security breach that affected approximately 50 million consumers in the United States and Canada. A settlement agreement was entered into and has been granted final approval. At the final fairness hearing, Judge Battaglia remarked: “Just in the final analysis, the order, much like all the work by both sides throughout the case, has been impeccable, highly professional, and skilled. It’s been a real pleasure dealing with you.”
Other Consumer Protection Cases
Schwab v. America Online, Inc. (America Online Access Litigation).
Ben Barnow served as Class Counsel and Co-Chair in this highly publicized litigation relating to AOL’s representation that users would have unlimited access to AOL for $19.95/month and the connectivity problems that ensued in conjunction therewith. In the face of what was ultimately over one hundred class actions filed nationwide, Mr. Barnow organized over 50 law firms and set up the co-chairmanship and the Executive Committee, which brought order and resolution to this litigation. A settlement was reached and was granted final approval, resulting in a multi-million dollar benefit to a Class estimated to include over 8 million people.
In Re: Chicago Flood Litigation.
As Co-Lead Class Counsel and a member of the Executive Committee, Ben Barnow was responsible for several major aspects of this class action, which included years of litigation, appellate practice, trial, and a multi-million dollar settlement. Mr. Barnow argued a related portion of the matter before the Supreme Court of the United States, Jerome B. Grubart, Inc. v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., 513 U.S. 527 (1995), and was responsible for preparing the petition for a writ of certiorari and all related filings. At the Supreme Court level, opposing counsel was John Roberts, who now sits as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Orrick v. Sonic Communications.
This matter relating to the practice known as “slamming.” The private actions and actions filed on behalf of various Attorneys General were consolidated. Ben Barnow was one of Lead Class Counsel. A settlement covering all of the pending cases and providing benefits of approximately $8.3 million was achieved and granted final approval. This litigation is believed to be the first class certification and class settlement relating to the practice known as “slamming.”
Heilman v. Perfection Corp.
This was a national class action concerning allegedly defective dip tubes in over 14.2 million hot water tanks sold throughout the United States. As Co-Lead Class Counsel, Mr. Barnow organized twenty-three law firms and oversaw numerous filings in bringing about a national unified settlement that provided for a 100% recovery of out-of-pocket expenses and requisite repairs, including preventive replacement of all concerned dip tubes, whether or not the dip tubes had actually failed.
Siegel v. Syncronys.
Ben Barnow was Co-Class Counsel in this nationwide class action concerning an allegedly defective computer product. The matter was settled, resulting in a remedy for the Class that provided for a 100% reimbursement on moneys spent for the product; the value of the settlement was estimated at $22 million.
Schneider v. Dominick’s Finer Foods, Inc.
This case related to the defendant’s alleged failure to deliver on representations of 100% ground beef. Ben Barnow was Co-Class Counsel in this matter and a settlement was reached and granted final approval, which included significant remedial relief in the form of shop signage regarding cleanliness and meat grinding practices, and fluid recovery mechanisms to compensate the class members by way of in-store sales and published coupons.
Schwab v. Binney & Smith.
This case related to crayons that were produced for decades with talc, which allegedly contained, or was subject to containing, asbestos. As Co-Lead Class Counsel, Mr. Barnow negotiated a national class settlement that contributed to the reformulation of most crayons produced in this country, so as to eliminate the inclusion of talc and, thus, the alleged asbestos inclusion, and the settlement was granted final approval. This represented one of the largest classes ever certified, if not the largest.
In Re: Mercury Class Action Litigation.
Ben Barnow served as a Co-Lead Class Counsel in this case relating to the location of mercury-containing gas regulators in and on real estate. A settlement was reached and granted final approval that provided for medical monitoring, removal of the regulators, and cash compensation to certain class members.
In Re: Starlink Corn Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1403.
This MDL proceeding related to the alleged inclusion of genetically engineered corn in the defendants’ food products. Ben Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Class Counsel. A settlement was reached, valued at $9 million, including the return of up to $6 million to consumers on a fluid recovery/cy pres basis through price reduction on future purchases coupled with a cash payment to approved charities based on shortfall in the redemption.
Boland v. McDonald’s Corp. (McDonald’s Sweepstakes Litigation).
As one of Co-Lead Class Counsel in this litigation, Ben Barnow coordinated the efforts of approximately 25 plaintiffs’ firms. The litigation concerned certain McDonald’s promotional games and arose from the fraudulent removal of winning game pieces from random public distribution. Mr. Barnow developed and accomplished the settlement concept; to wit, for a chance lost, a chance would be given. The settlement, valued at approximately $20 million, included fifteen $1 million prizes given away by random selection. The settlement included the United States and nine other countries.
Fernandez v. Vitamin Shoppe Industries, Inc.
This national class action settled, resulting in injunctive relief regarding labeling practices, and additional relief by way of discount coupons and cy pres relief to appropriate charities. Ben Barnow served as a Co-Lead Counsel.
In Re: United Parcel Service, Inc., Shipper Excess Value Insurance Coverage Litigation.
Ben Barnow was one of Settlement Class Counsel in this litigation. A settlement was reached and granted final approval, providing relief to UPS shippers who had paid premiums for excess value insurance coverage.
Smith v. J.M. Smucker Co.
This litigation related to allegedly deceptive advertising practices. As Class Counsel, Mr. Barnow negotiated a national settlement and organized a group of plaintiffs’ counsel from over 25 firms throughout the country who supported the settlement. The settlement was granted final approval, making available valuable relief to consumers of spreadable fruit products labeled “Simply 100% Fruit,” including a change of labeling practices by the defendant, which added and maintained the following language, in prominent fashion, on the front label of its Simply 100% Fruit products: “Sweetened with fruit syrup from apple, pineapple or pear juice concentrate,” thus fairly and fully advising consumers of the product they were purchasing.
Rosen v. Ingersoll-Rand Co., Kryptonite Corp.
This matter related to allegedly defective bicycle locks. Mr. Barnow was Co-Lead Class Counsel and organized 18 U.S. and Canadian law firms and negotiated a settlement on behalf of Class members in the United States and Canada. The settlement was granted final approval, providing valuable relief to purchasers of the allegedly defective U-shaped tubular cylinder bicycle locks throughout the United States and Canada.
Gianopolous v. Interstate Brand Corp. and Interstate Bakeries Corp.
Ben Barnow was appointed one of Class Counsel in this litigation concerning allegedly adulterated bakery goods. A settlement was reached and granted final approval, making valuable relief available to consumers.
Palace v. DaimlerChrysler Corp.
This litigation related to the defendant’s alleged sale of Neon model vehicles containing defective head gaskets. Ben Barnow was one of Co-Lead Class Counsel. After several years of contested litigation, a settlement was reached and granted final approval, making up to $8.25 million available to Class members for reimbursement of repair costs and other expenses.
In Re: M3Power Marketing Practices Litigation, MDL No. 1704.
This MDL proceeding related to the defendant’s allegedly deceptive marketing and sale of M3Power shaving razors. Ben Barnow was appointed Co-Lead Class Counsel. A settlement was reached and granted final approval, making available benefits of more than $7 million to Class members.
In Re High Sulfur Content Gasoline Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 1632.
Ben Barnow served as Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel in this 26-case MDL proceeding relating to the defendant’s alleged sale of defective gasoline. A settlement was reached and was granted final approval, resulting in approximately $100 million being made available towards the satisfaction of consumers’ claims.
Stelk v. BeMusic, Inc.
This litigation related to charges for shipping and handling in the context of a “free” offer. The Class included an estimated 16 million members. Ben Barnow served as Co-Lead Class Counsel and a settlement was reached and granted final approval providing substantial relief to Class members, including a guaranteed minimum of $8 million.
Schulte v. Fifth Third Bank.
This action related to allegations that the defendant unlawfully re-sequenced debit card transactions in order to maximize overdraft fees. In Ben Barnow’s capacity as one of Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel, he negotiated a settlement with Defendant’s counsel providing for the establishment of a $9.5 million settlement fund and including substantial injunctive relief, the present value of which Plaintiffs’ expert estimated to be approximately $58.8 million over five years and $108.3 million over ten years. The settlement has been granted final approval.
Ori v. Fifth Third Bank.
This action related to inactive mortgage loans that were erroneously reported as active to Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies. Ben Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel. The Settlement Class included approximately 55,000 individuals, and the settlement made available cash benefits of approximately $3,000,000 to members of the Settlement Class. Final approval of the settlement has been granted.
In re Pilot Flying J Fuel Rebate Contract Litigation.
Ben Barnow, Sharon Harris, and Erich Schork served as Settlement Class Counsel with others in this litigation involving allegations that the defendants withheld portions of fuel discounts and rebates that Class members were contractually entitled to receive in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-68 (“RICO”), and various state laws. The settlement was granted final approval.
Glenz v. RCI, LLC.
This litigation involved the RCI Points program and allegations of improper use of points by RCI. Ben Barnow served as one of three Class Counsel in this litigation. The settlement made available cash benefits of approximately $19,000,000 to members of the Settlement Class, and included substantial injunctive relief. Final approval of the settlement has been granted.
Miner v. Philip Morris Cos.
Ben Barnow was appointed and continues to serve as one of Class Counsel in this litigation relating to Philip Morris’s allegedly deceptive marketing and sale of Marlboro Lights cigarettes. On November 8, 2013, the Honorable Timothy Davis Fox, Arkansas Circuit Court, granted class certification of a plaintiff class that, subject to limited exclusions, includes all persons who purchased Marlboro Lights cigarettes in Arkansas for personal consumption from November 1, 1971, through June 22, 2010. On February 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of Arkansas entered an opinion upholding Judge Fox’s class certification order.
Wisconsin Civil Microsoft Antitrust Litigation.
Ben Barnow was one of Co-Lead Class Counsel in this indirect purchaser antitrust lawsuit. Mr. Barnow and his co-counsel successfully petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to recognize the rights of indirect purchasers to recover under Wisconsin’s antitrust laws. Olstad v. Microsoft Corp., 700 N.W.2d 139 (Wis. 2005). Subsequently thereto, Mr. Barnow negotiated a settlement valued at approximately $224 million that was granted final approval by the Court.
Arkansas, Kansas, South Dakota Civil Microsoft Antitrust Litigations.
Ben Barnow served as a Co-Lead Class Counsel in the Arkansas, Kansas, and South Dakota Microsoft civil antitrust cases. Each of these cases settled and the settlements were granted final approval.
Microsoft Civil Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1332.
Ben Barnow served as a member of the nine-member Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel Committee in this MDL antitrust proceeding before Judge Motz in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
Loeb Industries, Inc. v. Sumitomo Corp.
This nationwide class action antitrust litigation sought recovery on behalf of a class of scrap copper purchasers who were allegedly harmed by activities allegedly designed to manipulate the copper market. Ben Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Counsel. A $20 million cash settlement with one of the defendants (Merrill Lynch) was reached and granted final approval.
Anna Vichreva v. Cabot Corp., et al.
Ben Barnow served as one of Co-Lead Counsel in this Florida antitrust litigation. An $825,500 common fund, which is believed to be the largest per-consumer Carbon Black state court antitrust class action settlement in the country, was obtained.