Nationwide Consumer Fraud Class Action Dismissed February 16, 2011
Goldberg Segalla Product Liability Practice Group lawyers, led by David S. Osterman, Cheryl A. Possenti, and John J. Jablonski helped a major U.S. based children’s clothing supplier defeat a nationwide class action in California arising from the sale of certain garments that allegedly caused rashes and allergic reactions to sensitive children’s skin. The class action was originally filed two years ago, after several televised news reports featuring a handful of angry consumers and the issuance of a joint “Safety Alert” put out by the client and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The adverse news reports prompted the filing of a class action asserting claims of consumer fraud, breach of warranty and California Unfair Competition and False Advertising claims.
In all, over 100 million garments were at issue and plaintiffs sought to certify a class of all purchasers, regardless of whether their children had suffered a rash or not, seeking the return of the full purchase price, plus other incidental costs.
Goldberg Segalla was retained as national coordinating counsel for the client even before suit was filed. We coordinated the client’s response to the initial claims, retained leading experts to help understand the cause of the rashes, helped the client develop an appropriate and effective response to the media inquiries, coordinated the client’s CPSC reporting obligations, and working with excellent local counsel, developed and implemented the entire litigation defense strategy.
Our efforts paid off and in February of 2011, the Federal District Court in California denied the plaintiffs' motion to certify the class, essentially adopting the arguments raised in our briefs, including a relatively novel judicial standing argument.