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BERGER & MONTAGUE Philadelphia has a reputation for canny, assertive and effective plaintiffs’ firms, and Berger & Montague is a case in point. Since David Berger founded the firm in 1970 to pursue securities actions, it has had a hand in some of the most important employment discrimination, mass torts, and human and civil rights claims. The 72-attorney firm also represents relators in qui tam actions and 401(k) plan participants in cases over shoddy investments. During the past year it won a series of post-trial rulings upholding the record $554 million jury verdict reached early last year in Cook v. Rockwell Int’l Corp. on behalf of “downwinders” who alleged their property had been contaminated by the Rocky Flats, Colo., nuclear weapons facility. With prejudgment interest, that award could hit $1 billion. The firm also won a ruling in New York’s Southern District allowing a suit against federal officials who attested to the dubious safety of the air in lower Manhattan following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Noteworthy cases:In re Cigna Corp. Securities Litigation, Master File No. 2:02 CV 8088 (E.D. Pa.). Co-lead counsel Sherrie R.Savett, Carole Broderick, Barbara A. Podell, Roslyn Pollack and Joshua Schumacher. The team won a $93 million settlement in a securities action involving the botched overhaul of an insurer’s computer system. One key ruling along the way protected the confidentiality of the plaintiffs’ sources of information because of the chilling effect that disclosure could have on witnesses. • In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation, No. MDL-1409 (S.D.N.Y.). Co-lead counsel Merrill Davidoff. A settlement tentatively approved in November 2006 provides $336 million to compensate credit cardholders who alleged that Visa, MasterCard and other credit card companies conspired to fix the foreign currency conversion fees for overseas charges. • Ginsburg v. Philadelphia Stock Exchange Inc., No. 2202-CC (New Castle Co., Del., Ch.). Lead counsel Lawrence Deutsch, Robin Switzenbaum, Barbara A. Podell Roslyn Pollack, Joshua Schumacher, Jacob Polakoff and Shoshana Savett, with local counsel Rosenthal, Mohnait & Goddess. The team was in the process of moving into digs in Delaware when an 11th-hour settlement was reached in this dispute over the price of shares that the Philadelphia Stock Exchange sold to various Wall Street interests. The buyers would return a portion of their shares to the plaintiffs worth at least $67 million. BERNSTEIN LIEBHARD & LIFSHITZ Long known for blazing trails in securities and shareholder class actions, New York-based Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz has been active lately in litigation over the value of companies being taken private. It has been appointed lead or co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel in emerging securities class actions against Fannie Mae, Beazer Homes and others. It recently assumed lead status from Milberg Weiss in In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation. The 51-attorney firm has offices in New York and Harrisburg, Pa. Noteworthy cases:In re Cigna Corp. Securities Litigation, Master File No. 2:02 CV 8088 (E.D. Pa.). Co-lead counsel Mel E. Lifshitz, Francis P. Karam, Timothy J. MacFall, Stephanie Beige, Brian S. Cohen, Michael S. Bigin and Rebecca R. Cohen. Karam melded documentary evidence with video from the deposition of Cigna’s chief executive to devastating effect in this class action over whether the insurer was candid about a botched computer system upgrade. • In re Cablevision Sys. Corp. Shareholders Litigation, No. 05-009752 (Nassau Co, N.Y., Sup. Ct.). Co-lead counsel U. Seth Ottensoser and Gregory M. Egleston. Company founder and controlling shareholder Dolan Family Group offered $21 per share to take the company private, but the plaintiffs considered that inadequate. The firm blocked the deal and was instrumental in negotiating and structuring a deal whereby the Dolans withdrew their offer and paid a dividend worth $2.5 billion. • In re Lumenis Securities Litigation, Master File No. 2:02-CV-1989 (S.D.N.Y). Co-lead counsel Mel E. Lifshitz, Jeffrey M. Haber and Gregory M. Egleston. The case alleged that the company resorted to fraudulent accounting practices to pad its earnings statements. With a motion to dismiss pending, the company agreed to pay $20.1 million to settle the action. The underlying matter also inspired a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ Also known for its work in securities class actions, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann claims more than $12 billion in recoveries during the past five years. The firm was sole or co-lead counsel in five of the 10 largest securities class actions to date, including In re WorldCom Inc. Securities Litigation During the past 12 months it has been helping to open new fronts against corporate malfeasance by going after self-dealing in mergers and executive compensation. Most recently, the firm has launched action against lenders involved in the shaky loans at the heart of the subprime mortgage crisis. Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman has 46 attorneys in New York, New Jersey, California and Louisiana. Noteworthy cases:In re Ceridian Shareholder Litigation, nos. 2996-C and 3012-CC (New Castle Co., Del., Ch.). Co-lead counsel Gerald H. Silk, Jonathan Harris, Mark Lebovich and Avi Josefson. The offer of $36 per share struck shareholders as a bit stingy when the human resources support company agreed to be bought out and taken private. More vexing yet were terms that would have made counteroffers more difficult, punished shareholders for replacing the directors and barred other bidders from seeking release from their standstill agreements. The litigation forced the company to open up the process, although the deal is poised to go forward at the original price offered. • In re Delphi Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 1:05-CV-2637 NRB (E.D. Mich.). Co-lead counsel Max Berger and Sean Coffey, with attorneys from Grant & Eisenhofer; Nix, Patterson & Roach of Daingerfield, Texas; and Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler. In the face of what one participant called a true collaboration among the plaintiffs’ firms, Delphi Corp. agreed to pay nearly $300 million to settle stockholder claims arising from accounting irregularities. Claims against Deloitte & Touche and various banks remain pending. The plaintiffs’ team secured a rare order prising documents the company had shared with government investigators and material from Delphi’s internal investigation of the irregularities. • In re Cablevision Shareholders Litigation, No. 06-017002 (Nassau Co., N.Y., Sup. Ct.). Co-lead counsel Gerald H. Silk and Mark Lebovitch. In another round of the protracted litigation over efforts by controlling shareholder Dolan Family Group to buy out the company, minority shareholders objected to an offer in October 2006 of $27 per share. Following legal maneuvering over claims the family breached its fiduciary duties to the minority shareholders, the family upped its offer in May of this year to $36.26 per share, an increase worth $2.2 billion. COUGHLIN STOIA Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins was decapitated this year when firm founder William Lerach pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a kickbacks-to-plaintiffs scheme. Still, the firm can point to recoveries of $1 billion during the past year from a wide variety of complex litigation in areas including securities, consumer protection, insurance and health care. Sole lead counsel in In re Enron Corp. Securities Litigation � which recovered $7.3 billion for investors � the firm has had a hand in some of the most important cases in recent times. It continues at the front lines, pursuing actions involving stock options backdating and corporate takeover litigation. The firm can field 190 attorneys in offices in San Diego; San Francisco; Los Angeles; New York; Washington; Houston; Philadelphia; and Boca Raton, Fla. Noteworthy cases:In re Cardinal Health Inc. Securities Litigation, No. C2-04-00575 (ALM) (S.D. Ohio). Lead counsel Henry Rosen, Tor Gronborg and Trig Smith. The $600 million settlement in this accounting fraud case was the largest to date in the 6th Circuit. The plaintiffs’ bar led the way on this one � the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission waited another three years to go after the company in New York’s Southern District. • AOL Time Warner Cases I & II, JCCP nos. 4322 and 4325 (Los Angles Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Lead counsel Michael J. Dowd and Patrick J. Coughlin. The firm represented the Regents of the University of California and other institutional investors who opted out of class litigation over accounting irregularities by AOL. In a case that stretched over four years, the firm recovered $618 million for its clients. The regents’ gross recovery was $244 million, which the firm called the largest opt-out securities recovery to date. • Lebrilla v. Farmers Ins. Group, No. 00CC07185 (Orange Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Lead trial counsel Timothy Blood and Thomas Merrick. Judgment was entered on May 17 for a nationwide class of car owners who claimed Farmers Insurance was violating their policies by insisting on generic instead of brand-name replacement parts, saving itself $400 million. Where similar breach-of-contract claims fell short against well-financed opposition, Coughlin Stoia won payments of $20 to $40 per part for class members and a promise to use original manufacturer parts in the future. GRANT & EISENHOFER Grant & Eisenhofer celebrated its 10th birthday this year by expanding its New York office and opening a new office in Washington. The Wilmington, Del.-based firm claimed a hand in settlements amounting to $4.2 billion for shareholders against high-profile corporate defendants including Royal Dutch Shell, Tyco International Ltd., Delphi Corp. and Sprint Corp., and has been at the forefront of litigation over corporate stock-options backdating. Noteworthy cases:In the Matter of Royal Dutch Shell Settlement, No. 396/07 (Amsterdam, Neth., Ct. App.). Co-lead counsel Jay W. Eisenhofer and Sidney S. Liebesman. Litigation over Shell’s massive overstatement of its oil and gas reserves has raged for years in New Jersey federal court, but the company also had institutional investors across Western Europe. Grant & Eisenhofer and three co-counsel firms took advantage of a relatively new Dutch law to win a $450 million settlement for those shareholders. “The scale of recovery and the sheer collective unity of the investor group are both unique in a European context,” Eisenhofer said at the time. • Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System v. Caremark Rx Inc., No. 2803-CVN (New Castle Co., Del. Ch.). Co-lead counsel Stuart M. Grant, Michael J. Barry and Stephen G. Grygiel. The board of pharmacy benefit manager Caremark agreed to be bought by CVS Corp. for $21 billion, but spurned an unsolicited bid by a rival and approved lockup provisions that critics said would benefit management at the expense of shareholders. Grant and his team raced to head off the looming stockholder vote while they reviewed 350,000 pages of documents and conducted 27 depositions around the country. They persuaded the court to delay the vote twice, while CVS came up on its offer, eventually adding $3.3 billion to the price. • In re Delphi Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 05-MD-1725 (E.D. Mich.). Co-lead counsel Stuart Grant, James Sabella and Sharan Nirmul. The key to breaking open this accounting fraud was a ruling in February granting the plaintiffs access to more than 1 million pages of documents the company had produced for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It was, name partner Stuart Grant said, “a forensic paper trail,” one that got Delphi to start talking settlement. Delphi eventually agreed to pay as much as $300 million. HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO Carl Hagens and Steve Berman founded their firm in 1993 to represent plaintiffs in complex multiparty and class litigation. Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro was instrumental in securing a $25.5 million settlement from the U.S. government to compensate Holocaust survivors for property seized but never returned during World War II, and for Berman’s role as a special assistant attorney general in landmark litigation against the tobacco industry. Today the firm has 43 attorneys in offices in Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. Noteworthy cases:In re Pharmaceutical Indus. Average Wholesale Pricing Litig., No. MDL-1456 (D. Mass.). Lead counsel Steve Berman and Sean R. Matt. Here the plaintiffs took on the entire pharmaceutical industry, accusing 23 drug companies of colluding to inflate the price of prescription drugs. GlaxoSmithKline PLC settled out for $73 million, but AstraZeneca PLC and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. went to trial in a state law test case involving a class of insurers. In June, the judge found violations of Massachusetts’ consumer and trade practices law, and they are on the hook for more than $600 million in combined damages, subject to trebling. AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb settled national consumer claims. The firm estimates the potential liability for the rest of the industry at more than $1 billion. • New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund v. First DataBank Inc., No. 05-cv-11148 (PBS) (D. Mass.). Co-lead counsel Thomas M. Sobol, Edward Notargiacomo, Steve W. Berman, Sean R. Matt, Barbara A. Mahoney and Elizabeth Fegan. As plaintiffs’ attorneys delved into the evidence in the drug pricing case, they became convinced that First DataBank, which publishes drug prices, and McKesson Corp., the drug wholesaler, were in on the conspiracy. First DataBank settled, agreeing to roll back prices on hundreds of drugs by 5% � enough to save consumers as much as $4 billion this year. Against McKesson, the judge has certified classes for consumers and insurance companies and the case is expected to go to trial next year. • Gov’t. Employees Hospital Assoc v. Serono Int’l., No. 05-cv-11935 (PBS) (D. Mass.). Lead counsel Steve W. Berman, David S. Nalven and Thomas M. Sobol. The firm won court approval for a $24 million settlement involving off-label marketing of the AIDS drug Serostim for uses for which it had no demonstrated medical efficacy. The firm went beyond the standard publication notices to spread the word, reaching thousands of consumers through AIDS advocacy groups, doctors and pharmacies. KOREIN TILLERY Korein Tillery is a 20-attorney law firm with offices in St. Louis and Chicago and a reputation for aggressive prosecution of insurance, securities, antitrust and consumer fraud litigation. Notable for its $10.1 billion judgment in 2003 against Phillip Morris in the first consumer action over “light” cigarettes, the firm has distinguished itself during the past year with actions involving prescription drugs and consumer protection. Noteworthy cases:Hoorman v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., No. 04-L-715 (Madison Co., Ill., Cir. Ct.). Lead counsel Stephen Tillery and Aaron Zigler. Three years of litigation ended this summer when SmithKline Beecham agreed to pay $63.8 million to settle claims that it promoted the antidepressant Paxil to children notwithstanding evidence of dangerous side effects for young people. The team used a virtual character called the Dramatic Chipmunk to spread word of the settlement on YouTube. • Nash v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., No. 04-L-716 (Madison Co., Ill., Cir. Ct.). Lead counsel Stephen Tillery. The firm says it got everything it asked for in this settlement involving claims that Sears sold dangerously unstable gas and electric ranges: The retailer agreed to install anti-tipping devices on class members’ ranges and any future products. The firm valued the deal at more than $400 million. • University City v. AT&T Wireless Svcs., No. 01-CC-04454 (St. Louis Co., Mo., Cir. Ct.). Lead counsel Stephen Tillery and John Hoffman. This Missouri state court case, in which the firm went after wireless and land line telephone companies for back business-license taxes on behalf of a group of municipalities, got sidetracked into the Missouri Legislature and state Supreme Court. State lawmakers voted essentially to gut the litigation, but the state high court overturned the law. Finally, in August, Verizon Wireless settled its portion of the case by agreeing to pay about $25 million in back taxes and to pay its license taxes at existing rates in the future. LABATON SUCHAROW Labaton Sucharow, a 60-attorney New York firm, bills itself as “a champion of investor and consumer rights.” The firm certainly has distinguished itself in pursuing securities and antitrust class actions, and is helping to fill the void left by the fall of Melvyn Weiss and William Lerach. The firm was scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 22 against communications network company JDS Uniphase Corp. in what could be one of the biggest securities actions since the unpleasantness with WorldCom Inc. American International Group Inc. is also in Labaton Sucharow’s sights because of alleged insurance bid rigging, with damages the firm estimates at more than $15 billion. Noteworthy cases:In re Mercury Interactive Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 5:05-CV-3395-JF (PVT) (N.D. Calif.). Co-lead counsel Joel H. Bernstein and Christopher J. Keller. At approximately $117.5 million, this was the largest settlement agreement to date in an options-backdating case. Labaton Sucharow led the negotiations, drafted the amended complaint, handled the investigation and argued motions. • In re Cablevision Shareholders Litigation, No. 06-017002 (Nassau Co., N.Y., Sup. Ct.). Co-lead counsel Christopher J. Keller and Jonathan M. Plasse. In a late round of litigation over controlling shareholder Dolan Family Group’s plan to take the company private, the firm worked on litigation strategy and made the presentation to the special committee formed to consider the Dolans’ bid. The effort helped boost the selling price by some $2.2 billion. • In re Natural Gas Commodity Litigation, No. 03-CV-6186 (VM) (S.D.N.Y.). Co-lead counsel Bernard Persky. The $101 million recovery here was the second-largest to date under the Commodity Exchange Act. Among the firm’s contributions was overcoming McGraw Hill’s constitutional objections to sharing information from its natural gas trading indices. The firm says that material helped prove its case and prompted the settlement. LIEFF CABRASER With 50-plus attorneys on call, San Francisco-based Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein is one of the largest firms in the country devoted exclusively to plaintiffs’ actions. It reported more than $1.4 billion in recoveries during the past year. The firm has had a hand in some of the most important cases litigated since its founding in 1972, including actions involving the Exxon Valdez oil spill and billions of dollars in assets seized from Holocaust victims and Nazi slave laborers. In recent years the firm has recovered more than $700 million in state antitrust settlements against Microsoft Corp. The firm also has offices in New York and Nashville, Tenn. Noteworthy cases:Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler, No. BC 332487 (Los Angeles Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Trial counsel Robert J. Nelson and Scott P. Nealey obtained a $54.4 million verdict for the family of a man whose Dodge Dakota pickup jumped from park to reverse and ran over him. The jury concluded that the automaker was negligent in designing the vehicle, for failing to warn of the defect and for failing to issue a recall. Although the deceased may have been the 13th such fatality, this represents the first case involving the defect to go to trial and result in a jury verdict. The verdict includes $50 million in punitive damages.The design defect affects more than 1 million vehicles on the road today, the firm said. • Catholic Healthcare West Cases, J.C.C.P. No 4453 (San Francisco Co., Calif., Super Ct.). Lead counsel Kelly M. Dermody. Accused of soaking uninsured patients with hospital fees much higher than those charged to patients with private insurance or Medicare, the settlement provides for discounts, refunds and other benefits worth $423 million. The hospitals also will stop discriminating against uninsured patients, provide them with free or discounted care and protect them against unfair collection practices. • Herra v. Toyota Motor Credit Corp., No. CGC 03-419 230 (San Francisco Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Co-lead counsel Michael W. Sobol. This was the last of three class actions accusing major automobile financing companies of allowing local auto dealers to impose discriminatory interest rate markups against African- American and Hispanic customers. The settlement includes cash and credits for individual class members, new limits on dealers’ discretion in granting loans and donations to consumer finance education programs, perhaps worth as much as $174 million. A refinancing program for existing customers with unduly high rates could be worth additional billions of dollars. The earlier cases against WFS Financial Inc. and American Honda Finance Corp. netted at least $49 million and $47 million, respectively. PHILLIPS & COHEN Qui tam is the thing at Phillips & Cohen. Name partner John Phillips helped draft the legislation when Congress updated the Civil War-era law that allows whistleblowers to file suit against corrupt enterprises on the government’s behalf, and was one of the first attorneys to invoke the law. Today the firm, which has offices in Washington and San Francisco, reports returns to the U.S. Department of the Treasury of more than $2 billion against defendants including Northrop Grumman Corp. and HCA Inc. Its recoveries since July 2006 from utility, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, hospital and other companies were worth nearly $500 million. Noteworthy cases:State of California ex rel. Barakat v. Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power, No. SCVSS 100293 (San Bernardino Co., Calif., Super. Ct.). Lead counsel Eric R. Havian. A state trial judge ordered the Los Angeles water and power agency to pay $224 million for intentionally overcharging other local governments for electricity during the course of 20 years. The judge criticized the agency’s “lack of a sense of responsibility to good government.” • U.S. ex rel. Taylor v. Gabelli, No. 03 Civ. 8762 (S.D.N.Y.). Lead counsel Erika A. Kelton. The Wall Street whiz known as “Super Mario” J. Gabelli and affiliated companies agreed to pay $130 million to settle whistleblower charges for setting up inexperienced associates in sham companies to bid for federal wireless spectrum intended to benefit minority and small businesses. • U.S. ex rel. Lauterbach v. Orphan Medical Inc., No. CV05-0387 (E.D.N.Y. 2007). Lead counsel Erika A. Kelton. A pharmaceutical company and a sales manager pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $20 million for off-label marketing of the narcolepsy drug Xyrem for nonapproved purposes including depression, fibromyalgia and insomnia. Xyrem is a form of GHB, a closely controlled substance noted for its use as a party drug and in date rape. A psychiatrist involved in the scheme faces criminal charges. SCHIFFRIN BARROWAY From offices in suburban Radnor, Pa., and Walnut Creek, Calif., Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler has earned a global reputation in shareholder, consumer, antitrust and mass tort actions, and a large client base in Europe. Its 60 attorneys make it one of the country’s largest plaintiffs’ firms, and it has had a hand in high-profile actions in recent years against Tenet Healthcare Corp. for securities fraud and AOL Time Warner for securities-related breach of fiduciary duty to its 401(k) plan participants. Noteworthy cases:In re Tyco International Ltd. Securities Litigation, No. 02-13335-B (D.N.H.). Co-lead counsel Richard S. Schiffrin, Katharine M. Ryan, Michael K. Yarnoff and Benjamin J. Sweet, with Grant & Eisenhofer. After years in litigation, Tyco agreed in May to pay more than $3 billion to settle one of the signature securities fraud cases of our age. The company allegedly overstated its income by $5.8 billion. Former executives L. Dennis Kozlowski and Mark H. Schwarz are serving prison terms for their roles in plundering the company. The recovery represents the largest payment from any corporate defendant in a securities class action. Schiffrin argued the case in court and helped negotiate the settlement. • In the Matter of Royal Dutch Shell Settlement, No. 396/07 (Amsterdam, Neth., Ct. App.). Co-lead counsel Richard S. Schiffrin, David Kessler and Stuart L. Berman. The firm represented institutional investors from the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in this action over Shell’s 5.8 billion barrel overstatement of its oil and gas reserves. European investors opted against joining a federal class action against Shell in New Jersey. Instead, they took advantage of a relatively new Dutch law that allows antagonists to work out their differences and petition an appellate court to oversee the deal’s implementation. The take for the plaintiffs will be approximately $450 million, assuming the New Jersey judge doesn’t claim jurisdiction. The firm was heavily involved in negotiating the deal and in drafting the settlement documents and the plan of allocation. • In re Delphi Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 05-MD-1725 (E.D. Mich.). Co-lead counsel Michael K. Yarnoff and Sean M. Handler. Schiffrin Barroway represented an Austrian mutual fund in this action alleging that auto parts manufacturer Delphi Corp. counted inventory-management financing transactions as sales, among other irregularities.Yarnoff helped steer talks with the defense in a case complicated by Delphi’s bleak financial situation and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. SEEGER WEISS Don’t let their relative youth mislead you. The attorneys at New York-based Seeger Weiss are all on the dewy side of 50, but rank among the country’s top plaintiffs’ lawyers. Name partner Christopher A. Seeger, for example, was appointed plaintiffs’ co-lead attorney in the Vioxx multidistrict litigation in New Orleans, and in 2005 was chief negotiator in a $700 million settlement for patients who took Eli Lilly & Co.’s anti-schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, which has been linked to diabetes. Stephen A. Weiss, meanwhile, has been causing a stink over pollution caused by factory farms. Noteworthy cases:Humeston v. Merck & Co., No. ATL-L-2272-03 (Atlantic Co., N.J., Super. Ct.). Lead co-counsel Christopher A. Seeger, David R. Buchanan, Moshe Horn, Laurence Nassif and Jeffrey Grand. Houston-based Lanier Law Firm participated in the first stage of the litigation. Vioxx litigation was supposed to be cooling down, but here the trial team persuaded the judge to toss a defense verdict, and then secured a jury verdict that Merck failed to warn of cardiovascular risks posed by the anti-arthritis drug. The team went on to win awards totaling $20 million for heart attack victim Frederick Humeston and his wife, plus $27.5 million in punitive damages. • Adwell v. Contigroup Cos., No. 02-CV-221544 (Jackson Co., Mo., Cir. Ct.). Co-lead counsel Stephen A. Weiss and Michael S. Farkas. This $4.5 million verdict for six neighbors of a massive hog farm is believed to be one of the largest to date involving industrial agriculture, and could prove a bellwether for another 250 plaintiffs whose claims remain pending. After the jury concluded that there were grounds for punitive damages, the defense agreed to settle for the amount awarded in compensatory damages. • McCarrell v. Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc., No. ATL-L-1951-03 MT (Atlantic Co., N.J., Super. Ct.). Co-lead counsel David R. Buchanan and Michael L. Rosenberg, with Hook, Bolton, Kirland & McGhee of Pensacola, Fla. This was the first of 400 similar cases to reach trial in Roche’s home state, and the $2.6 million plaintiffs’ verdict doesn’t bode well for the company. The jury found that LaRoche failed to warn that its anti-acne drug Accutane could cause debilitating inflammatory bowel disease. WHATLEY DRAKE & KALLAS Whatley Drake & Kallas was founded in Birmingham, Ala., just nine years ago, but is fast building a reputation for its leadership role in class actions that have recovered billions of dollars and forced significant corporate reforms. In 2004, name partner Joe R. Whatley Jr. won a $1.28 billion jury verdict for a class of cattle ranchers in Pickett v. Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. that, although tossed by the judge, was the largest to date involving alleged anti-competitive practices in that industry. The 45-attorney law firm also has offices in New York and Boston. Noteworthy cases:Love v. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Assoc., No. CV-03-21296 (S.D. Fla.). Co-lead counsel Edith M. Kallas, Joe R. Whatley Jr. and Joseph P. Guglielmo. Roughly 90% of the country’s Blue Cross affiliates settled this racketeering class action alleging that they gamed their reimbursement systems to delay and deny payments to doctors. The plaintiffs claimed that some insurers rigged their computer systems to automatically reject or downgrade certain medical services. The deal guarantees $131 million for the doctors and medical societies involved, plus additional reforms that could boost the value of the case above $1 billion. It followed similar successful actions against insurers beginning in 2003. • In re Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, No. MDL-1663 (D.N.J.). Co-lead counsel Edith M. Kallas, Joe R. Whatley Jr. and Joseph P. Guglielmo. The plaintiffs claimed that in tying broker commissions to the number of policies they sold or renewed, insurance companies and brokers violated antitrust and racketeering laws. Zurich Insurance Co. settled for more than $100 million, and the Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. brokerage settled for $28 million. • In re HealthSouth Corp. Securities Litigation, No. CV-02-BE-1500-S (N.D. Ala.). Coordinating counsel Doug Jones and Jack Drake, with Labaton Sucharow and Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins. The plaintiffs secured approval in January for a partial settlement of claims arising from massive accounting fraud. The company and several of its former officers and directors agreed to pay $445 million in HealthSouth securities to class members.

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