The Firm prevailed in a AAA arbitration brought by a consumer against the Firm’s client, an international solar company, in which the claimant alleged that he was entitled to rescission of the parties' 25-year contract, arguing that contract failed to comply with disclosures mandated by the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and its implementing regulations, and that it was an unenforceable electronically signed agreement pursuant to the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 7001 et seq. Following an evidentiary hearing, the arbitrator entered an award in favor of the Firm's client, finding that the contract was enforceable and complied with all of the TILA disclosure requirements.
Fishkin Lucks secured today a complete dismissal of a putative nationwide class action brought in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York against the Firm’s client, Western Union, and various co-defendants, including other money transfer companies, a telecommunications company, the government of Haiti, and former and current Haitian government officials. The class action complaint, which sought $1.5 billion in damages, contained federal antitrust and various state law claims arising from fees that were imposed on billions of dollars of money transfers and phone calls made from Haiti. The plaintiffs contended that the fees, which the Haitian government implemented in 2011 for the stated goal of raising money for public education, were actually part of a sweeping antitrust conspiracy allegedly orchestrated by“principal architect and ringleader,” Michel Joseph Martelly, then-President-elect of Haiti. Plaintiffs alleged that the named defendants, including Western Union, conspired with Martelly and the Haitian government to impose the fees, which were enacted through various circulars and government documents that the plaintiffs claimed “ran afoul of the laws of Haiti.” Along with several other defendants, the Firm moved to dismiss plaintiffs’ class action complaint based on the “act of state” doctrine, which prohibits a U.S. court from adjudicating claims that necessarily require a judgment into the propriety of official actions of a foreign government and its leaders, and under the doctrine of forum non conveniens. In a detailed opinion, the Court (Hall, J.) adopted the Firm’s arguments in full and dismissed the complaint with prejudice, finding that the act of state and forum non conveniens doctrines each independently warranted dismissal. A Law360 article reporting on the decision can be found here.
Fishkin Lucks obtained summary judgment dismissing toxic tort cancer claims pending against its client in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Plaintiff originally brought suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, claiming that he contracted acute myelogenous leukemia from working with products that allegedly contained the chemical benzene, over the course of an almost forty-year career at Duke Energy in North Carolina and South Carolina. After the Firm successfully moved to dismiss the case based on forum non conveniens, and prevailed on appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which affirmed the dismissal, Plaintiff re-filed his claims in the Western District of North Carolina. Based on a fulsome factual record that the Firm developed while the case was pending in Philadelphia County, and extensive expert discovery conducted around the country after the case was re-filed in the Western District of North Carolina, the Firm moved for summary judgment arguing that the record evidence was insufficient to identify our client’s product with which Plaintiff allegedly worked or, therefore, that it contained any benzene. Following extensive briefing and a hearing, the Court (Conrad, J.) granted our motion, agreeing with the Firm’s arguments that Plaintiff had failed to present sufficient evidence identifying our client’s product with which he allegedly work as one that contained benzene.
Fishkin Lucks secured a voluntary dismissal today of all claims brought in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County, against the Firm’s client, a leading designer and manufacturer of exterior wall systems and products. Plaintiff, the owner of an ocean-front home located in Elberon, New Jersey, brought claims against parties who planned and performed contracting services in connection with significant renovations to the home, the Firm’s client, and a distributor of the client’s products. Plaintiff alleged that an adverse chemical reaction involving one of our client’s products caused significant damage to the home and lead to water intrusion. After rejecting requests for contribution toward a global resolution and illustrating how and why our client’s products played no role in the damages alleged,the matter was resolved and all claims were dismissed at a court-ordered mediation when each of the defendants contributed funds toward a global resolution of the matter, without any contribution by our client.
Fishkin Lucks was named today national coordinating counsel to its longtime client, Univar Solutions USA Inc., a leading global chemical, ingredient, and solutions supplier. With this appointment, the Firm will oversee and coordinate Univar’s defense of product liability and toxic tort matters nationwide.
The Firm won an appeal on behalf of its client, a life insurance company, before the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division. The Firm had prevailed at the trial level on its motion to dismiss a complaint brought by the owner of two life insurance policies with a combined death benefit of $5 million. The policies’ owner sought to rescind the policies, based on purported misrepresentations and omissions made before he purchased them on the secondary market. Among other things, he also sought (i) a declaratory judgment that the Firm’s client be required to pay the death benefits on the policies when the insured died, even if the Firm’s client later found that the owner had engaged in fraud, and (ii) mandatory injunctive relief requiring the Firm’s client to explain to the owner how premiums on the policies were calculated. The First Department adopted each of the Firm's arguments, including that (i) the fraud claim was time barred, (ii) the declaratory judgment claim was not ripe where the Firm’s client had not taken a position on whether it intended to pay the death benefits on the policies, and (iii) the claim for mandatory injunctive relief was inappropriate where monetary relief was available.