For a business sued in a class action, the stakes are high. Stone Pigman has substantial experience and an impressive track record in representing clients in class actions, mass actions and in multi-district litigation (MDL). We have been involved in the most significant class action and mass litigations in the Gulf South, including the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Chinese Drywall and Vioxx litigations. We understand a business' needs and priorities when facing "bet the company" litigation. We routinely work with companies in a wide variety of industries defending class actions and mass litigation to coordinate defensive action, resist class certification, and resolve the matters efficiently.
Through years of experience in mass litigation, we understand how to conduct a thorough factual investigation of the claims and to secure the services of necessary experts, while focusing on cost containment and proper staffing throughout. We aggressively attack class certification efforts, where appropriate, with targeted early discovery and motion practice. We have a successful track record of obtaining class certification denials and other victories during preliminary stages of litigation. While we focus on settlement opportunities and alternative dispute methods, we also stand ready and able to defend the matter through trial. The firm has tried class action claims before judges and juries to successful conclusion.
In both state and federal courts, we have worked with clients from a variety of industries in cases involving environmental, securities, antitrust, products liability, insurance, contract, tort and sales practice class actions. Our reputation for handling matters in this often thorny field of litigation has led to our serving as local and national counsel in numerous multidistrict litigation matters, or as defense liaison counsel in defendant class actions.
In recent years, the Eastern District of Louisiana has had a number of high profile class actions and MDL matters, and we have had the privilege of representing clients in these matters. Our experience and familiarity with the local rules and practice in this area is a clear asset in our class action and MDL practice.
Some recent matters our Class Action and Mass Litigation attorneys have handled include:
- BP Oil Spill Litigation. Stone Pigman represented the manufacturer of the blow-out preventer on the Deepwater Horizon Well in the consolidated Deepwater Horizon Multi-District Litigation in federal court.
- Katrina Ninth Ward Levee Breach Litigation. The firm defended a major contractor in a class action involving thousands of plaintiff property owners located primarily in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans who claim damages against the United State Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors for alleged negligence resulting in the failure of flood protection levees during Hurricane Katrina.
- Chinese Drywall Litigation. Stone Pigman was appointed as liaison counsel for the homebuilders and is also representing numerous individual builders and installers and an international home improvement retailer in the Chinese Drywall Multi District Litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
- Class Action Dismissal - For A Second Time. Stone Pigman has twice represented the Housing Authority of New Orleans ("HANO") in a class action filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana in which the court twice refused plaintiffs' bids for class certification in Anderson v. Donovan, a suit arising from HANO's decision to demolish and redevelop the Hurricane Katrina and Rita-damaged housing developments in New Orleans.
- Vioxx Multi District Litigation. Stone Pigman is representing Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. in the Vioxx MDL in the Eastern District of Louisiana, which consolidated thousands of personal injury suits in federal courts across the country. Stone Pigman also serves as defendants' liaison counsel in the litigation.
- Smoking Cessation Class Action. Stone Pigman represented a major tobacco manufacturer in a state-court class action for medical monitoring and smoking cessation on behalf of Louisiana smokers. The case was tried to a jury, involved numerous appeals, and ultimately resulted in a judgment rejecting more than 95% of the class' claims.
- Hurricane Class Actions. Stone Pigman obtained the dismissal of multiple class actions brought against a leading national property and casualty insurer after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
- Insurance Policy Form Class Actions. Stone Pigman defended a major insurance company against multiple putative class action suits that sought a declaration that the company had adopted new insurance policy forms in violation of state insurance regulations and also sought a judgment directing the company to return premiums paid by insureds pursuant to the new policy forms.
- Insurance Anti-Trust Class Action. Stone Pigman defended an insurance company in a class action which alleged violations of state anti-trust laws and breaches of contract pursuant to an alleged conspiracy to underpay insurance claims.
- PPA Dismissals. Stone Pigman obtained dismissals of over 150 claims filed against Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. in national consolidated multidistrict litigation involving PPA (phenylpropanolamine).
- Chevron Chemical Fire. Stone Pigman defended Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP in a class action alleging exposure to a release of chemicals resulting from a fire at its plant in St. James Parish.
- Waste Management Mass Torts. Stone Pigman represented Waste Management in resolving class and mass actions alleging various personal injuries from waste disposal facilities.
- Tank Care Chemical Release Class Action. Stone Pigman represented a major petroleum company in a toxic tort class action filed on behalf of approximately 8,000 residents alleging personal injuries resulting from a tank car fire and chemical release. The case was tried to verdict for 20 bellwether plaintiffs resulting in several zero awards and generally favorable defense verdicts.
News & Events
- Carmelite Bertaut Reappointed as Co-Chair of Regional Meetings Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation06.28.2016
- Louisiana Supreme Court Rules that there is No Cause of Action Under Louisiana Law for Negligent Spoliation of Evidence06.30.2015
Honors & Awards
In the News
- Carmelite Bertaut, Lesli Harris and Heather Lonian will Speak at a New Orleans Bar Association CLE Program09.07.2016
- Carmelite Bertaut to Participate on "Dealing with Difficult Judges: What They Don't Teach in Law Schools" Panel Presentation04.11.2014
- April 19-21, 2013