Class Action & Complex Litigation

Lawsuits are not born equal.  The level of complexity in class action, mass action and large-scale proceedings requires experience, knowledge and capabilities that many law firms don’t have.

The lawyers of Christian & Small have been employed in excess of 100 class action cases and have represented clients in dozens of complex lawsuits, including putative nationwide class action cases, multidistrict litigation, and multi-party, multi-jurisdictional state court actions. Our attorneys have successfully defeated class certification in cases based on claims ranging from product liability to securities actions in both state and federal courts.

We work quickly to understand our clients’ legal and business objectives, while efficiently managing public exposure, multiple, often adverse parties, complicated legalities, and time consuming discovery and preparation.  We are continually investing in the best technology available.  This allows us to efficiently organize massive amounts of documentation, manage and conduct extensive discovery, and synthesize evidence for persuasive use at trial.

Representative Work
  • Nationwide representation, commencing in the Spring of 2008, of defendants in over 250 lawsuits filed throughout the United States arising from injuries allegedly sustained by consumers of a nutritional supplement recalled by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Many of these lawsuits were the subject of proceedings pending before the Multidistrict Judicial Panel of the United States. Partners involved include Jim Huckaby, Duncan Y. Manley, Edgar M. Elliott, IV, and Sharon D. Stuart.
  • Evans v. Walter Industries, Inc., 449 F. 3d 1159 (11 Cir. 2006) – defense of operator of brass foundry in lead contamination class action
  • Wilson v. JP Morgan, #1080982 (Sup Ct Ala, Dec 4, 2009) – defense of leading investment bank in rate payer class action arising from bond defaults and subsequent bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Alabama
  • Christ v. Beneficial Corporation, 547 F. 3d 1292 (11th Cir. 2008) – obtained decertification by the Eleventh Circuit, after trial, of nationwide consumer fraud class claims against major bank and affiliated insurers
  • Lowery v. Alabama Power Company, 483 F3d 1784 (11th Cir. 2007) – defense of manufacturer in environmental pollution mass action
  • Coates v Sunstar Acceptance Corporation, USDC Ala., CV 96-C-0376 W – defense of nationwide class action against automobile lender
  • Nail et al v. Mentor Corporation, Cir. Ct of Jefferson Co., Alabama, CV 0062426-87 – favorable pre-certification settlement of medical device class claims
  • In re Comptronix Securities Litigation, 831 F.Supp. 1563 (ND Ala 1993) – defense of shareholder class claims against officer/director
  • In re Consolidated Non-Filing – Ins. Fee Litigation, 195 FRD 684 (M.D. Ala 2000) – favorable class wide settlement of consumer claims against Bank of America affiliates
  • Retirement Systems of Ala v. Merrill Lynch Co., 209 F. Supp. 2d 1257 (MD Ala 2002) – defense of Enron- related securities fraud claims against lead bond underwriter
  • Martin v. Wilks, 49 US 744 (1989) – defense of City of Birmingham Personnel Board in reverse discrimination class action
  • Kidd v. The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, 32 F. 3d 516 (11th Cir. 1994) – successful defense and class wide settlement of employment discrimination claims
  • Represented a major financial services provider in a series of litigation and regulatory matters relating to a state retirement plan. Successfully negotiated class action settlement, a settlement with the State, a settlement of all related civil litigation, and obtained dismissal of a related derivative suit and putative class action.
  • Assisted a national carrier in coordination of coverage of Alabama property and exposure claims to Chinese Drywall under commercial liability, contractor packages and homeowner policies including consistency coordination with other states’ counsel in claims drawn into multi-district litigation pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The cases are currently awaiting a fairness hearing and final approval of very favorable settlement for the carriers involved. The settlements have been conditionally approved. Damages at issue were in the hundreds of millions. Christian & Small was lead Alabama Coverage Counsel for the carrier.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a multi-party wrongful death case for a silica company on an issue of first impression in Alabama.
  • Negotiated a settlement in a tortious interference/patent infringement case involving cases pending in Alabama state court and California federal court.
  • Our lawyers achieved a total victory for our clients, who were domestic affiliates of one of the world’s largest banks, in a nationwide class action certified in the only Multidistrict litigation case ever taken to trial in Alabama.  Our lawyers tried the case, and won it in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit while other defendants in the financial lending business paid very large sums to settle the claims against them.
  • We achieved a complete victory for our client, a major pharmaceutical company, in the first of seventy-three “Average Wholesale Pricing” cases filed by Alabama’s Attorney General. The Alabama Supreme Court reversed a jury verdict for the State and rendered judgment in favor of our client.  The national press reported the Supreme Court’s decision, and The Drug and Device Law blog named it the year’s most significant decision.
  • As national coordinating counsel, Christian & Small handled the defense of a component manufacturer of a nutraceutical product. More than 270 products liability cases were filed in state and federal court throughout the United States. Many of the cases were transferred to Judge David Proctor, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama by the Multi District Litigation Panel. Plaintiffs alleged various and numerous symptoms as a result of the ingestion of the product.  Several class actions were filed in connection with the prosecution of these cases. The court delayed ruling on the class until discovery was completed and in the interim, all of the MDL cases were settled.