Motion for Temporary Order Filed in Suit Against Johnson & Johnson

Bailey & Glasser, LLP and a group of leading law firms filed a motion to show cause why a preliminary injunction ought not issue to stop Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries from pursuing a new bankruptcy filing in any district other than in New Jersey, where tens of thousands of civil lawsuits are already consolidated in multidistrict litigation.

The company recently announced the pursuit of a prepackaged bankruptcy plan to resolve talc claims in an unspecified federal court in Texas. Two previous bankruptcy filings by the company have been denied by the courts in New Jersey, where J&J is headquartered. In today’s filing, we seek a temporary restraining order on the basis that J&J is attempting to evade jurisdiction and continue to manipulate the bankruptcy process to disadvantage tens of thousands of women who developed cancer from continued use of Johnson’s products. We also seek to prevent any amendments to agreements between J&J and its subsidiaries to fund the plan without notifying the plaintiffs.

The Bailey Glasser team in this case includes founding partner Brian A. Glasser; David L. Selby II, the firm’s Mass Tort Practice Group Leader, partner D. Todd Mathews, Of Counsel Thomas B. Bennett, partner Thanos Basdekis, partner and Consumer Protection Practice Group Leader Patricia Kipnis, and Of Counsel Michael Shenkman. Other firms representing the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles PC, Levin Papantonio Rafferty Proctor Buchanan O’Brien Barr Mougey PA; Golomb Legal; Ashcraft & Gerel LLP; and Burns Charest LLP.

On behalf of our clients, we have requested that the injunction hearing be heard at the earliest possible time.

For more please visit this link.

Bailey Glasser Defeats Motion to Dismiss in Schwab Managed 401(k) Action

BG secured an important win for employee participants of the Vituity and MedAmerica 401(k) retirement plan. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California ruled on a motion to dismiss filed by CEP America and the MedAmerica Retirement & Benefits Committee, which oversees the 401(k) plan offered to employees and retirees of Vituity and MedAmerica. In his ruling denying the motion in part, Judge Seeborg noted that the Complaint alleges that the fees charged by recordkeepers to other 401(k) plans “were multiples less than those charged” by Schwab.

The employees, represented by Greg Porter, BG’s ERISA Practice Group Leader, and ERISA partner Mark Boyko, allege that the Defendants violated ERISA laws by allowing millions of dollars of their retirement savings to go to Schwab’s recordkeeping arm and to MedAmerica. The Plaintiffs also alleged that Schwab’s excessive compensation included Schwab receiving benefits from the 401(k) Plan’s use of Schwab’s bank savings account.

“Employers need to understand and accept their responsibility for prudently managing 401(k) plans free from conflicts of interest and self-dealing,” Boyko said. “We look forward to pursuing this matter on its merits.”

The case is Nagy, et al., v. CEP America, LLC, et al, No. 23-cv-5648, and is pending in the Northern District of California.

BG’s award-winning ERISA, Employee Benefits & Trust Litigation practice has been ranked by Chambers & Partners in the Nationwide ERISA Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs category. Learn more about our ERISA services here.

Greg Porter, BG’s ERISA Practice Group Leader, has also received top rankings by Chambers in Nationwide ERISA Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs (Band One). Learn more about his practice here.

And for more on ERISA partner Mark Boyko, visit here.

#ERISA #401k #Retirement

Larry Lederer Named a 2024 Lawdragon Top 500 Plaintiff Financial Lawyer

Bailey Glasser partner Lawrence J. Lederer is included in Lawdragon’s 2024 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers guide, now for a sixth year in a row. We thank Lawdragon and everyone who participated in his once again being included on this esteemed list, a true testament to how much Larry cares about his clients, the hard work he puts into their cases, and the results he achieves.

Larry has extensive experience litigating securities, commercial, consumer class actions, and other cases in federal and state courts throughout the United States. In the last year, he’s brought impactful litigations to help people who have had issues related to violation of privacy laws, mortgage lending and finance, telemarketing and the non-funding of PPP loans which continue to affect small businesses across the country.

This Lawdragon recognition is especially prestigious as the 500 lawyers were selected through a process of “select[ing] members of this guide through our time-honed process of submissions, independent research and vetting with friends and foes.”

See the full list here.

To learn more about Larry Lederer, please visit this link.

Lawsuit Filed Against Johnson & Johnson for Bad Faith Bankruptcies

Bailey & Glasser, LLP and a group of leading law firms filed a federal lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and other defendants due to their repeated attempt to use the U.S. bankruptcy system to prevent victims of its cancer-causing products from having their day in court. The case is Love v. LLT Management LLC, No. 24-06320 (5/22/24), U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The Bailey Glasser team in this case includes founding partner Brian A. Glasser; David L. Selby II, the firm’s Mass Tort Practice Group Leader, partner D. Todd Mathews, and Of Counsel Thomas B. Bennett, former Chief Justice of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Other firms representing the plaintiffs in this lawsuit are Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles PC, Levin Papantonio Rafferty Proctor Buchanan O’Brien Barr Mougey PA; Golomb Legal; Ashcraft & Gerel LLP; and Burns Charest LLP.

To read the complaint, media links, and more details, visit this link.

Federal Appeals Court Protects Worker Class Action Rights, Rejecting Demands for Individual Arbitrations

Bailey Glasser’s ERISA litigation team won a victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of a proposed class of employees seeking relief under federal ERISA law.

The Second Circuit ruled May 1st that an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) trustee and former shareholders of the ESOP’s wholly-owned financial services firm can’t compel individual arbitration of a proposed class action accusing them of overcharging the ESOP for company stock, saying that doing so would prevent a plan participant from seeking plan-wide remedies authorized by federal benefits law. In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled that the lower court was right to deny the motion to compel arbitration by Argent Trust Co., which served as trustee to Strategic Financial Solutions, LLC’s ESOP, and the former shareholders. Plaintiff and BG client, employee Ramon Dejesus Cedeno, filed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) suit in November 2020, alleging the defendants cost the retirement plan and its participants millions when they overcharged the ESOP in a $242 million sale of company stock.

The ruling comes more than a year after oral arguments in which a three-judge federal appeals panel questioned whether individual arbitration could be forced on Dejesus Cedeno given a plan participant’s right to seek relief on behalf of a plan as a whole under ERISA Sections 409(a) and 502(a)(2). The majority decision held that arbitration could not be so compelled, writing: “Because Cedeno’s avenue for relief under ERISA is to seek a plan-wide remedy, and the specific terms of the arbitration agreement seek to prevent Cedeno from doing so, the agreement is unenforceable.” This decision addressed one of the most important issues in employee benefits litigation today: Whether ERISA plan sponsors can force employees to waive plan-wide relief in favor of individualized arbitration, thereby gutting participants’ ability to enforce the core private right of action ERISA affords. This victory for participant rights follows a victory by BG’s ERISA litigation team on the same issue before the Third Circuit in June 2023.

The Bailey Glasser team in this matter is comprised of partner and Practice Group Leader Gregory Porter and partner Ryan Jenny, both in Bailey Glasser’s Washington, D.C. office. Co-counsel in this case is Tillman J. Breckenridge, Peter K. Stris, Rachana A. Pathak, and John Stokes of Stris & Maher LLP.

To learn more about Gregory Porter, visit this link.

To learn more about Ryan Jenny, visit this link.

To learn more about our award-winning ERISA practice, visit here.

To read a Law 360 article about this win, visit this link.

Bailey Glasser Secures $3.6 Million Settlement in “Pay-to-Pay” Class Action Against Mr. Cooper

Bailey & Glasser, LLP secured a groundbreaking $3.6 million settlement in a class action before a federal district court in Washington, D.C on behalf of consumers who were charged illegal fees just for paying their mortgages over the phone. BG partner James Kauffman, along with attorneys from the law firm Tycko & Zavareei LLP are class counsel in this case.

The lawsuit against Mr. Cooper – formerly known as Nationstar Mortgage LLC – and one of the country’s largest home loan servicers, alleges that the servicer charged mortgage borrowers in D.C. and nationwide illegal “Pay-to-Pay” fees, or extra charges up to $14 to process each monthly payment by phone in violation of several federal and state consumer protection laws. The settlement, which obtained final approval on Thursday, included the nearly $3.6 million payment to 72,555 class members and was based on a novel legal argument under the D.C. “Protecting Consumers from Unjust Debt Collections Practices Act,” which provides additional statutory damages to consumers for each illegal transaction.

“The settlement obtained is an excellent result for the class, and we are pleased that the court agreed,” James Kauffman said. “While our work has caused many servicers to stop charging these fees, others persist in this abuse, and we will continue to fight to protect hardworking consumers from junk fees.”

You can learn more about this settlement by reading this Law360 article here.

To learn more about our “Pay-to-Pay” and Illegal Convenience Fee services, visit here.

#baileyglasser #classactions #paytopay #consumerprotection #illegalfees #mortgage

BG Files Lawsuit Against the State of Illinois on Behalf of Survivors of Sexual Assault & Abuse


Bailey Glasser has filed a complaint on behalf of 95 survivors of sexual abuse against the State of Illinois, alleging that the Illinois Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice failed to protect children from rampant sexual abuse perpetrated by adult employees at Illinois Youth Centers. As alleged in the complaint filed on May 6, 2024, between 1996 and 2017, hundreds of youths were victimized in Illinois Youth Centers.
Bailey Glasser is on the forefront of lawsuits seeking justice on behalf of childhood sexual abuse survivors and has brought hundreds of similar lawsuits in the State of Maryland on behalf of survivors of abuse in its juvenile hall detention facilities.

Partner D. Todd Mathews, lead counsel on the Bailey Glasser litigation team, stated: “The abuse suffered by our clients, then minors entrusted to the care of the State of Illinois, created great suffering, and has reverberated across their lives. We salute their strength and we’re honored to fight for these survivors in court.”

The Bailey Glasser team in this case includes D. Todd Mathews; founding partner Brian A. Glasser; partner and Mass Tort Practice Group Leader David Selby; and lawyer Samira Bode.

MEDIA REQUESTS: To schedule an interview with counsel or for other media inquiries, please contact Joe Carey at joe@careystrategiccommunications.com.

To read more about the lawsuit please visit: https://www.baileyglasser.com/news-BG-Files-Lawsuit-Against-State-of-Illinois-on-Behalf-of-Survivors-of-Sexual-Abuse

To learn more about how we fight on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse across the country, please visit: https://www.baileyglasser.com/services-sexual-abuse#Overview

Brian Glasser Named a Top 200 Lawyer in America by Forbes

Bailey Glasser founding partner Brian Glasser has been named one of “America’s Top 200 Lawyers” by Forbes in its first-ever elite lawyer list.

Forbes described its criteria as follows: “[t]he elite lawyers on this list were selected through a rigorous, multi-stage process of researching, evaluating and rating thousands of candidates, conducted by an editorial team with broad experience in law practice and the legal marketplace. The result is a collection of top lawyers involved in the most consequential cases, deals or legal trends in recent years . . . . they all share reputations for integrity, records of excellence—and Forbes’ recognition as the best in the business. What follows is a power list of lawyers whose skill, passion and purpose set them apart—for when you or your business need it most.”

In the last two years alone, Brian won a $5 million award against MyPillow CEO and election conspiracist Michael Lindell; helped lead the challenge to Johnson & Johnson’s “Texas Two Step” bankruptcy maneuver on behalf of people injured by J&J’s asbestos-riddled talc products; helped win dismissal of the bankruptcy of 3M subsidiary Aearo Technologies by a federal judge which thereafter resulted in the $6 billion settlement of more than 260,000 lawsuits brought by veterans and U.S. service members alleging that 3M military earplugs caused their hearing loss; and has won tens of millions of dollars for his clients in other lawsuits. He has also led the filing of hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of people abused as minors by the State of Maryland’s juvenile hall facilities via a new law passed in October 2023 that permitted previously time-barred claims by abuse survivors.

Read more here.

Arthur Bryant Speaking at Class Action Law Forum

BG’s Arthur Bryant is speaking at next week’s 6th annual Western Alliance Bank Class Action Law Forum (CALF) held in collaboration with the University of San Diego School of Law. Attendees will hear insights and take part in discussions on the most important developments and issues surrounding class actions and mass torts, with panelists including sitting federal judges and top defense and plaintiffs’ attorneys.

For more information and to register, please visit: https://events.westernalliancebank.com/2024-CALF

BG ESOP Lawsuit Noted in New York Times Article

The New York Times reported on a lawsuit filed by Bailey Glasser. The article, titled “He Grew Up in the Shadow of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’ Then He Got Into Debt Settlement” (Saturday, February 10, 2024), details a debt settlement operation run by Ryan Sasson (the stepson of Stephen Drescher, a close associate of Jordan Belfort, the self-proclaimed “Wolf of Wall Street”) across several states and involving various entities and law firms – and even shoe designer Steve Madden – now facing serious civil fraud changes brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the attorneys general of New York, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

To cash out his stake in the company before the regulators pounced, Sasson sold the company to “to its employees, through a financial transaction known as an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). The deal valued the company at $242 million. Mr. Sasson described the transaction as something of a gift to the employees — ‘our Strategic family,’ he called them — who had built the company. Mr. Sasson had, effectively, cashed out. His employees now owed 100 percent of Strategic.”

Bailey Glasser’s highly experienced ESOP team filed a lawsuit challenging the fair market value of the $242 million ESOP transaction, which the Times linked to in its article. In 2019, the ESOP trust allowed Sasson and others to reap an additional $104.5 million from the ESOP, supposedly because the company met certain targets. Sasson and the other defendants are trying to move the lawsuit to a secret arbitration proceeding and limit the damages to a fraction of the excess money paid to Sasson and others. A decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on that issue is forthcoming.

Our award-winning and nationally ranked ERISA/ESOP team has deep experience in handling matters such as the one described by the New York Time article and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of employees and retirees. To learn more about our ERISA group visit here.

To read the New York Time article, visit here

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