Consumer Law, Finance & Class Action Group
When leading companies face significant consumer class actions that threaten to wreak havoc on their bottom line or damage their reputation, they choose Foley’s team of experienced litigators to defend them. They also hire Foley for critical counseling on regulatory compliance and strategic business advice for dealing with consumers. Clients understand that regardless of their needs — savvy litigation or guidance on complex regulations — our team is unmatched when it comes to providing results-driven, cost-effective solutions to their issues.
Successfully and efficiently defending a class action takes a solid understanding of the law and underlying facts, coupled with creative and effective strategy. Our attorneys have the substantive knowledge, practical mindedness, and geographic footprint to protect our clients in high-stakes proceedings no matter the jurisdiction or venue.
Our deep experience and track record litigating consumer class actions in the manufacturing, health care, and real estate arenas in particular make us a first choice for sophisticated clients in these spaces. We also excel in other industries, including financial services, food and beverage, privacy, telecommunications, and energy. Likewise, our team has significant experience across additional sectors such as consumer products, automotive, retail, hotel and leisure, technology, and electronics.
Our Approach to Class Actions
Whether it’s giving our diverse clients tailored, informed compliance advice on statutory and regulatory requirements for consumer interactions, or aggressively defending them in the courtroom in major class actions, our attorneys provide smart and strategic thinking gleaned from a solid understanding of the law and facts, coupled with creative and effective approaches developed through years of experience.
In high-stakes class actions, we work directly with our clients at every stage, from venue questions, multidistrict litigation practice issues, through to trial — all to drive efficiency and innovative litigation strategies in response to complaints. We have defended clients in almost every state and federal court, and our experince includes dispositive motions, efforts to stay, compelling arbitration, an answer and appropriate limited discovery, engaging the right experts, opposing class certification, seeking decertification when appropriate, and/or moving for summary judgment. If the case goes to appeal, we are prepared.
Because we understand the state and federal laws companies must comply with and the theories consumers and their attorneys are advocating in class cases, we have been fortunate to successfully navigate the best path to resolution with the least amount of disruption and cost for our client.
Our team is well-positioned to handle legal issues affecting the automotive industry. Premier automotive clients facing damaging consumer class actions related to false advertising or product liability and warranty issues count on us to represent them with robust, creative, and winning defense strategies.
In the past several years, we have prevailed in five auto-related class actions, further cementing our place as top-tier litigators. In a first-of-its-kind case involving allegations of cybersecurity hacking vulnerabilities in vehicles, the firm defeated a nationwide class action of automobile purchasers in Flynn v. FCA, et al., 39 F.4th 946 (6th Cir. 2022). The firm also represents major manufacturers in nationwide class actions relating to diesel emission issues and air bag inflators.
Our attorneys also provide relevant counsel to clients dealing with supply chain disputes with vendors, sourcing, pricing, and contract drafting and enforcement. In concert with our clients, we select the best strategy — mediation, arbitration, or litigation — to resolve their issues.
With respect to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Foley represents a variety of consumer reporting agencies (including background screeners), financial institutions, creditors (furnishers and users of consumer information), property managers, employers, data wholesalers, and platform providers. Our experience includes handling nationwide portfolios of litigation, compliance and regulatory counseling, and contract negotiations, for national banks, state banks, mortgage lenders, timeshare finance lenders, and credit reporting agencies.
Consumer Products False Advertising
Consumer products companies in various industries can face a plethora of consumer complaints alleging false or misleading advertising under state and federal consumer protection laws. We counsel and defend manufacturers and retailers of consumer products in a wide variety of consumer challenges, including: cases asserting product mislabeling allegations and other alleged false advertising on consumer packaged goods; cases challenging online marketplace representations and statements made in other consumer facing materials; and slack-fill suits dealing with allegations of deceptive intentionally underfilled product packages.
Our reach extends across the nation where our clients are challenged by laws such as:
- California’s False Advertising Law (FAL), Unfair Competition Law (UCL), and Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA)
- New York’s General Business Law (GBL) Sections 349 and 350
- Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Businesses Act
- New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act
- Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act
- Texas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act
To deliver high-level, substantive compliance counseling and, if necessary, litigation strategy, we collaborate with our colleagues in the Consumer Products, Food & Beverage, Environmental, and Fashion, Apparel & Beauty sectors. Our goal is to help leading clients understand and meet advertising guidelines, agency regulations, and comply with labeling mandates so they can continue to grow their business and protect their brand.
Consumer Products Safety
Product safety is paramount, but unforeseen problems or flaws can occur during or after manufacturing. When they do, clients hire our attorneys for guidance in disclosing, and if necessary, handling product recalls. If consumer class actions arise, we defend our clients with skill and an understanding of the risks.
While the role of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is to save lives and keep families safe by reducing the unreasonable risk of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products, our job is to help companies comply with mandatory standards and regulations and, when necessary, represent them in state and federal court.
Our team maintains an ongoing relationship with our colleagues in the Consumer Products sector. Together we help manufacturers, retailers, and distributors produce consumer products that not only meet CPSC regulations but also those of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Clients can also rely on us for our proficiency with local regulators at state, county, and city levels.
Our skilled team of counselors advise clients on matters relating to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), credit reporting issues, and payment technologies.
Our services are tailored to the evolving needs of electronic payments companies, such as financial institutions, payment processors, emerging technologies companies, independent sales organizations (ISOs), agents, startups, and other service providers in the payments space. From contract drafting and negotiation, to mergers and acquisitions, to dispute resolution, we tap our attorneys’ collective experience to deliver optimum client results.
Clients hire Foley when they need experienced guidance on privacy issues. Our professionals help clients when they face alleged breaches of state and federal privacy laws, need effective counsel on collecting and processing consumer data, or are hit with Telephone Consumer Privacy Act (TCPA) or Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations.
Along with our colleagues in the Privacy, Security & Information Management Practice, we regularly represent companies in privacy-related litigation matters, such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), Stored Communications Act (SCA), TCPA, invasion of privacy claims, and other consumer protection-related claims.
Foley has been counseling and litigating in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Truth in Lending (TILA), and FCRA arenas for more than 35 years.
Foley attorneys have defended and successfully resolved numerous RESPA class action suits, often through defeating class certification, decertifying classes initially certified, or prevailing on the merits.
Our team of lawyers regularly counsel clients on TILA matters and defend TILA-based class actions. We advise clients in connection with the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rules, and other TILA consumer disclosures and documents, loan advertising, rescission rights, the ability to repay/qualified mortgage rules, loan originator qualification and compensation requirements, and time share related issues, among other issues.
Telephone Consumer Privacy Act
Our team keeps abreast of every development in federal TCPA law as well as state law mini-TCPA acts so that our clients benefit from our knowledge and experience. We work with clients to proactively audit for TCPA compliance and draft internal compliance policies to address new issues. We also defend TCPA class actions for Fortune 100 companies as well as small companies who may not be familiar with all of the regulatory requirements. Those cases include class actions on matters relating to auto-dialing telemarketing, pre-recorded calls, texts, and other alleged violations of the TCPA in health care, leasing, and real estate businesses, among others.