Consumer Protection Class Action Results

Consumer protection class actions and mass tort litigation play a critical role in protecting American consumers by allowing a large number of individuals to hold companies accountable for their bad conduct.

Simmons Hanly Conroy, has helped thousands of consumers stand up for their rights by helping them file class actions and mass tort litigation. Keep reading to learn how everyday people decided enough was enough, took a stand, and won.

Volkswagen MDL

$14.7 Billion for Owners of 2.0-liter diesel vehicles | On-going

On Oct. 25, 2016, a judge approved a $14 billion settlement for consumers who owned 2.0-liter diesel vehicles made by Volkswagen and Audi. More than $10 billion of the settlement was for buybacks of 2.0-liter diesel vehicles and owner compensation, and the remaining $4.7 billion went to offsetting excess emissions. The settlement was reached a year after Volkswagen admitted to installing secret software in its diesel vehicles to falsely pass emissions tests. Attorneys are currently involved in pursuing a fair resolution as part of the settlement negotiation process for 3.0-liter TDI vehicle owners.

Partner Jayne Conroy serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee of the Volkswagen MDL. Jayne and Attorney Sarah Burns are focused on helping competitor dealers who were harmed by Volkswagen and Audi marketing of low-emission vehicles.

No. 2672, In Re: Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, And Products Liability Litigation

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Toyota Unintended Acceleration Litigation

$1.1 billion for Toyota consumers | Resolved 2013

On July 31, 2013, the final settlement was approved in the long-running class action brought by Simmons Hanly Conroy clients and others arising out of economic losses that these millions of Toyota owners suffered following a spate of unintended acceleration events in 2009 and 2010. The total value of the settlement with Toyota Motors is more than $1.1 billion, with an additional sum of $200 million in attorneys’ fees being paid by Toyota to plaintiffs’ counsel, including Simmons Hanly Conroy, as well as Toyota’s reimbursement of plaintiffs’ counsel’s expenses in the amount of approximately $27 million.

The settlement followed three years of hard-fought litigation in which firm named Partner Jayne Conroy played a leading role, having been appointed by U.S. District Judge James Selna as a member of the plaintiffs’ leadership team in the case. In addition, several Simmons Hanly Conroy clients served as as representatives of the class of Toyota owners economically injured. In connection with the settlement, Ms. Conroy was separately appointed by Judge Selna as one of three settlement allocation counsel charged with overseeing the allocation of settlement funds to millions of Toyota owners throughout the United States.

As part of the settlement, Toyota was required to do the following:

  1. Set aside up to $250 million in cash payments to owners for diminution of resale value of certain vehicles due to alleged defects;
  2. Have dealerships install a brake override system for eligible vehicles and cash payments totaling another $250 million in lieu of installation for remaining subject vehicles;
  3. Establish a Customer Support Program; and
  4. Establish an Automobile Safety and Education Fund. Upon final approval of the settlement, Toyota was required to fund a Qualified Settlement Fund for payments to class members in the amount of $500 million.

Merrill Lynch Class Action

$20 million for financial advisors | Resolved 2013

The June 2013 settlement of a nationwide class action brought by Simmons Hanly Conroy and co-counsel McCallum, Hoaglund, Cook & Irby, LLP against Merrill Lynch involved approximately $20 million in cash moving from Merrill Lynch to the financial advisors, and included a separate payment of attorneys’ fees and costs by Merrill Lynch to Simmons Hanly Conroy and McCallum in the amount of approximately $5.2 million. The National Law Journal listed the Merrill Lynch Class Action settlement as tied for 4th place in its list of the Top 50 Settlements of 2013.

Chambers v. Merrill Lynch et al., 10-CV-07109 (AJN) (S.D.N.Y. 2013).

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