Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP has extensive experience defending class and collective action lawsuits. We understand the unique challenges presented by class and collective actions and we work closely with our clients to develop the most effective strategy for defending these claims.
We often use an interdisciplinary approach and pair lawyers from one of our other service teams with lawyers from our Class Action and Appeals Service Team. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to guide you through every phase of class action litigation - from the class certification stage through dispositive motions or trial on the merits or through a fairness hearing if the case is resolved before trial.
Wyatt has handled class and collective actions for clients in numerous industries and in several different substantive areas, including:
Toxic Torts and Mass Torts
- The Firm defeated class certification and prevailed on dispositive motions in a class action against a major manufacturer involving nuisance and trespass claims in connection with alleged chemical emissions in a residential area.
- Our litigators defeated class certification in several class actions filed against a Fortune 500 manufacturer involving allegations of personal injuries and property damage arising from a chemical leak at one of the company's facilities.
- Wyatt lawyers successfully defended a corporation against personal injury, medical monitoring, and property damage claims relating to a release of PCBs. After class certification was denied, a four-week jury trial resulted in a hung jury after which the District Court granted judgment in the company's favor.
- Wyatt represented one of its coal mining clients in a series of civil claims resulting from a large slurry impoundment breakthrough, which suddenly released about 250 million gallons of coal slurry into tributaries of the Big Sandy and Ohio Rivers. Our attorneys developed and successfully executed a litigation plan that resulted in denial of class certification.
- The Firm represented a chemical manufacturer in a class action alleging common law and constitutional tort claims where former employees made claims for medical monitoring based on an alleged fear of risk of cancer. Class certification was denied, and the case was ultimately dismissed.
- Wyatt obtained summary judgment for a large municipal entity in an action brought on behalf of a purported class consisting of minor children who were exposed to lead while residing in municipally owned properties.
- The Firm succeeded in having a class decertified in an action for a major waste disposal firm resulting from a train derailment.
- Our lawyers represented two medical device manufacturers in a products liability class action involving allegedly defective knee replacements. The action was dismissed.
- Wyatt lawyers represent a major producer of wine and spirits in several class actions aimed at the alcoholic beverage industry alleging that Defendants improperly advertise to underage persons. All of the actions have been dismissed.
Wage and Hour and Employment
- The Firm represented a city in a class action alleging that certain employees were improperly classified as exempt under Kentucky wage and hour law. The city prevailed after an administrative hearing before the Kentucky Department of Labor. The Department of Labor's finding that the employees had been properly classified as exempt was ultimately affirmed by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
- Wyatt lawyers represented a major Fortune 500 retailer in an action alleging breach of contract, wrongful termination, unjust enrichment, and conversion arising out of Plaintiffs' claims that they were improperly paid. Class certification was denied.
- Our lawyers represented a large municipal entity in actions alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, state wage and hour laws, and breach of contract relating to the calculation of overtime pay. Class certification was denied.
- The Firm represented a trucking company in an action under Kentucky wage and hour laws and prevailing wage laws alleging that the employer failed to pay for all hours worked, failed to pay overtime, and failed to pay prevailing wages. Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their prevailing wage claims. Plaintiffs' remaining claims were successfully resolved after a fairness hearing.
- Our lawyers represented a governmental entity in an action alleging that Plaintiffs were deprived of their rest and meal breaks in violation of state and federal law and that Plaintiffs were denied overtime or improperly classified as exempt in violation of state and federal law. A collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act was conditionally certified, and three subclasses were certified. Two of the three subclasses were later decertified. Plaintiffs' state law claims were dismissed, and their remaining claims were ultimately resolved.
- The Firm represented a large manufacturer in an action alleging racial discrimination in hiring, disciplinary, promotion, and termination policies, practices and procedures.
Consumer Class Actions
- Wyatt litigators represented a national mortgage company in an action in which the plaintiff class alleged breach of contract and violation of the state consumer protection act in connection with offers to refinance mortgages. The action was dismissed by the Court before class certification was addressed.
- Lawyers at Wyatt defended a mutual bank in a putative class action in connection with the assessment of a reconveyance fee. Plaintiffs made claims under the Real Estate Settlement Practices Act as well as various state law claims. The case was dismissed.
- The Firm represented a mutual bank in a class action asserting violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and unjust enrichment in connection with the collection of mortgage release fees. Defendant's motion to dismiss was granted.
- Wyatt lawyers represented numerous lenders in companion predatory lending cases. Defendants' motions to dismiss were granted in all cases.
- The Firm represented a national franchising company in an action claiming violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act. Upon receipt of Defendant's dispositive motion, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their case.
- Our lawyers represented manufacturers of modular homes in a class action alleging violations of the Kentucky Uniform Building Code, the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, and fraud. Defendants removed the case and moved to compel arbitration with respect to some of the named Plaintiffs. After those named Plaintiffs were compelled to arbitrate their claims, the remaining Plaintiffs dismissed their class allegations.
- The Firm represented an insurance company in a class action pending in state court. Plaintiffs sought a nationwide class alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, bad faith, and estoppel. Our class action litigators successfully narrowed the class at issue to policyholders in one state and resolved the claims.
- The Firm represents a title insurance company in actions alleging that purported class members were charged more for title insurance than was permissible when they refinanced their mortgages. The actions allege fraud, violation of Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act, unjust enrichment, and conversion. No motion for class certification has been filed.
- Our lawyers represented several insurance companies in two class actions asserting violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and fraud in connection with alleged overcharges and withholding of unearned insurance premiums. The Firm defeated attempts at class certification in both courts, limited the scope of discovery, obtained a dismissal of one action, and successfully resolved the other action.
- Wyatt litigators represented several funeral-related entities in an action brought on behalf of a class consisting of people who entered into life insurance contracts to fund prearranged funeral agreements. Plaintiffs' claims included claims of violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy, and alleged violations of various insurance statutes. The case was successfully resolved after a fairness hearing.
- The Firm defended a utility in a class action filed by property owners who objected to the addition of cellular telephone transmission equipment to utility transmission towers on their properties. Plaintiffs alleged trespass, unlawful taking, and unjust enrichment. After denying class certification, the court granted Defendant's summary judgment motion.
- Our lawyers represent a major retailer in a class action involving an alleged violation of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.
- The Firm represented a major manufacturer in a class action alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Defendant prevailed on its dispositive motion, and the litigation was terminated before a class was certified.
- Our lawyers represent a hospital corporation in an action alleging that the hospital violated various provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in connection with the calculation of their pension benefits.
- The Firm represented several insurance companies in class actions in which the insurance agents alleged that they were improperly classified as independent contractors. One case was dismissed, and the other was ultimately resolved with court approval.
- Our lawyers represented a subrogation company in an action alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation, and violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Firm successfully opposed certification of a nationwide class. A much smaller class was eventually certified before the case was resolved.
- Wyatt litigators defeated class certification for a company alleging ERISA violations in connection with subrogation and reimbursement claims.
- The Firm represented a city in an action seeking refunds of ad valorem taxes on behalf of a class of taxpayers. The Firm defeated Plaintiffs' claim that a class action should be certified for the purpose of obtaining refunds. Instead, a class was certified only for purposes of a declaratory judgment. Plaintiffs' claims were dismissed, and the decision was ultimately affirmed by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
- The Firm acted as local counsel and took an active role in the defense of an insurance company in a class action filed on behalf of counties alleging that they did not receive their proper share of an insurance premium tax. The case was dismissed.
- Wyatt represents a company accused of overcharging customers for sales tax in violation of consumer protection laws.
- The Firm represented a major medical device manufacturer in three class actions alleging price-fixing in violation of federal and state antitrust laws. These class actions were eventually consolidated with a number of others under federal multi-district litigation procedures. Plaintiffs eventually voluntarily dismissed their claims.
- Wyatt acted as local counsel to a major manufacturer in several related class actions dealing with alleged copper tube price fixing.
Securities Fraud and Shareholder/Bondholder Litigation
- The Firm obtained a directed verdict for a major insurance company in a $250 million securities fraud action arising from a reverse triangular merger.
- Our lawyers defeated class certification in a securities fraud action brought by shareholders of an insurance company.
- The Firm defeated certification in a securities fraud action against a law firm and other professionals involving a standard bred horse venture.
- Wyatt litigators represented a regional bank in an action alleging breach of fiduciary duty arising out of the bank's activities as indenture trustee. We defeated class certification and succeeded in having a jury verdict for the individual plaintiffs set aside.
- The Firm successfully defended several banking entities in a series of securities fraud class actions brought under 10(b)(5). In all of the actions, class certification was defeated or the action was dismissed for lack of evidence of scienter.
- The Firm represented a regional bank holding company in a class action brought by the shareholders of another bank holding company for failure to consummate an acquisition. The litigation was eventually resolved by a complex settlement including the certification of a settlement class.