Hagens Berman Named a Top Plaintiffs Law Firm in National Law Journal’s 2016 Elite Trial Lawyer Award List


SEATTLE – Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a national class-action law firm, has been named to the National Law Journal’s 2016 list of Elite Trial Lawyers for its outstanding class-action litigation and groundbreaking settlements achieved on behalf of plaintiffs.

This year marks the third year the firm has been named to the distinguished list of leading litigators, including the NLJ’s inaugural 2014 list highlighting the firm’s work in the realm of automotive litigation. Hagens Berman is a finalist in the class-action category, with category winners to be named later in October.

Class actions are oftentimes the last line of defense for many who are vulnerable to corporate greed and negligence. Everyday consumers commonly find themselves up against insurmountable odds,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “We’re honored to be named among the top firms in the country who fight for their rights, and each year our team continues to set a new bar in representing class members and shining a spotlight on corporate wrongdoing.”

To qualify for inclusion, firms had to have scored at least one significant plaintiffs win between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016 and possess an impressive track record of wins within the past three to five years. The NLJ categorizes a “significant win” as prevailing in a bench or jury trial or in a major settlement where the stakes were high. Also, firms had to devote at least 50 percent of their litigation resources to plaintiffs work and derive half or more of their revenue from plaintiffs-side activities.

This year, Hagens Berman closed the playbook on an historic ruling in sports litigation that brings sweeping changes to the NCAA and its treatment of concussions, and provides certainty, safety and measurable guidelines of player health to an estimated 4.4 million current and former student-athletes, valued at $75 million.

In a similar case brought against six of the largest youth soccer organizations, the firm called on FIFA-affiliated U.S. Youth Soccer and American Youth Soccer to raise the bar, and alleged they had failed to incorporate up-to-date guidelines into their concussion policies and failed to protect players from head injuries. The suit culminated in late 2015, eliminating heading for soccer’s youngest players and greatly diminishing risks of youth concussions and traumatic head injuries for millions of young soccer players across the country.

In another recent victory, Hagens Berman filed a class-action likeness rights violations case alleging that gaming giant, Electronic Arts, and the NCAA illegally used college football and basketball players' names and likenesses in video games without permission or consent from the player. Led by managing partner, Steve Berman, the firm reached a $40 million settlement with Electronic Arts, and days later reached a settlement with the NCAA for $20 million, finalizing $60 million for players who were depicted in the video games. This settlement marked the first time the NCAA agreed to a settlement that pays student-athletes for acts related to their participation in athletics, and results in a change in tone from the NCAA.

The firm also finalized a $250 million settlement in a class-action case against Fresenius Medical Care for side effects from dialysis drugs GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, as well as a $28 million settlement with Schneider National Carriers, to be paid to a certified class of more than 6,000 California truckers who say the company violated state wage-and-house laws and failed to provide meal and rest breaks to employees.

These recent wins build from a strong foundation of class-action victories, including the second-largest automotive settlement in history against Toyota. Hagens Berman also had recent success in a class-action case against automakers Hyundai and Kia for overstating the fuel efficiency for many of the vehicles sold to U.S. consumers. The firm also negotiated a $235 million settlement with Charles Schwab in a case that alleged the investment giant mislead investors about the risk of investments backed by volatile mortgage-backed securities.

Since its inception, the firm has prevailed in milestone class-action lawsuits against some of the nation’s largest corporations and entities, including a national settlement against Big Tobacco, awarding $206 billion for state programs, the largest settlement in the history of civil litigation in the United States.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List seven times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Find the firm on Twitter at http://twitter.com/classactionlaw.

Ashley Klann

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