The class action matters have been handled primarily by Member, James T. Moughan. Mr. Moughan has been defending class actions since approximately 1990, when he was a partner at the firm of Duane Morris. The class action cases have been litigated at the trial level in both the state and federal courts, and Mr. Moughan has also personally appeared and argued on behalf of class action clients in the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and the Federal Courts.
In several of these cases Mr. Moughan has both argued on behalf of his client and acted as lead counsel on behalf of a group of defense lawyers with similar and related cases, sometimes consolidated for trial and appeal purposes.
We have had significant experience and great success working with other firms in these matters and are well positioned to continue to do so. We are proud of our representation and our corporate clients in these class action defense matters.
The following are cases from prior representation of class action clients. Please note that each case is unique and has specific legal and factual circumstances which affect the result. These cases are provided for informational purposes only and are in no way a guarantee of a particular result in a future case.
• Successfully represented auto insurer in a federal court medical payments class action and negotiated a statewide non-monetary class-wide settlement.
• Successfully defended fire insurer in a case challenging the right to deduct depreciation in partial losses. The case was consolidated with 8 other class actions against other carriers and Mr. Moughan was lead counsel in presenting argument before the trial court and the appellate court.
• Defended auto insurer against class action claim for unpaid interest on late paid medical bills. Mr. Moughan presented argument for all parties at the trial court, Superior Court and Supreme Court level.
• Successfully defended auto insurer against a class action seeking payment of loss of wages or salary per diem for insureds asked to attend arbitration or trials. We argued that the class representative lacked standing to pursue the claims since his individual claims were time-barred. The Court granted our preliminary objections to all claims except for a section 8371 bad faith claim holding that a six year statute of limitations applied to that claim. We were successful in petitioning for allowance of appeal of that ruling, arguing that the proper statute of limitations for a section 8371 claim is two years and not six years, which subsequently became the law of Pennsylvania. While our appeal was pending, the individual plaintiff withdrew their case with leave of court inasmuch as the only claim remaining was the bad faith claim standing alone.
• Represented fire insurer in a homeowner’s claim challenging the withholding of overhead and profit in all actual cash value payments. We were successful at the trial court level in arguing that overhead and profit is not a part of an actual cash value payment until incurred. That decision was reversed at the Superior Court level, but we were able to achieve a result in which the Court held that the payment of overhead and profit should be a case-by-case determination depending upon the facts of the loss at issue and that a reasonableness standard should apply as to when overhead and profit ought to be paid as part of actual cash value. This opinion has subsequently been very helpful in defending against both class certification issues in these types of cases as well as the substantive claim.
• Represented fire insurer against claim alleging that overhead and profit should be paid whenever more than one building trade is necessary to repair a loss. We obtained a summary judgment at the trial level, which was affirmed on appeal.
• Represented auto insurer in medical payments class action alleging misapplication of Pennsylvania’s fee schedule to out-of-state medical providers not licensed in Pennsylvania. The case was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice by Plaintiffs following the successful presentation of the insurer’s corporate designee and the conclusion of discovery.
• Represented auto insurer in class action alleging improper pricing of DME not listed on any other applicable fee schedule. The case was successfully defended through argument to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on certification of the key question from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and judgment in favor of the insurer was affirmed.
The co-chair of the Class Action Practice Group, Anthony Valach, has been counsel of record in at least 20 class actions in both state and federal courts throughout the country. Mr. Valach has regularly dealt with complex federal statutes such as the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and state unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) laws.