Consumer and Industrial Products

Consumer and Industrial Products

Kasowitz has extensive experience handling litigation for consumer and industrial companies, on both the plaintiff and defense side.  Our work for these companies includes all aspects of litigation, including commercial, securities, antitrust, mass tort and product liability, environmental, trade secret, intellectual property, employment, and bankruptcy and restructuring.

Kasowitz has deep experience handling high profile and large scale mass torts and environmental litigation, including for clients Southern Union, Celanese, Liggett, Energy Transfer, Freeport-McMoRan and others.

Consumer Products

Ford Motor Company in obtaining affirmative recoveries in connection with price-fixing, bid-rigging and customer allocation cartels involving more than 90 automotive parts suppliers, and impacted purchases in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, described by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as its largest criminal antitrust investigation, resulting in nearly $3 billion in criminal fines.

Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the nation’s largest chicken producers, in resolving criminal claims relating to the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s high-profile investigation into alleged price fixing in the poultry industry.

Cyrus Capital Management as the “fulcrum” or critical creditor constituency at the parent company Toys "R" Us in all aspects of Toys "R" Us’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

J. Crew in defending claims by term lenders challenging certain strategic transactions involving J. Crew’s intellectual property and asserting intentional fraudulent conveyance claims.

Elie Tahari, the global luxury fashion brand, in various employment-related matters, as well as advising the company with respect to its employment practices.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, and its U.S. subsidiary Actavis, in defense of antitrust actions commenced by the State Attorneys General for 48 states, 28 civil antitrust class actions and multiple direct actions, consolidated in an MDL in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that alleges price-fixing of over 100 generic drugs.

Ford Motor Company in defending against a series of putative class action suits in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois concerning certain automotive transmissions. We have secured dismissal of a majority of the claims asserted in this action, and all claims asserted by the sole putative class representatives for two of the state subclasses. 

Pilgrim’s Pride in a putative antitrust class action in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma, in which plaintiffs allege that a group of chicken companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct that enabled them to pay growers of broiler chickens less than the competitive level. 

Levi Strauss & Co. in an action in San Francisco state court alleging fraud and other claims against Deloitte Consulting in connection with an implementation involving SAP’s apparel and footwear software.

Godiva Chocolatier in putative nationwide class action lawsuits alleging false advertising and violation of consumer protection laws.

Coach, the global fashion company, in four putative class-action lawsuits alleging violations of various consumer protection laws on behalf of nationwide classes and state subclasses.

LG in a four-patent infringement case involving USB chargers.  Plaintiff Fundamental Innovation Systems licensed the patents-in-suit from Blackberry, and asserted infringement against several high-profile companies, including LG, Huawei and ZTE.

A New York-based Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee in defense of putative class and collective action claims for overtime, tip-pooling violations, and misclassification of employees pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.

The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Nine West Holdings and affiliated entities as special litigation counsel in the Nine West bankruptcy proceedings.

Prominent individual investors in the successful back-stopped rights offering for Eastman Kodak in its bankruptcy proceedings.

W.C. Bradley in an action alleging fraud and breach of contract stemming from an implementation of SAP software. 

Bridgestone Americas, in an action in Nashville federal court against IBM stemming from an implementation of SAP’s Order-to-Cash software and an IBM middleware product.

NuCal Foods, one of the nation’s largest egg producers, in defending a multi-district litigation proceeding in which NuCal and most of the country’s other large shell egg and processed egg products producers were accused of price-fixing violations of the Sherman Act.  The firm also represents NuCal with respect to an investigation conducted by the Florida Attorney General’s office regarding the same conduct.

Phillips-Van Heusen, a major global apparel maker and retailer, in a pregnancy discrimination claim.

Merisant, maker of Equal and other sweeteners.  Pursuant to a deal between Merisant and its senior lender, Merisant proposed a plan of reorganization.  A large noteholder retained Kasowitz on an emergency basis to object to the plan.  Kasowitz negotiated amendments to the plan that increased noteholder recoveries.

Liggett.  We conceived, negotiated and implemented the first-ever settlements of smoking and health litigation, settling health care cost recovery actions brought by states’ attorneys general against the major tobacco companies.  One federal district court judge credited Liggett and its settlements as having “changed the face of tobacco litigation in this country.”  Kasowitz continues to successfully defend Liggett in civil RICO, conspiracy, class actions, and consumer fraud actions.

Industrial Products

Southern Union in a lawsuit relating to its unsuccessful acquisition bid for Southwest Gas.  A federal court jury awarded Southern Union $60 million in punitive damages against the Arizona Corporation Commissioner for improperly influencing the outcome of the acquisition.  The primary corporate defendants, Southwest Gas and the competing bidder, Oneok, agreed to multi-million dollar settlements with Southern Union.  The verdict is believed to be the largest-ever punitive damages award against an individual.

Purolite in its action for trade secret misappropriation against competitor Thermax, relating to stolen manufacturing formulae.  We successfully obtained $38 million for Purolite.

Ad hoc group of Energy Future Holdings (f/k/a TXU Corporation) legacy noteholders, in the case stemming from the largest leveraged buyout in history.  Following intensive discovery and a two-day trial, we successfully blocked a $2 billion loan and a restructuring support agreement, which would have transferred substantial value to other parties-in-interest, to the detriment of our clients.

Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Tomen America, Transammonia, Trammochem, Transgrain Shipping, Grupo Celanese, Acetex Corporation, and Millennium Petrochemicals in international arbitrations arising from a parcel tanker price-fixing conspiracy.  The cases were resolved pursuant to confidential settlements.

Waste Management of Florida, in a cost recovery action for a substantial cleanup brought by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).  After taking the FDEP’s expert’s deposition, the FDEP agreed to voluntarily dismiss its case with prejudice, without any payment of monies.

3,500 Alabama residents in what The Washington Post described as a “huge victory in a landmark environmental lawsuit” against Monsanto and its successor Solutia.  This massive case arose from decades of PCB pollution in the vicinity of a Monsanto plant in Alabama.  During a 17-month jury trial in which we obtained $100 million in jury verdicts for a portion of the plaintiffs, the case settled for $300 million.

Avantor Performance Materials in an action in New Jersey federal court against IBM stemming from an implementation of SAP software and an IBM software product.

ArvinMeritor, Celanese, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Emerson Electric, Heidelberg USA, Rockwell, Southern Union Company and other Fortune 500 companies, as national, regional, and local counsel in asbestos litigation.

Hoechst and other major chemical companies in defense of an action filed by 30 major textile manufacturers in multi-district litigation alleging a price-fixing conspiracy in the North American polyester staple fiber market.  This case was resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement.

Southern Union, a natural gas provider, in four consolidated environmental contamination suits brought by 200 residents of Tiverton, Rhode Island, who alleged personal injuries, property damage, and other consequential losses from contamination of residential soil by cyanide, arsenic, lead, tar, and other pollutants.  Plaintiffs claimed the pollutants were deposited on their land more than 50 years ago.

Southern Union in the defense of individual and class action claims for personal injury and property damage arising from an alleged mercury contamination.

Celanese Chemicals in defense of the claims of numerous workers for wrongful death, personal injuries and property damage as the result of alleged soil and groundwater contamination related to solar evaporation ponds.

Celanese Chemicals in defense of over 600 claims for personal injury and property damages resulting from the alleged airborne release of toxic chemicals from a hazardous waste dump, resulting in a complete dismissal.

Celanese Chemicals in defense of a series of individual, multi-plaintiff and putative class actions arising from the alleged release of toxic chemicals from a railcar while it was stopped in New Orleans; we successfully defeated plaintiffs' motion for class certification and obtained dismissal of all of the putative class claims.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, the exclusive retail electric service provider for the Hawaiian island of Kauai, in an investigation and criminal and civil cases relating to alleged violations of federal and endangered species statutes.