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, mass tort and product liability, trade secret, intellectual property, antitrust, employment, and bankruptcy and restructuring.

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Consumer Products

A Major automaker 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.

 

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, the global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Israel, and its US subsidiary Actavis, in defending a number of antitrust class actions.

 

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.

 

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, Samsung, 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.

 

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

 

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 Company 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 Millenium Petrochemicals in international arbitrations arising from a parcel tanker price-fixing conspiracy.  The cases were resolved pursuant to confidential settlements.

 

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.