Gallagher v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, d/b/a FedLoan Servicing (1:17-cv-02416-JEJ)
Attorney Gary F. Lynch of the law firm of Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter has been appointed as Co-Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs in the multi-district litigation being brought against the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, also known as FedLoan. The consolidated class action, which is now pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, asserts that FedLoan has saddled student loan borrowers with additional debt because FedLoan cannot, or will not, process their payments and paperwork properly. The harm to the borrowers alleged in the litigation incudes include increasing borrowers’ unpaid balances, prolonging the life of their repayment obligations, or converting TEACH grants into interest-bearing loans. Student loan borrowers who are enrolled in Income Driven Repayment Plans, like Income-Contingent Repayment, Income-Based Repayment, Pay as You Earn Repayment (PAYE), and Revised Pay as You Earn Repayment (REPAYE), as well as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) programs may be affected.
In Re. Equifax, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation. (MDL No. 2800).
Mr. Lynch is currently representing multiple financial institutions in claims against the credit bureau Equifax, Inc. related to its massive data breach in 2017 which compromised the personal and financial information of 145 million consumers. In this case, Mr. Lynch continues to counsel and represent financial institutions regarding issues surrounding the breach of payment card data and consumer personally identifying information.
First Choice Federal Credit Union v. The Wendy’s Company et al. (W.D. Pa. 2:16-cv-0506).
Mr. Lynch was appointed co-lead counsel in a group of consolidated cases brought by financial institutions against the Wendy’s fast food chain in the aftermath of a late 2015 data breach that exposed customers’ credit card information. Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly recommended the denial of Wendy’s motion to dismiss in February 2017, and that report and recommendation was adopted by District Judge Nora Barry Fischer in March 2017. Discovery is proceeding in the case.
In re Vizio, Inc. Consumer Privacy Litigation. (MDL No. 2693).
Mr. Lynch was appointed to the Plaintiff Steering Committee to represent individuals who purchased Vizio “Smart TVs,” which contained software that collected information about the users in a manner that allegedly violates numerous consumer protection statutes. The case was consolidated and transferred to the Central District of California in April 2016. In March 2017, District Judge Staton granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss, granting plaintiffs leave to re-plead the dismissed counts. Discovery is proceeding in the case.
Sullivan v. Wenner Media, LLC (Rolling Stone Magazine). (W.D. Mich. 1:16-cv-00960).
Mr. Lynch represents a putative class of Michigan magazine subscribers alleging that their personal information was sold by Rolling Stone magazine, in violation of the Michigan Video Privacy Act.
In re Home Depot Customer Data Breach Litigation (N.D. Ga. 1:14-md-02583, MDL 2583).
Mr. Lynch represented a class of financial institutions in litigation related to the major data breach at Home Depot which continued for almost six months in 2014 and resulted in the compromise of approximately 56 million payment card accounts. Gary was appointed by Judge Thrash to be one of three lead counsel managing the financial institution track of the litigation. In September, 2017, the Court approved a settlement which provided the financial institutions a fund of $25 Million.
Luca v. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. (W.D. Pa. 2:2016-cv-00746).
Mr. Lynch represents a putative national class of consumers alleging they rented a hotel room from Wyndham Hotels and were improperly charged a “resort fee” and that aspects of Wyndham’s terms and conditions violate New Jersey’s Truth in Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act.
DeGidio v. Crazy Horse Saloon d/b/a The Dollhouse. (D. S.C. 4:2013-cv-02136).
Mr. Lynch represents a certified class of exotic dancers bringing claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and South Carolina law for improper pay practices and misclassification as “independent contractors.”
Bellwether Community Credit Union v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (D. Colo. 1:17-cv-01102).
Mr. Lynch was appointed by the Court to serve as a member of the Plaintiff Steering Committee in this alleged class action filed on behalf of financial institutions in the wake of the payment card data breach at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
In re: Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation. (E.D. Mo. 4:15-md-2669).
Mr. Lynch was appointed to the Plaintiff Steering Committee in this data breach which impacted 37 million subscribers to the online dating website. In July, 2017, the case was settled for $11.2 million.
In re Target Corporation Customer Data Breach Litigation. (D. Minn. 0:14-md-02522, MDL 2522).
Mr. Lynch was appointed to the five-member Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee overseeing both the consumer and financial institution tracks in this litigation concerning the massive data breach at Target in 2013. A settlement agreement which provided $10 million to affected individual customers was granted final approval in November 2015. A separate settlement providing approximately $39 million in relief to plaintiff financial institutions was given final approval in May 2016.
First NBC Bank v. Kmart Corp. et al. (N.D. Ill No. 1:14-cv-10088).
Mr. Lynch was appointed to the Plaintiff Steering Committee to represent financial institutions in an action against Kmart Corporation (a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation) stemming from a 2014 data breach in which customer credit and debit card information was compromised. The case was settled for $6.9 million in 2017.
Dittman et al v. UPMC d/b/a The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and UPMC McKeesport. (Allegheny Cty., Pa. No. GD-14-003285).
Mr. Lynch is representing several employees of the health care group UPMC in a class action stemming from a breach of UPMC’s personnel files. Hundreds of employee files were compromised and numerous fraudulent tax returns were filed using the stolen data. The case is on appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
CitiMortgage SCRA Litigation. (S.D.N.Y.).
Mr. Lynch was appointed to serve as one of three co-lead counsel in this class action against CitiMortgage on behalf of Sergeant Jorge Rodriguez in the Southern District of New York. This case alleged that CitiMortgage improperly foreclosed upon Mr. Rodriguez’s home (and the homes of similarly situated individuals) while he was serving his country in Iraq, in violation of the Service members Civil Relief Act. The case has settled on a class basis for $38.2 million.
Correll v. One Three Five, Inc. (W.D. Pa.).
Mr. Lynch served as class counsel for a class of several hundred nightclub performers (exotic dancers) who alleged that they were misclassified by the club’s owner as independent contractors, resulting in violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Pennsylvania state wage laws. A class settlement was granted final approval in 2016 and provided $815,000 in total relief for the class.
Kaher v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co. (U.S.D.C., W.D. Pa./MDL N.D. Ill.).
Mr. Lynch was counsel for plaintiff in connection with this consolidated group of class actions alleging the existence a kick-back scheme in violation of RESPA, along with numerous other unfair lending practices. The specific case being handled by Mr. Lynch created new law under RESPA. Specifically, Mr. Lynch filed this action as a test case to challenge what he viewed as a negative trend in the law regarding how federal trial courts were determining whether a consumer has standing to sue under RESPA, as well as the manner in which damages are calculated under RESPA. Every prior federal trial court to consider these issues had sided with defendants. In opposing the Ameriquest motion to dismiss that was filed in this case, Mr. Lynch argued that these other federal trial courts had fundamentally misinterpreted the legislative history of RESPA, to support their decisions to dismiss the prior cases. In a seminal decision, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania departed from the holdings issued by these other federal courts, and agreed with the arguments of Mr. Lynch, denying the motion to dismiss. See Kahrer v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co., 418 F.Supp.2d 748 (W.D. Pa. 2006)(Hay, J.). Multiple federal courts of appeal have adopted the Kahrer reasoning, including at least the Sixth and Third Circuits. This case was ultimately settled as part of MDL proceedings against Ameriquest in the Northern District of Illinois, and final approval of the settlement was granted.
Crozer-Keystone Health System Overtime Litigation. (E.D. Pa.).
Mr. Lynch filed a putative collective action against Crozer-Keystone Health System in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Complaint challenged pay practices related to nurse practitioners and/or physicians’ assistants. The plaintiffs in these cases allege that they are illegally being denied overtime compensation by their employers. After discovery, the Parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. In a widely reported opinion issued on January 4, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Defendant had misclassified individuals in Plaintiff’s job position. Defendant’s motion for reconsideration of the federal court’s summary judgment decision was denied in a twenty one page opinion and order issued on August 15, 2011. Following mediation, the settlement of this case was approved in August 2012.
Gualano v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (U.S.D.C., W.D. Pa).
Gary Lynch was co-lead counsel in this wage and hour litigation alleging that defendant retail clothier was violating federal and state minimum wage laws. Following the fairness hearing in early 2005, where a multi-state settlement was presented to the Court for approval, the Court entered Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law addressing lead counsels’ adequacy as follows:
“The Court finds the plaintiffs’ counsel, Bruce Carlson and Gary Lynch, are experienced class counsel and that they have met all of the requirements of Rule 23(g)(1)(B) and (C). Consistent with the underlying purpose of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, plaintiffs’ counsel have achieved, with utmost efficiency, a quality result for the entire class and are commended for the diligence and effective advocacy they have displayed on behalf of their clients.”
Ellis v. Edward Jones. (U.S.D.C.N.D.OH.).
Mr. Lynch chaired the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Committee in this wage and hour class action alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated federal and state overtime laws. The case was settled with class members from multiple states receiving in excess of $19,000,000.00.
In re St. Francis Health System. (C.P., Allegheny County Pennsylvania)
Mr. Lynch was counsel for the class in connection with this wage and hour litigation on behalf of certain former employees of the St. Francis Health System in Pittsburgh. Plaintiff asserted that the class was deprived of severance benefits when St. Francis Health System was acquired by another hospital group in Western Pennsylvania. Prior to the disposition of Plaintiff’s class certification motion, the parties engaged in extensive mediation before reaching a class-based settlement.
Career Education Corporation Misclassification Litigation. (U.S.D.C., W.D. Pa.).
In early 2011, Mr. Lynch filed a putative collective action on behalf of admissions representatives employed by culinary schools operated by Career Education Corporation, alleging that the employees were misclassified and improperly denied overtime benefits. A class settlement was negotiated in this case and final approval of the settlement was granted in December 2011
Crozer-Keystone Health System Overtime Litigation). (E.D. Pa.).
Mr. Lynch filed a putative collective action against Crozer-Keystone Health System in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Complaint challenged pay practices related to nurse practitioners and/or physicians’ assistants. The plaintiffs in the cases alleged that they were illegally being denied overtime compensation by their employers. After discovery, the Parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. In a widely reported opinion issued on January 4, 2011, the Court granted Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Defendant had misclassified individuals in Plaintiff’s job position. Defendant’s motion for reconsideration of the federal court’s summary judgment decision was denied in a twenty one page opinion and order issued on August 15, 2011. Following mediation, the settlement of this case was approved in August 2012.
White v. United Steel Workers of America. (U.S.D.C., W.D. Pa.).
Mr. Lynch was co-lead counsel in this age-discrimination class action against the U.S.W.A. After overcoming a motion to dismiss on a legal issue regarding which there was a substantial split of authority, the defendant requested mediation to explore the possibility of settlement. After extensive mediation over a one month period in June 2004, the case ultimately settled for an amount that defense counsel characterized as the highest ever paid by the U.S.W.A. in connection with civil litigation.