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Gary F. Lynch was born and grew up in Western Pennsylvania. He worked his way through college, graduating in 1986 from Penn State University with a degree in Accounting and a dual minor in English and Business Logistics. Gary then earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he graduated in 1989, having served as an Editor of the University of Pittsburgh Law Review.
Gary began his legal career with the law firm of Reed Smith, then the largest firm in Pittsburgh. Since leaving Reed Smith in 1991, he has consistently represented plaintiffs in various employment and consumer lawsuits. Gary now has a national plaintiffs’ class action practice in the areas of employee wage rights, consumer protection, and data breach and cyber security. As a founding partner of Carlson Lynch, he has argued in numerous federal and state courts throughout the country and has handled more than 100 class actions. Gary has achieved numerous multi-million-dollar recoveries on behalf of plaintiff classes, and has represented plaintiffs against many of the nation’s largest corporations, including Home Depot, PNC Bank, Equifax, and Target. He served as Counsel of Record in the United States Supreme Court case captioned Symczyk v. Genesis, which was argued to the Court in December, 2012, and resulted in a decision which helped shaped the law regarding the ability of a defendant to “pick off” a class representative by offering a judgment for their individual damages. In 2018, he argued successfully before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the case captioned Dittman v. UPMC, establishing a common law duty for the holders of electronically-stored personally-identifiable information to adequately secure and protect such information. Gary is a frequent local and national lecturer on class litigation, cybersecurity, and wage issues.
In Gary’s words: “These days, individual citizens entering the American marketplace, whether as employees or consumers, often find themselves in a completely powerless bargaining position. While governmental policy makers have attempted, in many instances, to level the playing field on which goods, services and labor are traded, these governmental policies, which are intended to restrain business from acting in a fundamentally unfair manner, remain ineffective unless and until they are meaningfully enforced. In my practice, I view my role as assisting that enforcement process. I represent the “little guy” in the American marketplace. Given that my one grandfather worked in a steel mill and the other in a coal mine, my job is consistent with both the heritage of my family and the region of our country where I was born and raised, and where I continue to live. I believe in what I do.”
In 2019, Gary was selected as a finalist for The Legal Intelligencer Attorney of the Year award and has again been selected as a Thomas Reuters’ Super Attorney in Pennsylvania. Gary is past president and a current board member of the Human Services Center, Inc. (an outpatient behavioral healthcare provider in Western Pennsylvania) and lives in Pittsburgh.
Gary F. Lynch has been engaged in the practice of law for thirty years and currently oversees a nationally recognized plaintiffs’ class action practice in the areas of data breach and privacy litigation, employee rights, wage & hour litigation, and consumer protection. Gary and his firm have handled hundreds of class actions in federal and state courts throughout the country. He has been appointed as class counsel in cases brought against many of the country’s largest business organizations, including UPMC, Equifax, Home Depot, Wendy’s, Target and Fedex. Gary has been appointed to leadership positions in some of the largest and most complex data breach cases of the past three years. He currently serves as Co-lead Counsel for the financial institution plaintiffs in the Equifax data breach litigation and the Home Depot data breach litigation, and was appointed to the five-member overall Executive Committee responsible for both the consumer and financial institution plaintiff tracks of the Target data breach litigation.
In 2012, Gary served as Counsel of Record before the United States Supreme Court in the case of Genesis HealthCare Corp. v. Symczyk, addressing the issue of whether Rule 68 can be used to moot an FLSA collective action. The case resulted in a 5-4 decision, with Justice Kagan writing a strong dissent on behalf of Gary’s client – a position which subsequently was adopted by the majority of the Court in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez.
In 2018, Gary successfully argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the case of Dittman et al v. UPMC d/b/a The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and UPMC McKeesport, which resulted in a decision establishing a common law duty for the holders of personally-identifiable information to act reasonably to secure and protect such information.
In 2019, Gary was selected as a finalist for The Legal Intelligencer Attorney of the Year award and has again been selected as a Thomas Reuters’ Super Attorney in Pennsylvania. He has received Martindale Hubbell’s “AV” rating.