Carlson Lynch Sweet & Kilpela Logo Skip to Main Content

Completed Cases

Carlson Lynch has extensive experience litigating class action lawsuits on behalf of mistreated workers and consumers. Listed below is a sampling of some of the recent class/collective action cases we have handled. If you believe that you may have a similar claim, please contact us for a free, confidential case evaluation.

In re Wireless Phone Equipment Replacement Insurance Litigation

  • Carlson Lynch served as lead counsel in this national class action litigation alleging consumer fraud in connection with wireless phone equipment replacement insurance. Following the fairness hearing in November, 2004, the Court entered Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law which commented on the adequacy of Carlson Lynch as lead counsel as follows:
  • “Class counsel have abundant experience as lead counsel in consumer class action litigation. Indeed, class counsel have frequently appeared before this Court. Other courts have routinely recognized class counsels’ adequacy … This Court readily agrees with these other courts, and finds that Bruce Carlson and Gary Lynch are more than adequate counsel, and indeed are capable and diligent class action attorneys.”
  • The settlement was approved and the settlement proceeds were distributed to the class.

Gualano v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-lead counsel in this wage and hour class action litigation alleging that defendant retail clothier was violating federal and state wage and hour laws by virtue of its requirement that sales associate employees purchase and wear defendant’s clothing while working. 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.”

Pasci v. Express, LLC (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-lead counsel in this wage and hour litigation alleging that defendant retail clothier was violating federal and state wage and hour laws by virtue of its requirement that its sales associate employees purchase and wear defendant’s clothing while working. A multi-state class settlement was achieved and presented to the Court for approval in November, 2004. Regarding the adequacy of Carlson Lynch as class counsel, the Court issued Findings and Conclusions stating:
  • “With respect to the adequacy of counsel, the Court finds that class counsel have capably and vigorously represented the class. Bruce Carlson and Gary Lynch have substantial experience in class-based litigation involving Consumer fraud and employment claims … Class counsel achieved an efficient and excellent result on behalf of the class.”

White v. United Steel Workers of America (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch served as 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.

Bannon v. First One Lending, Inc. (Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-lead counsel in this class action filed on behalf of Pennsylvania second mortgage loan borrowers alleging that they were charged excessive settlement fees in violation of the Pennsylvania Secondary Mortgage Loan Act. After the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss, the case ultimately settled and plaintiffs and the class were refunded 100% of the alleged overcharge.

Dwight v. American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas)

  • Carlson Lynch was lead counsel in this class action alleging that American Eagle violated various wage and hour laws in connection with its requirement that its sales associates purchase and wear defendant retailer’s clothing while at work. The parties negotiated a multi-state settlement, which was approved by the trial court.

Tarlecki v. Bebe Stores, Inc. (Northern District of California)

  • Carlson Lynch was co-lead counsel in this wage and hour litigation alleging that defendant retail clothier was violating federal and state wage and hour laws in connection with its requirement that its sales associates purchase and wear defendant retailer’s clothing while at work. The parties reached agreement on a class-wide national settlement, which was approved by the Court in late 2009.

Dykeman v. Charming Shoppes, Inc. (King County Superior Court)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-lead counsel in this case alleging violations of the state of Washington’s wage and hour laws, in connection with defendant retail clothier’s requirement that its sales associates purchase and wear its clothing while at work. Class-wide settlement was achieved and approved by the Court, with the proceeds distributed to the class in 2007. Carlson Lynch also served as co-lead counsel in a related case in the state court of California. Class-wide settlement was achieved and approved by the Court in that litigation in 2008.

Pitts v. NovaStar Home Loans, Inc. et al. (Southern District of Georgia)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-lead counsel for plaintiffs in this national RESPA class action, which was consolidated by the federal Judicial Panel for Multi-District Litigation and transferred to the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. After significant litigation and protracted negotiations, the matter was settled on a national, class-wide basis, providing class members of up to $17,300,000.00. The Court approved the settlement in 2007.

Battaline v. Advest (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch served as lead counsel for plaintiffs in this wage and hour class action alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of stock broker employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. A national, class-wide settlement was achieved and approved in 2008.

Ellis v. Edward Jones (Northern District of Ohio)

  • Carlson Lynch chaired the Plaintiffs’ Leadership Committee in this wage and hour class action alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated federal and state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of stock broker employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. After significant discovery and protracted negotiations, the matter was settled on a class-wide, multi-state basis, with class members receiving in excess of $19,000,000.00. The Court approved the settlement in 2009.

Byers v. PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch served as lead plaintiffs’ counsel in this wage and hour class action alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated federal and state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of stock broker employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. A multi-state, class-wide settlement was approved by the Court in 2008.

Steen v. A.G. Edwards, Inc. (Southern District of California)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-class counsel for plaintiffs in this wage and hour litigation alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated federal and state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of stock broker employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. A mediated national class-based settlement was achieved and approved by the Court in 2009.

Meola v. AXA Financial, Inc. (Northern District of California)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-class counsel for plaintiffs in this wage and hour litigation alleging that defendant financial services company violated federal and state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of certain of its employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. A mediated national class-based settlement was achieved and approved by the Court in 2009.

In re St. Francis Health System (Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas)

  • Carlson Lynch served as class counsel in this wage and hour litigation on behalf of certain former employees of the St. Francis Health System in Pittsburgh. Plaintiffs asserted that they were deprived of severance benefits when St. Francis Health System was acquired by another hospital group in Western Pennsylvania. After extensive negotiation overseen by a private mediator, a class-wide settlement was achieved and approved by the Court.

Haag v. Janney Montgomery Scott (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch was a member of the three-firm Executive Committee in this wage and hour class action alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated federal and state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of stock broker employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. After protracted litigation and two separate mediations, the parties reached a multi-state settlement, which was approved by the Court in 2009.

Steinberg v. Morgan Stanley & Co. (Southern District of California)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-class counsel for plaintiff in this litigation alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated federal and state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of stock broker employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. A mediated national class-based settlement was achieved and approved by the Court.

Ramsey v. Ryan Beck, Inc. (Southern District of New York)

  • Carlson Lynch served as co-class counsel in this litigation alleging that defendant stock brokerage company violated federal and state wage and hour laws with respect to its classification of stock broker employees as “exempt” from the laws’ overtime requirement. After protracted litigation, the parties reached a multi-state settlement which was approved by the Court in 2010.

Kniess v. Heritage Valley Health Systems, Inc. (Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas)

  • Carlson Lynch served as lead counsel in this wage and hour class action alleging the defendant hospital system failed to pay overtime compensation to its nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, misclassifying such employees as “exempt” under the wage and hour laws. The parties reached a mediated class settlement, approved by the Court, whereby class members received the majority of the back pay alleged to be owed.

Leadbitter v. The Washington Hospital, Inc. (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch served as lead counsel in this wage and hour class action alleging that defendant hospital system failed to pay overtime compensation to its nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, misclassifying such employees as “exempt” under the wage and hour laws. The parties reached a mediated class settlement, approved by the Court, whereby class members received the majority of the back pay alleged to be owed.

Kahrer v. Ameriquest Mortgage Co. (Western District of Pennsylvania/Multidistrict Litigation Northern District of Illinois)

  • Carlson Lynch served as counsel for plaintiff in connection with this consolidated group of class actions alleging the existence of a kick-back scheme in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), along with numerous other unfair lending practices. The specific case being handled by Carlson Lynch broke important new ground under RESPA, as it was one of the first cases to challenge the then-negative trend in the law over whether RESPA’s damages clause provides a “statutory” damage based upon a trebling of the entire settlement service charge at issue – a question which impacts plaintiff’s standing to sue, as well as the calculation of damages. Every prior federal trial court to consider the issue had sided with defendants.
  • In opposing defendant’s motion to dismiss, Carlson Lynch illustrated how the earlier courts had fundamentally misinterpreted the legislative history of RESPA. 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 accepted the interpretation of RESPA proffered by Carlson Lynch. Multiple federal courts of appeal have since adopted the Kahrer reasoning, including the Sixth and Third Circuits.

Cuttic v. Crozer Medical Center (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch represented plaintiff in this wage and hour lawsuit challenging the defendant’s classification of its nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants as “exempt” under the FLSA. In a widely reported opinion issued on January 4, 2011, the Court, addressing an issue of first impression among the district courts within the Third Circuit, granted Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Defendant has misclassified its nurse practitioners/physicians’ assistants under the federal law.

Kelly v. Career Education Corporation (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • Carlson Lynch served as class counsel in this wage and hour lawsuit filed on behalf of admissions representatives at a culinary school, challenging the pay practices of defendant with regard to overtime. After the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for “conditional certification” under the FLSA, the parties entered into protracted negotiations with the oversight of a private mediator. In 2011, a class-wide settlement was achieved and approved by the Court.

FACTA Litigation

  • Carlson Lynch has served as lead counsel in numerous class actions throughout the nation alleging violation of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (“FACTA”), a federal statute which became effective in 2006 for the express purpose of protecting consumers who use credit/debit cards from potential identity theft. Carlson Lynch has been one of the leading firms to represent consumers in enforcing their statutory rights under FACTA, and has obtained several favorable decisions regarding interpretation of this relatively new statute. Nearly all of the FACTA lawsuits commenced brought by Carlson Lynch on behalf of consumers have resulted in favorable class-wide or individual settlements.

Ehrheart v. Verizon Wireless (Western District of Pennsylvania)

  • In this FACTA lawsuit, Carlson Lynch served as class counsel for plaintiffs and successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of the class, which was preliminarily approved by the district court. However, when, on June 4, 2008, Congress passed an amnesty bill that eliminated potential liability for every defendant that had a FACTA case pending against it as of that date (but did not change the law prospectively), defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case, attempting to avoid the negotiated settlement which had been preliminarily approved by the Court. The district court granted defendant’s motion. Carlson Lynch appealed the issue to the Third Circuit, obtained a reversal of the district court, and generated a reported decision by the Third Circuit which favorably interprets the role in which a district court must serve in analyzing a proposed class action settlement.

EFTA Litigation

  • Carlson Lynch has successfully represented classes of consumers in multiple federal venues under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. These cases alleged that various automated-teller machine (“ATM”) operators (primarily financial institutions) violated mandatory ATM fee disclosure requirements, and therefore were not permitted to impose transaction fees on ATM users at their machines. Carlson Lynch has successfully negotiated both individual and class-wide settlements in these cases. Additionally, Carlson Lynch has been instrumental in shaping the decisional law interpreting EFTA, at both the district court and appellate level.