On October 4, 2010 The National Law Journal named Bernstein Liebhard LLP to its “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” for the eighth consecutive year. The Hot List features firms that obtained either substantial jury verdicts or settlements in the last year. To be considered, firms needed at least one significant win and an impressive track record within the previous three to five years. Of the twelve plaintiffs’ firms named to the list this year, Bernstein Liebhard is one of only two named for eight straight years.
The National Law Journal featured three of Firm’s recent successes, including a $14.7 million verdict obtained after a four-week trial in Artie’s Auto Body, Inc. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., No. X08-CV-03-0196141S (CLD) (Conn. Super. Ct.). The action was commenced in 2003 on behalf of approximately 550 licensed auto body repair shops in the state of Connecticut to recover for the harm caused by the Hartford Fire Insurance Co.’s (“The Hartford”) illegal practice of artificially suppressing labor rates for auto body repair work well below market rates, and illegally steering its insureds to a closed network of preferred auto body repair shops whose activities are tightly controlled by The Hartford, in direct violation of Connecticut law.
The National Law Journal also featured two of the Firm’s recent settlements, including the $400 million settlement obtained in In re Marsh & McLennan Cos., Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 04-CV-08144 (SWK) (S.D.N.Y.). The settlement, which is one of the top twenty-five largest securities class action settlements of all time, was achieved after more than five years of litigation. The firm represented the co-lead plaintiff, the State of New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Investment against the world’s largest insurance broker, Marsh & McLennan Cos., Inc. (“Marsh”). The case arose from the New York Attorney General’s investigation into the company’s illicit practice of steering its clients to insurance companies that agreed to pay it billions of dollars in contingent commissions.
Also featured is the global settlement of In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92 (S.D.N.Y.) for $586 million, which recently received final approval. Senior Partner Stanley D. Bernstein is chairman of the executive committee and led all plaintiffs’ counsel in litigating this case to its pending $586 million settlement, after more than eight years of litigation. The action alleged that, between 1998 and 2000, issuers and investment banks manipulated initial public offerings to artificially inflate the price of the securities. The 309 defendants include the companies that were brought public, certain of their officers and directors, and fifty-five of the investment banks that underwrote the IPOs and various follow-on offerings.