Product Labeling, Reason for New Litigation Tsunami

January 14, 2013

Kristen Polovoy, Julie Chelius and Michael Hayes presented a CLE that focused on strategies for preparing and defending consumer class actions.

Kristen E. Polovoy, Julie H. Chelius and Michael B. Hayes, attorneys with Montgomery McCracken, were planners and presenters for Preparing For and Defending Consumer Fraud Product Labeling Class Actions, an in-house CLE program that addressed the reasons for the up-tick in consumer fraud class action claims, the defenses that companies can employ to defend against such claims, the role of federal agencies, and the risk and reward of  e-discovery in these lawsuits.  The discussion focused primarily on the food industry, but acknowledged the implications spill over to other consumer products, that product labeling is a hot bed, fertile for consumer class actions, and that companies need a proactive and comprehensive strategy.

Polovoy serves as of counsel in Montgomery McCracken’s Litigation Department in its Cherry Hill, New Jersey office.  As a member of the firm’s class action defense practice, she has successfully represented several national companies in consumer fraud class actions.  Polovoy chairs the Class Action Practice Committee of the Camden County Bar Association and frequently speaks and writes on the subject of class action defense.  She was quoted in the August 19, 2012 New York Times and August 20, 2012 Corporate Counsel regarding the alarming increase in product labeling class actions.

Chelius is a partner in the Litigation Department at Montgomery McCracken.  Chelius’ practice focuses on the defense of product liability claims, including claims involving products subject to regulation by the FDA and other governmental agencies.  She advises and defends clients in cases involving medical devices and pharmaceuticals, settlement trusts, fire and safety products, wine distribution, and construction materials in class action, multidistrict and other complex litigation.

Hayes, co-chair of the firm’s E-Discovery practice group, is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department.  His practice concentrates on commercial litigation and government and corporate investigations with a particular focus on pharmaceuticals and related life sciences.  He represents pharmaceutical manufacturers in connection with internal corporate and government investigations and related suits involving the False Claims Act, alleged off-label promotion and the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, state consumer protection laws and related matters.  He is frequently called on by clients and colleagues to provide legal advice, consultation and recommendations concerning electronic discovery issues.