In early 2014, Neal Marder was quoted in an article relating to a $150 million suit over fire-prone dehumidifiers. Soleus International Inc., represented by a legal team that included Marder, sued Gree Electric Appliances Inc. over dehumidifiers that Soleus and Gree were selling together in the United States via a joint venture. Allegations made in the case accused Gree of a number of instances of misbehavior, which included pressuring Soleus to mask complaints and attempting to harm Soleus’ business after it brought concerns about overheating to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which recalled the dehumidifiers in 2013.
Gree moved to have the case dismissed, claiming it had no merit, but a federal judge in California granted Gree’s motion on only one of five claims made by Soleus, paving the way for the case to proceed on the other four claims. In response, Neal Marder said that “the court got it right in overruling virtually all aspects of the motion” and expressed his client’s intention to proceed to a jury trial.
A class action lawsuit brings together a set of plaintiffs claiming to have received a similar injury from the same business or organization from which they seek to obtain damages. Class action suits take place in the realm of civil, as opposed to criminal, law. Any class action suit must still follow the established rules of civil law in its procedure, even though it may represent hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs.
An attorney may file a class action suit under federal or state law, as applicable. Class action suits must receive certification, with a judge determining whether the case meets the requirements. After certification, defendants may raise objections, and potential plaintiffs may decide to opt out to pursue individual lawsuits. If the parties reach a settlement agreement before trial, they must inform the public of the agreement’s provisions. When class action suits do go to trial, the litigation can proceed for years.
Los Angeles-based attorney Neal Marder has successfully defended numerous corporations in this area of litigation. Among his recent cases is George v. China Automotive Systems Inc., in which he obtained a denial of class certification. That decision received widespread attention due to its status as one of the first-ever securities fraud cases involving a Chinese firm that entered the market in the United States due to a reverse merger transaction.