Honors, Experience, and Accomplishments

In 2018, Justin was honored as a Rising Star under 40 years of age by Law360® in Class Actions, a prestigious award given to a select few “top litigators and dealmakers practicing at a level usually seen from veteran attorneys,” for which Law360® selected the 5 “winners after reviewing more than 1,200 submissions.

Nematzadeh PLLC’s growth just within a year of its launch in 2021 has been explosive. Within a year, the Firm has helped launch class actions on behalf of named plaintiffs and the plaintiffs’ classes in each of the following four class actions:

  • Casey’s Distributing, Inc., et al. v. Major League Baseball, et al. (S.D.N.Y.);
  • Casey’s Distributing, Inc., et al. v. National Football League, Inc., et al. (S.D.N.Y.);
  • Dream Big Media, Inc., et al. v. Alphabet Inc., et al. (N.D. Cal.); and
  •  Dunham, et al. v. The Sherwin-Williams Company (N.D.N.Y.).

Prior to launching Nematzadeh PLLC in 2021, Justin was a core member of the team in the In re Petrobras Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), arising from a multi-billion-dollar bribery and price-fixing scheme. In 2018, he helped the team achieve a historic $3 billion settlement for the class, as well as precedent-setting legal rulings. At that time, this was the largest securities class action settlement in a decade, the largest securities class action settlement ever involving a foreign issuer, the largest securities class action settlement ever achieved by a foreign lead plaintiff, the largest securities class action settlement ever that did not involve a restatement of financial statements, and the fifth-largest class action settlement ever achieved in the United States. In praising the lawyers who worked on this historic class action, the Honorable Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York stated that the “lawyers in this case [are] some of the best lawyers in the United States, if not in the world.”

While practicing at some of the most prestigious plaintiffs-focused law firms in the world, Justin had played roles in over a dozen other actions that resulted in total recoveries amounting to over $530 million for plaintiffs. For example:

  • In re Altair Nanotechnologies Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of approximately $1.5 million;
  • Carmack, et al. v. Amaya Inc., et al. (D.N.J.), recovery of approximately $5.75 million;
  • Calfo, et al. v. Messina, et al. (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of approximately $1.65 million;
  • Kaplan, et al. v. S.A.C. Capital Advisors, L.P., et al. (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of approximately $135 million;
  • Maleef, et al. v. B Communications Ltd., et al. (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of approximately $1.2 million;
  • Mauss, et al. v. NuVasive, Inc., et al. (S.D. Cal.), recovery of approximately $7.9 million;
  • In re MF Global Holdings Limited Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of over $230 million;
  • In re OSG Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of over $30 million;
  • Perez, et al. v. Higher One Holdings, Inc., et al. (D. Conn.), recovery of approximately $7.5 million;
  • In re Retrophin, Inc. Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of approximately $3 million;
  • Springer, et al. v. Code Rebel Corporation, et al. (S.D.N.Y.), recovery of approximately $1 million;
  • Waterford Township Police & Fire Retirement Sys., et al. v. Smithtown Bancorp, Inc., et al. (E.D.N.Y.), recovery of over $1.9 million; and
  • In re Yahoo! Inc. Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.), recovery of approximately $80 million.

Justin has represented plaintiffs and defendants in several antitrust actions, such as the following:

  • Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al. (S.D.N.Y.);
  • In re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.);
  • In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.);
  • In re Generic Digoxin and Doxycycline Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.);
  • In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.); and
  • In re Treasury Securities Auction Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.).

Reflecting the diversity of Justin’s practice, he played a role in litigation against the fashion mogul Peter Nygard on behalf of over a dozen women who are alleged to have been raped by him when they were underage, Does v. Nygard, et al. (S.D.N.Y.).

Prior to predominantly representing plaintiffs, Justin practiced at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and represented defendants in bet-the-company litigation. Justin’s practice involved U.S. federal and state and international complex litigation, arbitration, and internal and regulatory investigations, with an emphasis on antitrust, breach of fiduciary duty, commodities, contract, fraud, intellectual property, and securities litigation. Justin played roles in representing defendants in:

  • Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al. (S.D.N.Y.),
  • Garofalo, et al. v. Revlon, Inc., et al. (D. Del.),
  • In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), and
  • In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.).

In addition, Justin played a role on the trial team in iBasis Inc.’s lawsuit against Koninklijke KPN NV in connection with an alleged inadequate tender offer, which was settled during trial in 2009 before the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Justin’s zealous advocacy has been demonstrated further through pro bono work that has achieved staggering results for those with disabilities. For example, for his work in representing plaintiffs in Toney-Dick, et al. v. Doar, et al. (S.D.N.Y.), Justin was awarded a 2013 Pro Bono Publico award from The Legal Aid Society. Justin also helped forge the relationship between Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and The Partnership for Children’s Rights and the AHRC, in order for attorneys to perform pro bono work on behalf of developmentally disabled children and their families. He also performed pro bono work on behalf of Holocaust survivors, a criminal defendant for an exoneration hearing, a lawful permanent resident in defense of a removal hearing, and parties in contested guardianship hearings, all of which have equipped him with first-chair experience, especially in trials.

Information About Class Actions, Mass Actions, Mass Torts, and Multi-District Litigation

Here you will find a wealth of information about class actions, mass actions, mass torts, and multi-district litigation, along with answers to commonly asked questions.

What is a class action?

A class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or multiple named representatives, whether they are businesses, other types of entities, or individuals, bring an action on behalf of a larger group of businesses, other types of entities, or individuals who suffered similar harm from the defendant’s allegedly unlawful conduct. Class actions are often filed when it would be impracticable or prohibitively expensive for each claimant who was harmed to file an individual action. Claimants are thus enabled to seek recovery from large defendants possessing greater financial resources. Courts can decide the claims of many plaintiffs in an individual lawsuit, which promotes efficiency, economy, and justice.

Although the substantive laws that are the subjects of class actions vary, several factors are pervasive in most class actions: the affected class members are so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring all claims individually, the legal and factual issues in dispute are common to the class members, and the class action mechanism is the best alternative for bringing redress to the victims.

Many class actions are launched as a result of a named representative’s complaint, a confidential informant, a whistleblower, a government or other type of regulator’s investigation or lawsuit, criminal indictments, or other types of revelations.

What are the benefits of class actions?

Class actions are designed to advance important public policy: indeed, class actions are often the sole means to enable victims to remedy injustices committed by powerful businesses or institutions. Combining similar claims that may be impractical to litigate separately makes for a relatively effective, streamlined, and cost-effective legal process. If individual lawsuits were pursued, the time and expense involved in litigating an individual case may only result in minimal compensation—if any—that would not provide a net benefit to the claimant because of the litigation fees and expenses. However, the total damage to the class can be staggering.

Class actions help avoid inconsistent decisions and case law among several courts and judges concerning otherwise similar fact patterns and behavior. And class actions help ensure that defendants are held accountable for misconduct and motivated to improve corporate compliance with laws; wrongdoers would have incentives to continue unlawful conduct, except for having to disgorge unlawfully gained profits or otherwise compensate victims through a class action. Government regulators’ fines often only fill government accounts, so providing financial redress to private victims must often be achieved through class actions.

What are the benefits for named representatives or lead plaintiffs in class actions?

There are several benefits for named representatives and lead plaintiffs. Indeed, businesses that are named representatives or lead plaintiffs often have no choice but to launch class actions because, without them, the alleged unlawful activity would drive them out of business. Depending on the substantive law at issue, there are protections in place to combat unreasonable retaliation by defendants against named representatives or lead plaintiffs.

Courts normally appoint a named representative(s) or lead plaintiff(s) at some point during the course of a class action. The named representative(s) or lead plaintiff(s) prosecutes the class action on behalf of the class members. In this capacity, the named representative(s) or lead plaintiff(s) plays a crucial role in selecting and overseeing lead counsel (and occasionally, additional class counsel). By choosing skilled, experienced lead counsel (and occasionally, additional class counsel) to represent the class, an individual class member may significantly affect the likelihood of the class action’s success and size of the eventual recovery for the class and the claimant herself, himself, or itself. The named representative(s) or lead plaintiff(s) role is assisted and guided heavily by lead counsel. You are not alone.

Not only do named representatives or lead plaintiffs receive pro-rata percentages of the losses that they incurred from recovery pools of consideration for class members, but they also could receive cash incentives that are awarded by courts. Often, named representatives or lead plaintiffs are not responsible for advancing litigation fees and costs; instead, litigation fees and costs are often recovered from pools of consideration for class members.

Normally, there are no out-of-pocket costs to any named representative, lead plaintiff, or class member, regardless of the outcome. Lead counsel (and occasionally, additional class counsel) often pay all costs and expenses associated with a class action and work on a contingency basis. Law firm(s) are only paid if there is a recovery or other type of consideration for the class. If we are successful in obtaining a recovery or other type of consideration for the class, we will ask the court to award the Firm fees, costs, and expenses from the recovery or from the defendants; if we do not obtain a recovery or other type of consideration for the class, we do not get paid any legal fees, costs, or expenses.

Named representatives or lead plaintiffs experience the pride of standing up for similarly situated victims, and they have the authority to guide key aspects of class actions and decide resolutions, with guidance from class counsel. They are empowered to approve or reject any settlement offers. Often, they do not take on the risk of litigation fees, costs, or expenses, they receive their pro-rata share of any recovery, and in addition, they could receive a meaningful incentive award. Without a class action, a claimant would often incur the risk of paying legal fees, costs, and expenses. And if a claimant waited to file a claim in a settlement secured through lead plaintiffs, that claimant may still have to pay another lawyer or service to help them submit a claim form.

What is the class period?

The class period is the time period specified during which the alleged unlawful activity occurred. Anyone who has allegedly been harmed by the defendant’s conduct during the class period may be a class member. Although an initial class action complaint will specify a certain class and class period, this class definition and class period may be expanded or contracted as litigation advances and new issues are discovered. If a class action leads to recovery or another type of benefit, class members are eligible to receive a portion of the recovery.

Judgments and Settlements

If the class action prevails or there is a settlement, the class members are paid under a distribution plan—often either a percentage of the award fund or a specific dollar amount. Each member will receive an amount proportionate to the losses each has suffered. If the parties involved in a class action agree to settle, the agreement must be approved by the court. Also, settlement agreements could include provisions requiring the defendant to stop its unlawful practices and take corrective action to improve its business practices.

What is multi-district litigation?

Multi-district litigation is a procedure in which federal civil cases that have one or more questions of fact or law in common are transferred to one court. If a case does not settle or is not dismissed during multi-district litigation, it is sent back to the original court for trial. Multi-district litigation is designed to conserve resources and foster consistent court rulings across multiple lawsuits involving similar legal issues.

What are examples of substantive laws that form the basis of class actions?

Class actions often arise from violations of federal, state, and local law, examples of which are summarized here (and in other content pages of this website).

Antitrust and Unfair Competition Laws
As described more thoroughly on the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Page, antitrust laws outlaw “every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations” and “monopolization, attempted monopolization, or conspiracy or combination to monopolize.” Examples of collusion, monopolistic, and other anti-competitive activity that violate antitrust and unfair competition laws are price-fixing, supply fixing, bid rigging, customer allocations and market division, group boycotts, tying, information sharing, standard-setting and purported best practices, using intellectual property rights to foreclose competition, price discrimination and predatory pricing, and resale-price maintenance.

Securities Laws:
As described more thoroughly on the Securities Page, securities, anti-manipulation, and investor-protection laws outlaw misrepresentations, omissions, manipulation, insider trading, or other types of alleged wrongdoing in connection with securities or other types of investments that investors make. Investors must receive financial and other material information concerning securities being offered for public sale, and deceit, misrepresentations, and other types of fraud in the sale of securities must be prohibited. Examples of activities that violate securities, anti-manipulation, and investor-protection laws are fraudulent misrepresentations or omissions, false or misleading proxy solicitations, false or misleading tender offers, insider trading, spoofing, manipulative trading, breaches of fiduciary duties, churning, unsuitable investments, unauthorized trading, and failure to supervise.

Disability Advocacy:
Disabled individuals, whether having physical, developmental, mental, or other types of disabilities, have been historically mistreated and discriminated against. Through familiarity with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101), Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. §§ 4151-4157), Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (20 U.S.C. § 1400), Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 701), New York State Human Rights Law (New York Executive Law § 290, et seq.), and the New York City Human Rights Law (Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York), Nematzadeh PLLC has extensive experience advocating on behalf of those with disabilities, aiming to right the wrongs of systematic barriers and discrimination. These lawsuits aim to correct the unlawful, misguided cost-benefit analysis of the offending defendants by advocating for them to modify their discriminatory practices and account for accessibility of goods and services. The laws could provide for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs shifting: should you prevail, the defendants will pay your attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.

Generally, no individual can be discriminated against or blocked from access on the basis of a disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. Under federal and state laws, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that limits an individual’s ability to perform daily life activities. This includes walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, sitting, standing, lifting, performing manual tasks, learning, breathing, or taking care of oneself.

Major bodily functions are also a part of the list of major life activities. These include the proper function of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. Disability rights laws protect individuals who currently have a disability as well as those with a history of impairment. For example, this means that an employer cannot discriminate against an employee because of his or her previous disability (for example, cancer that is in remission). Moreover, it is unlawful to discriminate against someone who is perceived to be disabled, whether or not the person is actually disabled.

An example of advocacy areas where class actions are particularly well suited to vindicate change is the representation of blind or vision-impaired persons who are unable to access websites equally with sighted persons. Class actions can compel many companies or other types of website hosts to remediate their websites in order for blind or vision-impaired persons to be able to properly utilize the websites with the assistance of screen-reader software, among other tools. Many clients can also receive statutory damages for their injuries under federal and state laws. The laws could provide for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs shifting: should you prevail, the defendants will pay your attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. Such changes even help companies or other types of website hosts in the long term by enabling their products or services to be better marketed and available to those with disabilities.

Federal and state laws are also designed to protect disabled individuals from discrimination in or access barriers to a number of settings, including, without limitation, the workplace and programs. For example, in the workplace, a qualified worker or job applicant who has the necessary education, skills, and experience and is capable of performing the essential duties of the job, with or without accommodation, are protected. In short, the law prohibits employers from considering a person’s disability when making employment decisions, including hiring, firing, paying, promoting, training, assigning jobs, changing benefits, or any other condition of employment. Employers are generally required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled workers or candidates to allow them to perform their duties, unless the accommodation would cause the employer an undue hardship (for example, whether it would be too costly, extensive, or disruptive).

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a position, work environment, physical space, or digital space that allows a disabled individual to perform essential functions. Examples of reasonable accommodations are listed below.

  • Job restructuring or reassignment: For example, modifying a job to make it more consistent day-to-day to provide an employee with a cognitive disability with a structured routine or reassigning an employee to a vacant position if she or he can no longer perform the essential functions of her or his current job.
  • Providing necessary equipment, readers, or interpreters: For example, modifying a computer to enhance images on the screen, allowing an employee who is vision impaired to accurately enter or read information, providing a reader or interpreter for a worker who is blind or hearing impaired, or writing down feedback, rather than offering it verbally, for an employee who communicates more effectively through written materials.
  • Making a space accessible: For example, adding a wheelchair ramp to make the physical space more accessible.
  • Adjusting an interview, hiring, or recruiting process.
  • Providing time off for medical treatment or recovery.
  • Providing medical leave.
  • Allowing telecommuting.

The Firm’s zealous advocacy has been demonstrated further through pro bono work that has achieved staggering results for those with disabilities. For example, for his work in representing plaintiffs in Toney-Dick, et al. v. Doar, et al. (S.D.N.Y.), Justin was awarded a 2013 Pro Bono Publico award from The Legal Aid Society. Justin also helped forge the relationship between Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and The Partnership for Children’s Rights and the AHRC, in order for attorneys to perform pro bono work on behalf of developmentally disabled children and their families.

Data Privacy:
In the exploding digital age, a growing area of class actions on behalf of plaintiffs concerns violations of data privacy. In the modern economy where sensitive financial, medical, and other personal information is routinely stored electronically by corporations large and small, protecting personal information is vitally important.

Technology is an indispensable part of our daily lives, and we rely on a variety of devices to keep us connected and informed. At the same time, these devices—and the companies that manufacture them—are continually capturing data about us, including identifying information, online activities, shopping habits, and other preferences. This personal information is a valuable commodity, allowing companies to develop a better understanding of us as consumers. As we become more dependent on technology, we are increasingly susceptible to companies that use illegal practices to access our data for their own commercial gain.

All too frequently, companies fail to protect consumers’ personal information, leading to privacy breaches with devastating consequences. Common breaches involve the theft of Social Security numbers, banking information, credit card numbers, medical information, or other sensitive information that can be used to commit identity theft. Liability can trigger from unauthorized use of an individual’s identifying information, selling or otherwise using the identifying information in ways that violate agreements and policies, or maintaining inadequate systems to protect identifying information from hacking or other types of unauthorized access or use.

The number of U.S. data breaches has multiplied in recent years; businesses’ and private consumers’ rights to protect their data and hold companies accountable for unauthorized disclosures is more important than ever. Class action claims can be brought under federal law, common law, and state laws—for example, under the California Consumer Privacy Act (California Civil Code § 1798.100) and the California Medical Information Act (California Civil Code § 56, et seq.).

The privacy of biometrics is also protected under the law, especially under state laws, such as the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008 (740 ILCS 14). Biometrics is the measurement and statistical analysis of an individual’s physical and behavioral characteristics. Examples of physiological characteristics are DNA, facial, ear, hand, and retina features, fingerprints, odor, voice prints, and vein patterns. And examples of behavioral characteristics are gait, gestures, typing rhythm, and voice. The technology associated with biometrics and behavioral characteristics is often used to verify personal identity. But the use of this extremely private information raises concerns about data privacy and cybersecurity. The collection, disclosure, retention, use, and profit from such data in violation of laws creates a private right of action for victims. For example, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act provides statutory damages of up to $1,000 for each negligent violation and up to $5,000 for each intentional or reckless violation.

Identity thieves use stolen personal information to commit a variety of frauds, including, without limitation, taking out loans in another person’s name, opening financial accounts in another person’s name, incurring fraudulent credit card charges, filing a fraudulent tax return using the victim’s information, obtaining medical services using the victim’s information, using the victim’s identity to obtain government benefits, obtaining a driver’s license or identification card in the victim’s name but with another person’s picture, or giving false information to police during an arrest.

By law, companies subjected to a data breach typically must notify affected individuals about the breach. Notice is often sent by mail or e-mail. If you receive notice that your personal information was compromised in a data breach, and you are interested in pursuing a class action, please contact us to evaluate your case.

Deceptive or Unfair Business Practices and Consumer Fraud:
These laws are designed to guard free markets, promote honest competition, and protect market participants, especially consumers. Examples of actions that trigger liability are false or deceptive advertising or marketing, failure to substantiate product claims, labeling violations, misbranding, or unsafe products.

When a business or corporation engages in unfair and deceptive practices, provides defective or dangerous products to consumers, or takes part in fraudulent conduct, it takes an experienced class action attorney to level the playing field and protect those who have been harmed. These wrongs range from false advertising, bait and switch schemes, charging for products and services that were not provided, undisclosed or hidden fees, misrepresentations about pricing, quantity, quality, ingredients, component parts, features, warranties, or deceptive food labeling, and more.

An example of a federal law concerning false advertising is The Lanham Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. § 1051) (“Lanham Act”), which provides for litigation on behalf of businesses and competitors. To prevail on a false-advertising claim under the Lanham Act, a claimant must satisfy the following elements: (i) a false or misleading statement of fact; (ii) that is used in a commercial advertisement or promotion; (iii) that deceives or is likely to deceive in a material way; (iv) in interstate commerce; and (v) has caused or is likely to cause competitive or commercial injury. We have experience in representing plaintiffs and defendants in actions under the Lanham Act or other federal or state laws concerning false advertising or unfair competition.

Businesses and consumers of goods and services are defrauded every day by companies that engage in false advertising, deceptive sales practices, deceptive marketing schemes, hidden or unwarranted fees, and other deceptive and unfair practices. We have extensive experience in bringing class actions on behalf of businesses and consumers to recover damages from such unscrupulous practices.

Defective or Dangerous Product Liability:
When a class of individuals is harmed by dangerous, defective, or faulty products, the manufacturer—and others throughout the supply chain—can be held liable through a lawsuit, whether it be a class action, mass action, multi-district litigation, individual action, or arbitration, based on the following theories, without limitation:

  • Strict liability: The product is inherently or unreasonably dangerous or defective, regardless of the degree of care taken.
  • Consumer-protection violations:  The product violated federal or state consumer-protection laws (for example, false advertising or other unfair or deceptive practices).
  • Breach of express or implied warranty:  The product did not perform in accordance with the manufacturer’s express or implied warranties of use, quality, components, or craftsmanship.
  • Negligence:  The defendant failed to exercise due care (for example, by using low-quality materials, failing to provide adequate instructions, or failing to warn consumers about product dangers).

Many class actions, mass actions, multi-district litigation, or individual actions or arbitrations stem from dangerous pharmaceutical products or medical devices. These can include the following instances:

  • Individuals who take prescription drugs that include no warning about severe side effects;
  • Individuals suffering harm when a pharmaceutical company purposely omits warnings on drug labels;
  • Implant or device patients suffering from them breaking or malfunctioning inside their bodies or from poisoning resulting from the implant or device;
  • Implants or devices failing to perform to the patient’s expectation or need; or
  • Implants or devices having known issues, and the manufacturer inadequately warns healthcare professionals or patients about the issues.

Other contexts where defective products lead to class actions are when homeowners, vehicle owners, and other consumers have been harmed by failing products. For example: a construction project can result in deficient plumbing, siding, windows, or roofing; an automobile malfunction can affect airbags, brakes, engines, exhaust or emissions, safety systems, sunroofs, or transmissions; and appliance defects can be found in refrigerators, dishwashers, or HVAC units. It is probable that hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of others have experienced the same problem.

Environmental and Toxic Tort Claims:
Victims of exposure to toxic or potentially toxic substances, such as purportedly safe substances that may have been released into the environment at toxic levels or have been improperly labelled, have potential claims for liability. Examples of exposure to toxic or potentially toxic substances include the following, without limitation:

  • Contaminated water;
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals,” which are alleged to be toxic, man-made chemicals that are being discovered in drinking water across the country;
  • Pesticide and herbicide aerial drift;
  • Chemical waste spills or seepage; or
  • Landfill, dumpsite, power plant, industrial odor, gas, ash, or dust drift.

These claims can be litigated in several forums, including, without limitation, class actions, mass actions, multi-district litigation, individual actions, and arbitrations.

Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. § 203):
Employers in New York and around the country must adhere to federal, state, and local employment laws regarding discrimination and harassment, wage and hour standards, and safety rules, including, without limitation, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Discrimination based on the following factors, without limitation, are generally unlawful: age, disability, gender, pregnancy or family responsibilities, race or national origin, or sexual orientation.

Many federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (2 U.S.C. § 1311), prohibit discrimination toward an employee or potential employee based on sex, race, color, national origin, or creed. Many other federal laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.) supplement Title VII’s protections to include protections for the disabled, pregnant, elderly, and others. Our firm has experience prosecuting and defending a wide range of employment-related disputes, including those involving retaliation and wrongful termination.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (47 U.S.C. § 227):
Federal law, including, without limitation, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, generally outlaws unsolicited marketing through telemarketing calls to mobile and home phones, computer robo-dialing, text messaging, or faxes, unless the unsolicited marketing is from a sender with an established business relationship with the recipient. A claimant can recover for actual monetary loss or receive $500 in damages for each violation, which a court can treble (multiply by three) to $1,500 for each violation per each unsolicited call, text, or fax.

Credit Reporting and Debt Collection:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 (15 U.S.C. § 1681) (“FCA”), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1978 (15 U.S.C. 1692, et seq.), Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq.), Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. § 1601, et seq.), and the Truth in Lending Act of 1968 (15 U.S.C. Ch. 41 § 1601) all govern the rights associated with credit reporting, lending, and collection of debts. In particular, the FCA is a federal law that governs credit reports, background checks, and other reports containing information about individuals and the sale of such data. The laws aim to ensure accurate credit reporting and background checks and use of these checks and information for legal purposes. “Consumer reporting agencies,” which are a range of background check or credit reporting agencies, are required to use reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy in their reports. The sale of these reports are restricted to people or entities that have a legally acceptable reason for receiving the reports. Consumer reporting agencies must reinvestigate any disputed information free of charge. Individuals can file lawsuits or class actions and seek actual damages, punitive damages, statutory damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970:
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970  (18 U.S.C. §§ 1961–1968) (“RICO”) is a federal law designed to combat organized crime and even allows victims to file civil litigation, which can be litigated through class actions, mass actions, multi-district litigation, individual actions, or arbitrations. In essence, the elements of a RICO claim are that the defendant engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activity and the defendant invested in, maintained an interest in, or participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce. Racketeering activity may include bribery, counterfeiting, drug trafficking, embezzlement, gambling, kidnapping, money laundering, murder, slavery, and a host of other unsavory business practices.

Who are victims of mass torts and entitled to bring litigation?

Mass torts involve large groups of plaintiffs taking legal action against a common group of defendants accused of causing harm. These cases often involve harmful prescription and over-the-counter medicines, defective medical devices, toxic chemicals and substances, dangerous products or procedures, and environmental disasters. But these claims can also be more diverse: for example, reflecting the diversity of Justin’s practice, he played a role in litigation against the fashion mogul Peter Nygard on behalf of over a dozen women who are alleged to have been raped by him when they were underage, Does v. Nygard, et al. (S.D.N.Y.).

These claims can be litigated in several forums, including, without limitation, class actions, mass actions, multi-district litigation, individual actions, and arbitrations.

Examples of claims that Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating and litigating are listed here. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you have suffered any injuries related to these products, procedures, and services.

Infant Formula Claims Related to Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC):
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys represent parents of infants who suffered necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) as a result of consuming cow’s milk-based formula. Several defendants, including, without limitation, Abbott Laboratories and Mead Johnson Nutritional Company, are alleged to have aggressively marketed their infant formulas as “medically endorsed” or “nutritionally equivalent” to a mother’s breast milk, without referring to the science showing how significantly their product increases the risk of NEC. Defendants’ formulas Similac and Enfamil are alleged to have caused infants—frequently premature babies—to suffer devastating health effects and in some cases, death. The claims include legal defects in the design of the formula products and unlawful failure to warn of the increased risk of NEC when cow’s milk-based formula is consumed by infants. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

3M Combat Arms Earplugs:
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims that veterans and active-duty military personnel experienced hearing damage because of defective 3M Combat Arm Earplugs. 3M is alleged to have failed to notify the U.S. government that its earplugs were faulty and may have caused partial or complete hearing loss in veterans and active-duty military personnel from failing to protect exposure to loud noises. Evidence suggests that 3M was aware of a defect in the product’s design, and the allegations are that 3M falsified test results to secure an exclusive contract with the U.S. Department of Defense and failed to warn users. You may be entitled to damages if you have experienced full or partial hearing loss in one or both ears, along with conditions, such as tinnitus. Even if you are already receiving veterans’ disability payments, you are still entitled to sue for additional recoveries for the harm caused to you by the allegedly defective 3M Combat Arm Earplugs. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us for a confidential, free consultation if you served in the U.S. military and used 3M Combat Arm Earplugs.

Belviq (Generic Name lorcaserin):
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims from individuals who were diagnosed with cancer after taking Belviq, Belviq XR, or another brand of lorcaserin. Belviq is a popular prescription weight-loss drug made by Eisai Co., Ltd. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) safety trial concluded that the drug could increase the risk of several different types of cancer, including, without limitation, pancreatic, lung, and colorectal cancer. The FDA thus issued a full recall of Belviq in February 2020. Victims who took Belviq or another brand of lorcaserin and were diagnosed with cancer may have a claim to sue for damages. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

Elmiron®:
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims on behalf of people who took Elmiron, which is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutical, and were diagnosed with maculopathy, a serious eye disease that may cause blindness. Elmiron is a drug that has been prescribed to millions of patients since 1996 for interstitial cystitis, a painful bladder syndrome. Starting in 2015, healthcare professionals and researchers began to discover a potential link between the drug and maculopathy. Studies released in 2018 and 2019 further support the link between Elmiron and maculopathy. But even as evidence has piled up, Janssen Pharmaceutical has allegedly failed to warn the public about these risks. Despite mounting evidence, eye disease is allegedly still not listed as a possible side effect by Janssen Pharmaceutical. Victims who took Elmiron and were diagnosed with maculopathy may have a claim to sue for damages. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

Johnson & Johnson Sunscreen:
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims that several Johnson & Johnson sunscreens were recently tested and found to contain Benzene, a known cancer-causing chemical. Benzene can be absorbed through the skin, enter the bloodstream, and be cancerous. Several Johnson & Johnson sunscreens have been recalled. Victims who have been diagnosed with cancer or other types of qualifying conditions, such as Leukemia, Lymphoma, or Myeloma, after having used the recalled Johnson & Johnson sunscreens may have a claim to sue for damages. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

JUUL:
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims on behalf of users of a JUUL vaporizer prior to November 2018 and before turning 18 and who subsequently developed a nicotine addiction. JUUL Labs, which makes JUUL e-cigarettes and vapor pods, allegedly failed to adequately warn users of the risk associated with using their products. Although JUUL markets its products as a safer alternative to regular cigarettes, they still contain nicotine. Indeed, JUUL products are alleged to contain significantly more nicotine than their leading competitors. JUUL is alleged to have failed to warn users of the risks and even directly marketed nicotine to children and teens. Victims who have become addicted to nicotine after using a JUUL vape before turning 18 may have a claim to sue for damages. Liability stemming from JUUL use extends to reports of cancer, other lung-related illnesses, and injuries caused by defective JUUL products that have exploded, caught fire, or otherwise caused injury. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR:
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims on behalf of victims who have experienced serious cardiac complications, such as heart failure, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, or other cardiovascular injuries that could lead to death, as a result of taking Onglyza (saxagliptin) and Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin). These drugs are predominantly used to treat Type 2 diabetes. Starting in 2009 and 2010, the potential defendants Briston-Meyers Squibb and AstraZeneca are alleged to have begun selling the drugs before completing a cardiac risk study recommendation by the FDA. The study is alleged to have been completed in 2013 and showed that saxagliptin users had a significantly increased risk of hospitalization due to heart failure. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

Paragard® IUD:
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims of victims who were injured as a result of using the Paragard copper-intrauterine product (IUD), which is a long-term birth control method. The alleged defendants are various Teva companies, The Cooper Companies Inc., and CooperSurgical Inc. They are alleged to have designed a defective product and failed to warn users of the risks posed by the Paragard IUD, including, without limitation, the Paragard IUD having broken apart in the victims’ bodies, leaving behind pieces of the device and requiring surgery and other medical intervention. These consequences are alleged to have resulted in serious complications and injuries, including infertility and pain. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

Paraquat:
Paraquat is a weed-killing herbicide that is restricted to commercial use due to its high toxicity. This herbicide has been linked to Parkinson’s Disease and other side effects. Farmers, agricultural laborers, and others who live near farms may be at risk of exposure. Evidence from the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council allegedly suggests that exposure to Paraquat can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease by 200-600%. Indeed, while Paraquat has been banned in 32 countries, such as China and the European Union, it is still used in the United States—and continues to grow. Victims who have been exposed to Paraquat and are experiencing unusual symptoms may have a claim to sue for damages. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

Zantac (Ranitidine):
Nematzadeh PLLC and affiliated attorneys are evaluating claims on behalf of users of the heartburn medication Zantac (generic name ranitidine) who have been diagnosed with cancer allegedly as a result of consuming the drug. In early 2020, it is alleged that the FDA pulled Zantac from the market after researchers found significantly elevated levels of NDMA in the drug, which is a cancer-causing component. The alleged defendants are Pfizer Inc., Sanofi SA, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline LLC, along with generic makers, distributors, pharmacies, and others in the supply chain for design defect, failure to warn, and other claims. Our legal representation of you to strive to get you just compensation would be done on a contingency basis, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. Reach out to us if you believe that you have been a victim.

Vaccine Injuries, Including from COVID Vaccines:
The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created by Congress and requires that individuals injured or killed by certain vaccines first file a claim through this program before seeking relief in a lawsuit. Since its inception, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out several billions of dollars to victims.

You never pay us when retaining us to advise you on applications to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: if we represent you, the legal fees are paid directly by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. And any subsequent litigation would be handled on contingency, so you will not have to advance any litigation costs, expenses, or fees. There are strict time limits for filing a vaccine-injury claim, so you should contact an attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you have been injured.

Examples of common types of injuries stemming from vaccines are described here.

  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP): This is a neurological disorder characterized by progressive weakness and impaired sensory function in the arms and legs. Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, which is sometimes called chronic relapsing polyneuropathy, is caused by damage to the myelin sheath of the peripheral nerves, which is the fatty covering that wraps around and protects nerve fibers. Examples of signs and symptoms of such injuries follow: abnormal sensations; difficulty walking; fatigue; loss of deep tendon reflexes (areflexia); problems breathing; sensory changes; slurred speech; tingling or numbness (beginning in the toes and fingers); trouble or weakness using arms and legs; or uncoordinated movement.
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS): This is a disorder in which a person’s own immune system attacks the nerve cells. It often begins with muscle weakness and tingling in the lower extremities, arms, or face and then spreads to other extremities. The symptoms can spread and lead to temporary or permanent paralysis. Examples of signs and symptoms of such injuries follow: tingling in legs or arms; muscle paralysis; difficulty chewing or swallowing; pins and needles feeling in your extremities; problems breathing; trouble walking or keeping your balance; or weakness in your legs that spreads throughout your body.
  • Shoulder Injury: Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration manifests as shoulder pain and limited range of motion after receiving the vaccine. Examples of signs and symptoms of such injuries follow: arm or shoulder pain, weakness, or stiffness; frozen shoulder; nerve inflammation (brachial neuritis); and increasing pain with tasks, such as brushing your teeth.
  • Transverse Myelitis (TM): This is an inflammation of the spinal cord, a major part of the nervous system. Transverse refers to the pattern of changes in sensation. There is often a band-like sensation across the trunk of the body, with sensory changes experienced in the following: bladder dysfunction or bowel motility problems; pain and discomfort; sensory symptoms, such as numbness or tingling; or weakness in the arms or legs.

Notable Representations

  • Casey’s Distributing, Inc., et al., v. Major League Baseball, et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Casey’s Distributing, Inc., et al., v. National Football League, Inc., et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Dream Big Media, Inc., et al. v. Alphabet Inc., et al. (N.D. Cal.)
  • Dunham, et al. v. The Sherwin-Williams Comp. (N.D.N.Y.)

Notable Representations at Law Firms Prior to 2021 Launch

  • Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • In re Altair Nanotechnologies Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • In re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Calfo, et al. v. Messina, et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Carmack, et al. v. Amaya Inc., et al. (D.N.J.)
  • Does v. Nygard, et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Garofalo, et al. v. Revlon, Inc., et al. (D. Del.)
  • In re Generic Digoxin and Doxycycline Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Pa.)
  • Kaplan, et al. v. S.A.C. Capital Advisors, L.P., et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • In re LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Maleef, et al. v. B Communications Ltd., et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Mauss, et al. v. NuVasive, Inc., et al. (S.D. Cal.)
  • In re MF Global Holdings Limited Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • In re Petrobras Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • In re OSG Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Perez, et al. v. Higher One Holdings, Inc., et al. (D. Conn.)
  • In re Retrophin, Inc. Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Springer, et al. v. Code Rebel Corporation, et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Toney-Dick, et al. v. Doar, et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
  • In re Treasury Securities Auction Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Waterford Township Police & Fire Retirement Sys., et al. v. Smithtown Bancorp, Inc., et al. (E.D.N.Y.)
  • In re Yahoo! Inc. Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.)

Writings, Presentations, and Speaking Engagements

  • American Bar Association, Antitrust Law Developments (Contributor)
  • Matthew Bender, Antitrust Laws and Trade Regulation (Contributor)
  • American Bar Association, Model Jury Instructions in Civil Antitrust Cases (Contributor)
  • Practicing Law Institute, Securities Litigation, A Practitioner’s Guide (Contributor)
  • Delaware Business Court Insider, “Lead Plaintiffs’ Shareholdings Draw Chancery Review,” May 22, 2013 (Co-Author)
  • Professor Deborah W. Denno’s Chapter, “When Willie Francis Died: The ‘Disturbing’ Story Behind One of the Eighth Amendment’s Most Enduring Standards of Risk,” in John H. Blume and Jordan M. Steiker’s Book, “Death Penalty Stories,” 2009 (Contributor)
  • Knowledge Group’s Conference, “Latest Trends and Developments in Federal Securities Investigation: What to Expect in 2015 and Beyond,” October 20, 2015 (Speaker and Presenter)
  • 360 Advocacy, Gen Excellence Conference, “Deposing High Stakes Witnesses:  Exercising Emotional Fortitude in the Face of Aggressive, Emotional Defense Counsel,” September 2019 (Speaker and Presenter)

Contact Us

Contact Nematzadeh PLLC by calling 646-417-8424 or emailing lawyer@nematlawyers.com for a confidential, free consultation. We partner with our clients long-term by being able to creatively formulate hybrid legal fees, including contingency fees.