Fenderson et al. v. Diaz et al.
Michael L. Cohen and its co-counsel represented approximately 48,000 people who had paid to join Kimkins.com, a Web site for dieters. The site peddled a diet that was essentially little better than anorexia. Many of the women who stuck with the diet for any length of time lost their hair. Others stopped menstruating. The superior court certified for class treatment claims for violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, or UCL (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.), and for common law fraud—which is unusual, because courts rarely certify fraud claims for class treatment. In October 2010, this case was actually tried as a nationwide consumer class action in Riverside Superior Court. Michael was co-lead trial counsel in this case. After hearing the evidence, the Court determined that the defendants had violated the UCL and had committed fraud and ordered the defendants to pay restitution of more than $1.8 million. The Court also ordered the defendants liable for $500,000 in exemplary (punitive) damages and issued a sweeping injunction against the defendants.
Katz et al v. Anthem Blue Cross
The firm and its co-counsel represent a putative class of severely mentally ill Anthem insureds. In the class action, Katz alleges that Anthem has rigged a system that violates the Mental Health Parity Act. With the implementation of the Anthem’s Behavioral Health Outpatient Authorization Program, if a severely mentally ill member needs more than 12 visits a year of psychotherapy, that member must request and obtain authorization in advance, if the member wants Anthem to provide any payment for these sessions. The member’s request is then reviewed by Anthem’s “Behavioral Health Outpatient Team” and the company’s “Utilization Management” team. Katz also alleges that this review process is designed to limit each member 12 visits per year regardless of the seriousness of their illness. Because Anthem does not impose these restrictions on benefits for subscribers and members with other injuries or illnesses, Anthem’s program violates the state’s Mental Health Parity Act.
Harris v. State Farm General Insurance Company
The firm and its co-counsel represent a group of homeowners whose homes were damaged by soot and ash as a result of the Station Fire. State Farm has allegedly failed to properly pay these homeowners for contractor’s overhead and profit on their soot and ash claims. This putative class action is currently pending in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Boeing Gender Discrimination Cases
Michael represented women in four gender-discrimination class actions against Boeing in Long Beach, California, Wichita, Kansas; St. Louis, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.