Class Action Experience

Gavin has extensive experience in class action litigation, particularly in defending class claims against technology companies, insurers, and wireless phone service providers alleging unfair business practices, violation of consumer protection laws, or privacy violations.

Technology Class Actions 

Defending Valve Corporation in several nationwide class actions consolidated in federal court in Washington State claiming Valve promoted online gambling of virtual items (“skins”) through its online gaming platform Steam, in violation of RICO and various state gambling laws and consumer protection statutes.  Won enforcement of consumer arbitration agreements, requiring individual arbitrations of all claims, then won the individual arbitrations.

Defended a TV advertising metrics technology company in a putative nationwide class action claiming violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act and various state laws from collection and use of TV viewing data.

Defended video game hardware manufacturer in putative nationwide class action against claims that alleged failures of its online gaming network and use continuity problems with its service breached customer contracts, violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and gave rise to claims for negligent misrepresentation.


Consumer Class Actions

Defended Sprint Corporation in putative statewide class action alleging it improperly charged customers city utility taxes in violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and in breach of its customer contracts.  Won dismissal of all claims based on application of the safe harbor provision in the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act in the first known test of the constitutionality of that provision.

Defended United Airlines in a putative nationwide class action case challenging collection of checked baggage fees.  All claims dismissed on our motion, and attorney fees awarded against plaintiff and plaintiff’s counsel.

Defended major wireless communications provider in certified statewide class action involving more than 500,000 class members and alleging that improperly itemized tax amounts in customer invoices, in breach of contract and consumer protection laws.  Won transfer to arbitration by enforcing consumer arbitration agreements, then successfully resolved claims and broadly eliminated exposure through settlement.

Defended adSage, one of China’s largest search engine marketing companies at the time, in a putative nationwide class action alleging violation of the Lanham Act and New Mexico Unfair Practices Act related to online marketing of counterfeit goods by others. Persuaded plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss claims after motion to dismiss was filed.

Defended Sprint Corporation in statewide class action alleging that it breached a prior class action settlement and improperly charged taxes to consumers in violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act. 


Privacy Class Actions

Defended Starbucks in a proposed nationwide class action against claims of negligence and breach of contract arising from the theft of employee information.  Won dismissal on defense motion, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.  See Krottner v. Starbucks Corp., 628 F.3d 1139 (9th Cir. 2010).

Defended video game maker in putative nationwide class action arising from alleged data breach.  Won early dismissal of 9 of 10 claims.

Defended Hawaii’s largest restaurant chain in a data breach class action brought on behalf of 360,000 customers arising from a hack into their point of sale systems.  Successfully negotiated a nationwide settlement.

Defended leading global software manufacturer in nationwide class action against claims that software used to combat piracy violates customer privacy and breaches state consumer protection laws.  Won summary judgment on several claims and opposed class certification, leading plaintiffs to dismiss remaining class and individual claims.


Product Liability Class Actions

Defeated motion for certification of a proposed nationwide class of 740,000 purchasers who asserted claims against thermostat manufacturer alleging that the manufacturer breached express warranties and violated consumer protection laws by selling defective thermostats and conducting an allegedly inadequate recall, resulting in voluntary dismissal by plaintiffs.

Defended video game hardware manufacturer in putative nationwide class action against claims that alleged failures of its online gaming network and use continuity problems with its service breached customer contracts, violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and gave rise to claims for negligent misrepresentation.


Insurance Class Actions

Defeated motion for class certification by a proposed class of insureds who asserted that Esurance improperly considered whether an insured was at maximum medical improvement when adjusting claims for personal injury protection auto insurance benefits.

Defended Allstate Property & Casualty Co. against putative class claims of unreasonable denial of coverage based on construction defects (allegedly contrary to Washington’s efficient proximate cause rule) in case of first impression regarding whether class claims can be brought under Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act.  Won motion to strike all class action allegations.

Defended major automobile insurers – including Allstate, American Commerce Insurance Company, and Commerce West Insurance Company – in several statewide class action cases challenging claims handling practices, including treatment of diminished value claims, use of computerized databases in claims handling, and reductions of first party payments based on usual and customary charges in a geographic area.

Defended national auto insurer in statewide class action alleging failure to reimburse full collision insurance deductibles to its insureds who were partially at fault in causing auto accidents, in violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and common law. 


Real Estate and Escrow Class Actions

Defended Old Republic Title against class action alleging it insufficiently disclosed and wrongly collected reconveyance fees in real estate transactions, and that it improperly retained earnings credits and other benefits on funds held in escrow.  Won pre-certification summary judgment on the majority of plaintiffs’ claims, leading plaintiffs to dismiss their remaining claims.

Defended escrow company in state class action alleging overcharge of escrow fees and recording charges in violation of state consumer protection laws.  Persuaded plaintiffs to withdraw escrow fee claims, then negotiated class-wide settlement that successfully eliminated recording charge claims for a fraction of the damages sought. 

Defended escrow company against class action claims that it improperly charged fees for ancillary services in real estate transactions.  Case was dismissed prior to class certification upon granting of our two summary judgment motions.