When class action, mass tort or similar complex claims appear overwhelming, corporate executives turn to Robyn for sophisticated advice that fits their business model. She defends her clients against allegations of exposure to or damage caused by industrial chemicals, such as polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), mercury, perchlorate and dimethylamine. In addition, as a member of the Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team, she defends manufacturers in assertions of wrongful death, property damage and personal injury in the use of firearms, ammunition and other industrial products. Among Robyn's noteworthy representations:
•Circumvented class action certification in more than 250 lawsuits concerning alleged groundwater contamination arising from perchlorate use at a signal flare plant in California.
•Defended Fortune 100 company in a 300-plus plaintiff action alleging property damage and emotional distress from a mercury cell chlor-alkali plant, with a favorable settlement as the result.
•Achieved dismissal of all claims of annoying odors and noises made against a plant in Alabama by 35 plaintiffs.
In the area of insurance litigation, Robyn represents insurers and/or their covered policy holders in putative class action cases and individual claim cases throughout the country. She has counseled on antitrust violations, consumer fraud, failure to pay claims, bad faith claims, improper denial of health benefits, and improper handling of various claims, including commercial and residential property, general liability, excess liability, commercial and personal auto, directors and officers' liability, cargo, and other insurance benefits.
Robyn has extensive experience in motion practice, legal strategy and case management. Her results-driven counsel and exceptional service are displayed in numerous hearings, settlement negotiations, mediations, arbitrations and trials.
•Defended corporate client in federal court in San Jose, Calif., in more than 250 related lawsuits, including several putative class action cases, concerning alleged groundwater contamination arising from perchlorate use at a signal flare manufacturing facility. Many of the lawsuits were initially filed in state court and removed, notwithstanding fraudulent joinder and fraudulent misjoinder of resident defendant issues. Several of the lawsuits sought certification of a medical monitoring class and actual and punitive damages for alleged residential property devaluation. The class certification allegations were dismissed and partial summary judgment awarded in favor of defendants. The jury trial of the remaining claims resulted in a defense verdict on four bellwether cases in 2005. All remaining cases resolved favorably for the client. Teresa Pereira, et al v. Olin Corp. (C 03-01607, U.S.D.C., Northern District of California)
•Achieved dismissal of all claims in a 35-plaintiff case following a favorable Daubert motion that excluded the plaintiffs' experts. The plaintiffs alleged that the client's facility emitted an obnoxious odor and loud noises. Radcliff, et al. v. Tate & Lyle Sucralose Inc. (U.S.D.C., Southern District of Alabama)
•Obtained defendant's verdict for a global provider of ingredients and solutions to the food and beverage industry in a two-week, 13-plaintiff toxic tort case in state court in south Alabama. The jury returned the defendant's verdict in 45 minutes. Bettis, et al. v. Tate & Lyle Sucralose Inc. (Circuit Court of Washington County, Ala.)
•Represented manufacturer in a putative class action case alleging property damage from a release of mercury. After a multiple-day hearing, the court denied the motion for class certification and the case, along with nine other personal injury cases, were favorably settled. LaBauve v. Olin Corp., 231 F.R.D. 632
•Defended Fortune 100 company in a 300-plus plaintiff action alleging property damage and emotional distress from mercury released at a mercury cell chlor-alkali plant. The case settled favorably after plaintiffs' experts were excluded under Daubert standard. Riverside Texaco, et al. v. Occidental Chemical Corp. (U.S.D.C., Northern District of Alabama)
•Defended property and casualty insurance companies in putative class action cases pending throughout the United States alleging improper insurance practices. These practices include antitrust violations relating to auto premiums and use of parts that were not original equipment manufacturer (OEM) items to repair autos; consumer fraud due to use of non-OEM crash parts to repair autos; failure to pay “inherent diminished value” after a wrecked auto was properly repaired; homeowners' insurance premium charges; auto medical payment issues; workers' compensation insurance premium charges; “silent PPO” medical bill reductions; and failure to pay interest on premium finance contracts.
•Prosecuted claims for millions of dollars in past due insurance premiums under retrospectively rated workers' compensation policies; defense of related “bad faith” claims or counterclaims brought by insured individuals; defense of other insurance bad faith claims.