Steven L. Bloch concentrates on class action matters involving insurance and related financial products and services -- including annuities, securities and other investment vehicles -- as well as consumer fraud, ERISA and employee benefits and antitrust. Mr. Bloch also has wide-ranging complex litigation experience, and has handled matters involving commercial and corporate disputes, civil RICO, business torts, real estate, securities, banking and credit card transactions and labor and employment.
Prominent Judgments & Settlements
Representative class action matters as co-lead counsel:
· Settlement on behalf of a certified nationwide class involving claims of civil RICO and fraud against The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and affiliates concerning the Hartford's structured settlements practices (Spencer v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. et al., U.S. Dist. Ct., D. Conn., Case No. 05-cv-1681) ( $72.5 million )
· Settlement on behalf of a certi fied class of automobile insurance policyholders in West Virginia against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company for personal injuries and property damage arising out of Nationwide's failure to offer policyholders the ability to purchase statutorily-required optional levels of underinsured ("UIM") and uninsured ("UM") motorist coverage (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. O'Dell, Case No. 00-C-37, West Virginia Circuit Court, Roane County) ($75 million)
· Settlement on behalf of a class of policyholders in multiple states against AFLAC, Inc. concerning the improper adjustment of supplemental disability income policies (Becker v. American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and AFLAC, Inc., U.S. Dist. Court, D.S.C., Case No. 05-2101) ($7 million)
· Certified pending multi-state class action against United American Ins. Co. and certain agents and business affiliates concerning the sale of limited benefit health insurance and related products (Smith v. Collinsworth et al., Circuit Court of Saline County, Arkansas, Case No. CV2004-72-2)
Representative complex commercial and civil litigation matters:
· Prosecution of an action involving the sale of a health-care industry software program, resulting in a seven-figure settlement
· Prosecution of an action involving the sale of a hair care business and proprietary information, resulting in a seven-figure verdict and permanent injunction
· Successful defense and settlement (for a nominal sum) of an action by a major credit card brand against a card issuing bank, avoiding enforcement of a long-term contract predicated on price fixing and anticompetitive conduct
· Prosecution of an action by a card issuing bank against an internet service provider and its merchant bank for improper credit card transactions, resulting in a seven-figure settlement
· Successful defense and settlement (for a nominal sum) of an action for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against a food equipment manufacturer alleging misappropriation of proprietary information and trade secrets as well as unfair competition
· Established basis for liability against a clearing bank under UCC Article 8 predicated on collusion in the illicit conduct of a securities broker-dealer in a case of first impression in the State of New York
· Successful defense and dismissal of an action against a broker-dealer by a pension fund for alleged fraud and regulatory violations in connection with a so-called "mini" tender offer
· Secured writ of mandate - upheld on appeal - on behalf of the Philadelphia City Council against the Mayor of Philadelphia to enforce legislation
· Successful defense of an action for a TRO and preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin construction of a multi-million dollar parking garage facility based on claims of interference with easement, real property and contractual rights
· Successful prosecution of multiple actions by the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner on behalf of insurers in insolvency and liquidation proceedings
Honors and Awards:
· AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
· "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" - "Rising Star", by Philadelphia and Law and Politics magazines
From Judge Janet C. Hall, of the U.S. District Court of the District of Connecticut:
Noting the "very significant risk in pursuing this action" given its uniqueness in that "there was no prior investigation to rely on in establishing the facts or a legal basis for the case . . . .[and] no other prior or even now similar case involving parties like these plaintiffs and a party like these defendants." Further, "the quality of the representation provided to the plaintiffs . . . in this case has been consistently excellent . . . . [T]he defendant[s] . . . mounted throughout the course of the five years the case pended, an extremely vigorous defense . . . . [B]ut for counsel's outstanding work in this case and substantial effort over five years, no member of the class would have recovered a penny . . . . [I]t was an extremely complex and substantial class . . . case . . . [with an] outstanding result."
Regarding the work of Berger & Montague attorneys Peter R. Kahana and Steven L. Bloch, among other co-class counsel, in Spencer, et al. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., et al., in the Order approving the $72.5 million final settlement of this action, dated September 21, 2010 (USDC, D. Conn., Case Number 3:05-cv-1681).