Auto Insurance Class Actions
Non-OEM Parts Challenges: Ms. Eisenstein has represented insurers in nationwide and state class action challenges in more than a dozen such cases filed in state and federal courts.
Ms. Eisenstein was one of the lead trial lawyers in the trial of Avery v. State Farm, one of the few multi-state insurance consumer class actions ever to have gone to trial. In Avery, a 48-state class comprised of millions of State Farm policyholders sued to recover for billions of dollars of damages they claimed to have incurred when State Farm adjusted their auto damage claims by specifying non-OEM ("original equipment manufacturer") parts. In August of 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the trial court judgment of more than $1 billion and, relying largely on the trial and pre-trial record developed by Ms. Eisenstein and her team, decertified the class and directed dismissal of the case with prejudice.
In addition, Ms. Eisenstein has successfully defeated the certification of several other non-OEM parts classes after evidentiary hearings, secured the dismissal of other such cases on motion, and negotiated class-wide settlements of others.
Total Loss Valuation Challenges: Ms. Eisenstein has represented insurers in putative nationwide and state class actions challenging their valuation of totaled vehicles. Ms. Eisenstein has secured the dismissal of several such claims, and also negotiated, structured and administered an industry-wide class action settlement which resulted in the settlement of total loss claims against a dozen major P&C carriers.
Anti-Theft Device Challenges: Ms. Eisenstein has defended against class action challenges to auto carriers’ alleged failure to provide premium discounts for anti-theft devices.
Medical Utilization Review Challenges:Ms. Eisenstein has defended against numerous consumer class action challenges to the medical utilization review of PIP and medical expense claims filed in state and federal courts throughout the country. She has served as national coordinating counsel, overseeing the defense of multiple, similar class cases filed against an insurer in courts throughout the country; successfully negotiated a national class-wide settlement on behalf of another insurer; and secured the dismissal of a number of similar cases.
PPO Challenges: Ms. Eisenstein has represented several insurers in challenges asserted by medical providers or insureds to the reduction of medical bills based on PPO discounts, and has successfully secured the dismissal of such cases.
Colossus Challenges: Ms. Eisenstein has represented several insurers in putative industry-wide class challenges to the use of Colossus to assist in the valuation of general damages in UM/UIM (uninsured motorist/under insured motorist) claims.
Premium Overcharge Challenges: Ms. Eisenstein has defended against class action challenges to alleged failures to extend discounts and premium overcharges.
Contractual Reimbursement/Subrogation Challenges: Ms. Eisenstein has represented insurers in class actions challenging the insurers' exercise of contractual reimbursement rights.
Life, Accident and Health Insurance Class Actions
Negotiated a nationwide class settlement on behalf of an insurer facing nationwide and state class challenges to its life insurance sales practices
Represented an accidental death insurer in challenges to the application of a policy exclusion on behalf of a proposed multi-state class
Homeowners' Insurance Class Actions
Represented an insurer in a purported class action challenging the notice of reductions in coverage
Represented an insurer against a putative class action concerning the coverage afforded for intentional torts
Represented an insurer against a putative class action challenging the application of policy limit to claims for totaled home
Workers' Compensation Insurance Class Actions
Ms. Eisenstein has defended workers compensation insurers against class-wide challenges to medical bill review and PPO discounting and is also counsel to a national reinsurance pool participated in by hundreds of workers compensation insurers in a dispute over the allocation of responsibility for assigned risk.
Business Interruption Class Actions
Successfully defended a commercial carrier against a class-wide challenge to its adjustment of business interruption claims
Twice defeated class plaintiffs’ motion for class certification
Secured a decisive victory when the court granted summary judgment on the policy interpretation issue
Complex Insurance and Extra-Contractual Litigation
Ms. Eisenstein has led a team of lawyers who have defended insurers against complex claims at the trial, post-trial and appellate stages. Their experiences include:
Representing an insurer before the Virginia Supreme Court in a case of first impression as to whether claims of global warming are covered under a commercial general liability policy.
Stepping in after an adverse jury verdict to represent a commercial carrier at a bench trial on multiplying damages and in post-trial appellate proceedings. We argued the appeal before the Sixth Circuit which reversed the jury verdict.
Stepping in to represent a carrier post-trial and on appeal after an Alabama federal judge held the carrier liable for compensatory and punitive damages for failing to contribute to the settlement of an uncovered claim it had defended under a reservation of rights. Ms. Eisenstein argued the appeal to the 11th Circuit which reversed the judgment in a decision holding that an insurer cannot be liable for bad faith absent coverage. Twin City Fire Insurance Company v. Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, 375 F.3d 1097 (11th Cir. 2004).
Assisting trial counsel in a North Carolina state court mold coverage dispute by drafting summary judgment papers and providing strategic advice on oral argument. The court granted the insurer total victory on summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal.
Stepping in to represent a carrier post-trial and on appeal following an adverse jury verdict in Mississippi state court. The Mississippi Supreme Court was persuaded that the trial court’s failure to bifurcate the coverage and bad faith issues denied the carrier a fair trial. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Williams, 936 So.2d 888 (Miss. 2006).
Antitrust Class Actions
Ms. Eisenstein also has concentrated on defending financial services companies against class-wide antitrust challenges to their underwriting and claims practices. She has represented:
Hartford Insurance Group in Sherman Act Section 1 litigation [In re Workers’ Compensation Insurance Antitrust Litigation, 867 F.2d. 1552 (8th Cir. 1989) and Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. California, 113 S.Ct. 2891 (1993)]
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in Sherman Act Section 1 cases [Quality Auto Body, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., 660 F.2d 1195 (7th Cir. 1981) and Zinser, et al. v. Rose, et al., 868 F.2d 938 (7th Cir. 1989)]
State Farm and has served as liaison counsel for a large group of insurer defendants in a class-wide antitrust suit challenging the insurers’ retention of medical consultants in Mitchael v. Intracorp. The district court’s entry of summary judgment for the defendants was affirmed on appeal [Mitchael v. Intracorp, 179 F.3d 847 10th Cir. (Kan.), Apr. 27, 1999].
"Discovery," in Class Actions (co-author), Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2006 and 2013)
"The Insurer’s Strategy for Defending Class Actions," DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, New York, N.Y. (December 15, 2011)
"The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Outline of Highlights," American Conference Institute's Second Annual Defense Counsel Summit on Positioning the Class Action Defense for Early Success (October 1, 2008)
"Enforcing Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Class Actions: An Uncertain Future," The Brief American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (Summer 2006)
Speeches and Presentations
"The Insurer’s Strategy for Defending Class Actions,"DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, New York, N.Y. (December 15, 2011)
"Assessing Strategic Venue Considerations Triggered by CAFA and Addressing the Still-Unresolved CAFA Issues Impacting Class Actions Today," American Conference Institute's Second Annual Defense Counsel Summit on Positioning the Class Action Defense for Early Success, Scottsdale, Ariz. (October 27-28, 2008)
"CAFA: Two and a Half Years of Fairness?" The Future of Class Action Litigation in America, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Washington, D.C. (October 25, 2007)
"Strategic Planning: Defining, Setting and Achieving Goals," (panelist) ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Section of Litigation, and Young Lawyers Division and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education (March 31, 2006)
"An Overview of The Class Action Reform Act of 2005," The Future of Class Action Litigation in America, ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2005)
"The Enforceability of Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Class Actions" ABA Seminar: The Future of Class Action Litigation in America, Boston, Mass. (2003)
"How to Get Class Certification of an Insurance Coverage Issue," Representing defendant insurers' position in mock class certification hearing at TIPS Section, ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, Calif.(1997)
"Duty of Insureds to Notify Excess Carriers — Viewpoint of the Self Insured Policyholder," TIPS Section, ABA Annual Meeting, New York, N.Y.(1993)
"Defense Sharing Agreements: Discoverability and Enforceability," CBA Antitrust Section (November 1990)
Awards and Honors
Benchmark Litigation — Star & Top 250 Women in Litigation
Illinois Super Lawyers — Class Action/Mass Torts
Leading Lawyer — Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Law, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network
AV Rated — Martindale-Hubbell