In The News
As one of the best class action and commercial litigation firms in the country, our successful resolution of client cases and contributions to the legal field have frequently been covered by the press.
See some of the stories below.
iPhone Class Action Says Apple Deliberately Broke FaceTime
Apple is facing a class action lawsuit filed by iPhone 4/4S users who claim that the company broke FaceTime for iOS 6 and earlier operating systems in April 2014.
Plaintiff Austin Belanger claims that there are two methods that users can utilize FaceTime. One is called the “peer to peer” method in which there is a direct connection between the parties and the other is a “relay method” where the parties connect to a server that “relays” the data on behalf of the parties.
The plaintiff claims that Apple violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and alleges trespass to chattels.
Florida IPhone 4 Users Dial Apple Into FaceTime Suit
A group of iPhone 4 owners hit Apple with a proposed class action Thursday in Florida federal court, accusing the company of intentionally breaking FaceTime for iOS 6 and older operating systems, after a California judge earlier this month allowed a similar suit to go to trial. Lead plaintiff Austin Belanger said that Apple intentionally changed the way the FaceTime video chat function worked, and allowed FaceTime to fail on the devices with the older software.
Water Woes - Businesses Sue FPL And Contractor For Losses In Water Crisis
Florida Playbook - Gary Fineout and Matt Dixon's must-read briefing on what's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State
Businesses Sue FPL And Contractor For Losses In Water Crisis
Five businesses that lost thousands of dollars during Fort Lauderdale’s water shutdown are suing Florida Power & Light Co. and a contractor that drilled into a critical water main. The lawsuit alleges “reckless and negligent conduct” by FPL and Florida Communication Concepts of Wellington.
The water main break affected more than 220,000 people in all or parts of Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, Oakland Park, Davie, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Sea Ranch Lakes, Tamarac and Wilton Manors.
The suit seeks class-action status to represent others that lost business as a result of the water main break. The suit was filed Friday and amended Monday.
Businesses Affected By Water Main Break Sue FPL
Fort Lauderdale and its neighboring municipalities – including Davie, Tamarac, Oakland Park, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Wilton Manors were affected.
A Broken Water Pipe Left Fort Lauderdale Dry For A Day. Now, Businesses Are Suing FPL.
Businesses left without water in a daylong outage in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month are suing Florida Power & Light for “gross negligence.” The utility was overseeing construction work that led to the rupture of a pipe that cut off water to thousands of customers.
Now, three restaurants, a restaurant group and two law firms are demanding an excess of $15,000 in damages for lost business. Attorney Adam Moskowitz says he has been contacted by others who want compensation for their losses.
Moskowitz said the $15,000 lawsuit could climb much higher if others join the class action suit.
He plans to continue to add more plaintiffs, and thinks that he can receive class certification within a few months. That would mean the entire group of affected businesses would be treated as one in the case. Hoping to consolidate all complaints about the break into a single class action suit, Moskowitz is working with lawyer William Scherer, best known for his role in sealing George W. Bush’s narrow win over Al Gore in 2000.
2 Fort Lauderdale Businesses File Lawsuit Over Water Main Break
Two businesses in Fort Lauderdale are teaming up to sue Florida Power and Light as well as the contractor involved the water main break last week.
The lawsuit filed against FPL and Florida Communication Concepts follows the rupture of a 42-inch pipe that was dug into by a worker near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on July 17.
Thousands of people in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas were affected by the break as water services were shut off and a boil water notice was issued.
Lawsuit Filed Against FPL, Subcontractor Following Water Main Break In Fort Lauderdale
A lawsuit was filed Friday against Florida Power & Light and its subcontractor, Florida Communications Concepts Inc., a week after a 42-inch water main was damaged at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. The incident caused water to be shut off to the city of Fort Lauderdale and neighboring municipalities, including Davie, Tamarac, Oakland Park, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Wilton Manors. Port Everglades was also without water service.
The owners of Phat Boy Sushi Inc. and Morgan Olsen & Olsen LLP hired class-action attorney Adam Moskowitz to represent them in the suit.
"Tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in damages were directly suffered by so many different businesses in Broward, so this is an important avenue that we and the Court all need to navigate," Moskowitz said in a statement Monday. "After some very brief discovery, we will be moving quickly for class certification because the sole question for all businesses in Broward is whether FPL's gross negligence caused all of their damage for all being forced to close for the entire day due to the damaged pipes."
How Miami Attorney Curtis Osceola's 'Crazy Plan' Made Him the Miccosukee Tribe's First Lawyer
As the first Miccosukee Indian to become a lawyer, Osceola is representing his tribe in class action lawsuits against Big Pharma over the opioid crisis, which has devastated many Native American communities.
“I learned about the law to protect my people. What I wanted to do was become an advocate so that we would not be at the mercy of the court, we would not be at the mercy of congress, but that we could stand against any oppressive acts that seek to diminish tribal sovereignty,” said Osceola.
Sandals Charges Vacationers Fake Local Taxes, Suit Says
Sandals Resorts International Ltd. was hit Thursday with a proposed class action accusing it of charging local government taxes to visitors of its Caribbean resorts and then secretly keeping the revenue.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Miami, New York resident Michael McCoy says Sandals resorts in St. Lucia, the Turks and Caicos, and Antigua and Barbuda, among others, regularly bundled taxes into their all-inclusive prices, but then kept all or part of the tax revenue under agreements with the local governments.
McCoy is represented by Michael A. Winkleman, Jason R. Margulies, Marc E. Weiner and Daniel W. Grammes of Lipcon Margulies Alsina & Winkleman PA, and Adam M. Moskowitz, Howard M. Bushman, and Joseph M. Kaye of The Moskowitz Law Firm PLLC.
Carnival Kickback Suit Headed To 11th Circ. After Dismissal
A Florida federal judge has dismissed a suit by a group of consumers accusing Carnival Cruises of concealing kickbacks it reaped from travel insurance purchases, opening the door for the consumers...
Hundreds Of Vets Sue 3M Over Defective Earplugs
The lawsuits contend that the company knowingly sold the earplugs that were faulty, allowing loud sounds to permeate them without the individual being aware of it until it was too late, according to Military Times. Roberto Garcia, a military vet said, “Dealing with the hearing loss, also the tinnitus, it can be very distracting and cause issues in family life and dating life. Once the tinnitus kicks in, the issue with that is it’s extremely severe ringing.”
Adam Moskowitz, who represents Garcia said, “The VA hospitals are underfunded, they’re undermanned, they’re not staffed properly, they’re tax paid, and some people like Roberto have to wait two weeks to three weeks to even get an appointment.”
Veterans Suing 3M Claiming The Company Sold Defective Earplugs
Veteran Roberto Garcia and attorney Adam Moskowitz on veterans' lawsuit against 3M alleging the company's earplugs are defective.
Veterans Suing 3M Claiming The Company Sold Defective Earplugs
Veteran Roberto Garcia and attorney Adam Moskowitz on veterans' lawsuit against 3M alleging the company's earplugs are defective.
Lawyers, Judges at High Risk for Mental Health Issues
The problems faced by legal professionals are hardly unique. They are endemic across the general population in the United States, according to medical professionals speaking at a conference focused on mental health issues in the legal profession.
The mental health crisis that has struck hard at the legal profession will not be fixed until the issues of mental health are adequately addressed in the general population across the United States, said psychiatrists, judges and lawyers attending a conference focused specifically on mental health challenges in the legal profession.
Addiction-Hit Miccosukee Tribe Lawyers Up Against Big Pharma
The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida claims opioid addiction has turned many of its members into "shells of their former selves" in a lawsuit that puts 20 pharmaceutical companies on the hook for more than $100 million.
The tribe’s remote location and lack of educational opportunities have also made its members more vulnerable to substance abuse, according to Moskowitz.
“The Miccosukee Tribe itself is physically located out near the Everglades, so it’s kind of an isolated part of our community. It’s harder for a young person growing up in that community to integrate and to have the opportunities that a lot of us have,” he said.
Bolch Institute to Hold Wellness and Mental Health Conference on UM Campus
When the subject of mental health in the legal profession has moved front and center, the Duke University School of Law’s Bolch Judicial Institute will host a conference in Coral Gables focusing on mental health issues affecting lawyers, including drug addiction, depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse.
The National Town Hall on Anxiety, Addiction and Suicide will bring together judicial luminaries and medical professionals to discuss mental health issues within the legal community.
Miccosukee Tribe Sues Opioid Manufacturers Over Drug Epidemic
By now, the havoc wreaked by opioids on communities across the United States — especially white, rural areas — is well known. But particularly devastated were Native American tribes, who have suffered the highest death rate from prescription opioid overdoses of any ethnic or racial group.
In a complaint filed last week in federal court, the tribe says it has been plagued by deaths and overdoses and has spent tens of millions of dollars addressing the damage. "It's a pretty big majority of the tribe that's been affected by these opioids," says Coral Gables attorney Adam Moskowitz, who represents the group. "And each story is sadder than the next... It's something that we now know these companies knew would happen."
Runners Raise Money for Holocaust Survivors at Miami Marathon
Since 2013, Team Blue Card has helped raise money during the annual marathon in partnership with Jewish Community Services of South Florida and The Blue Card. The proceeds help the national nonprofit organizations provide ongoing, direct financial aid and support to Holocaust survivors.
Adam Schwartzbaum, who founded Team Blue Card, said this year's team raised more money than ever before. “I'm proud to be able to do this work and I'm very inspired by these individuals who we have the honor to be able to serve," said Schwartsbaum.
Investors Opt Out of Transamerica Class Settlement
A federal judge has given final approval to a Transamerica Life Insurance Co. class-action settlement for $110.7 million, slashing a proposed $195 million payout after eight large life settlement investment groups withdrew from the agreement. Judge Christina Snyder of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles certified the settlement Wednesday, Feb. 6.
The class-action case settled litigation filed by Consumer Watchdog that was consolidated with four other similar cases brought by Adam Moskowitz of The Moskowitz Law Firm PLLC of Coral Gables, Fla., and Friedman.
Attys Score $28M In Transamerica Insurance Rate Deal
A California federal judge awarded attorneys for a class of Transamerica Life Insurance Co. policyholders nearly $28 million in fees Wednesday as part of an order approving a $111 million settlement of the policyholders’ claims that the life insurer breached its agreements with them by drastically increasing their monthly costs.
The Moskowitz Law Firm is among the law firms representing the class. All told, the plaintiffs’ attorneys and their support staff collectively poured 16,668 hours into the litigation, the judge noted. “The hourly rates are commensurate with the skill and experience of the participating attorneys and their legal support,” Judge Snyder wrote.
Carnival Consumers Seek 11th Circ. Appeal In Insurance Row
A group of consumers who say that Carnival Corp. conceals kickbacks it reaps from the cost of travel insurance asked a Florida federal judge on Wednesday to dismiss their suit so they can appeal before the Eleventh Circuit her order telling them to arbitrate their claims with the cruise line.
“We want the case dismissed in full, so we are able to expeditiously go directly to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal for them to decide this specific issue,” noted Adam M. Moskowitz, a lawyer for the consumers. “We have also been asked to now pursue these same claims in Small Claims Court which is allowed, even under what we contend is an inapplicable arbitration agreement, so we are investigating those procedures and may initiate such complaints in the very near future.”
Transamerica To Settle Insurance Rate Class Action For $195 Million
Transamerica Life Insurance Co. has agreed to pay $195 million to settle a consolidated class action accusing the company of breaching its agreements with policyholders by drastically increasing their monthly costs for insurance.
The plaintiffs are represented by Adam Moskowitz and Howard M. Bushman of The Moskowitz Law Firm, Andrew S. Friedman and Francis J. Balint Jr. of Bonnett Fairbourn Friedman & Balint PC, and Harvey Rosenfield and Jerry Flanagan of Consumer Watchdog.
You're Owed A Refund If You Bought Travel Insurance Through These Airlines Or Cruise Lines, Lawsuits Say
The lawsuits, which seek class action status, accuse the companies of violating Florida laws by failing to disclose to consumers that they were earning “kickbacks” from travel insurance companies for every policy sold. The suits against Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian were filed in U.S. District Court in Miami by the Coral Gables-based The Moskowitz Law Firm in collaboration with three other firms.
Adam Moskowitz, said the firm doesn’t yet know how much money the suits will ultimately accuse the cruise lines of collecting. That information will emerge from data turned over by the cruise lines as the suits proceed, he said. “We’re very interested to find out how much it is, and we do believe the amount is high,” added Moskowitz.
Carnival Says Travel Insurance Row Must Be Arbitrated
Carnival Corp. has urged a Florida federal court to force a proposed class of consumers to arbitrate the dispute pertaining to a complaint alleging that Carnival was paid concealed kickbacks when they bought travel insurance policies offered by the cruise operator, arguing its ticket contracts contain an arbitration clause. On Wednesday, Adam Moskowitz, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, noted that the plaintiffs previously reviewed Carnival's motion for arbitration, saying, "We researched this specific issue prior to filing our cases and feel confident that we will provide the court with sufficient proof that arbitration is not required under our facts."
Adam M. Moskowitz, Howard M. Bushman, and Joseph M. Kaye of The Moskowitz Law Firm have collaborated with attorneys from other leading firms (Bonnett Fairbourn Friedman & Balint PC, Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty Proctor PA, Merlin Law Group) to file three separate proposed class action complaints on behalf of plaintiffs related to travel insurance programs (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian).
Norwegian Cruise Accused Of Travel Insurance Ruse
Norwegian Cruise Lines got hit with a proposed class action Friday in Florida federal court alleging the company reaped concealed kickbacks via the sale of travel insurance policies. Adam Moskowitz, a lawyer for the lead plaintiffs, told Law360 on Monday that plaintiffs have filed three separate proposed class action complaints related to travel insurance programs. They filed the first case last month against Carnival Cruise Lines and now have filed complaints against Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines.
“We carefully followed and reviewed the extensive investigation by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners who already found that many of these insurance practices were misleading and deceptive,” said Moskowitz.
Carnival Got Kickbacks For Selling Travel Policies, Suit Says
A group of Carnival Corp. passengers launched a proposed class action in Florida federal court Friday alleging the cruise operator aggressively marketed travel insurance policies in exchange for kickbacks from insurers, resulting in higher policy premiums for customers.
“We are honored to join together with some of the best insurance experts and law firms in these cases to put an end to these deceptive practices,” Moskowitz said in a statement.
Supreme Court Decision Back Employers (And Trump) On Class Action Lawsuits
The Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision Monday in Epic Systems v. Lewis allowing employers to deprive their workers of their right to sue collectively. Adam Moskowitz, Founder and Managing Partner of The Moskowitz Law Firm in Miami, has represented millions of consumers in class actions cases where arbitration clauses existed and where they did not.
He points out this could be a big blow to workers. “It follows many of the recent cases that have ruled against consumers and in favor of big companies" which require "formal arbitration proceedings" that "make it very hard to get any relief," Moskowitz says. But, "the unique nature of the ruling is that it was not decided on any constitutional grounds, so Congress and the public may decide to simply amend the Federal Arbitration Act to allow these types of claims, thereby changing the recent trend that prevents individuals from having any rights to bring lawsuits in a court of law,” he added.
Class Action Targets CIBA Insurance as 'Ponzi Scheme'
A putative class action filed last Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco accuses California-based CIBA Insurance of operating as an illegal “ponzi scheme” in collaboration with a number of insurance company partners, including co-defendant Great Lakes Insurance SE. According to the complaint, CIBA—which operates in 48 states—rakes in tens of millions of dollars in premiums annually while circumventing insurance laws in California and nationally.
One of nine filing attorneys for the putative class action, Coral Gables lawyer Adam Moskowitz, said CIBA Insurance "has been able to skirt the insurance regulators, so there are no regulators checking their books every month."
Petition Seeks Hurricane Flood Suit Consolidation In South Florida
Homeowners in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who suffered flood damage in recent hurricanes and filed suits against insurers backed by the National Flood Insurance Program have lodged a petition to have pretrial proceedings consolidated in the Southern District of Florida. Most cases are expected to be filed by Floridians.
Attorneys Ask MDL Panel to Transfer Federal Flood Lawsuits to South Florida
Attorneys say federal courts are juggling hundreds of thousands of claims that some districts struggle to handle and consolidation will do for flood victims what the MDL litigation framework did for millions of claimants in asbestos products liability lawsuits.
“This is an unprecedented way to handle these cases. Nobody has used the MDL panel to move them," said Moskowitz. “These are people who have flooded homes. They need immediate relief. You’re going to need a tool. We believe it will help both plaintiffs and defendants,” Moskowitz added.
CIBA, Great Lakes Sued Over Alleged Property Insurance ‘Ponzi Scheme’
Commercial Industrial Building Owner’s Alliance, Inc. (CIBA) and Great Lakes Insurance SE have been named in a proposed class action centered around an allegedly unlawful insurance scheme executed by the defendants in California.
The lawsuit alleges CIBA secretly acted as an insurance carrier despite being unlicensed and unregulated, and that the defendants failed to disclose to plan members the “true risk” of purchasing insurance under their policy given that that “a single catastrophic occurrence could deplete the entire shared limit of available coverage.”
The Moskowitz Law Firm is among the firm's representing the class.
National Class Action Litigator Opens Up About Stress, Quitting Drinking
Adam Moskowitz realized a few years ago that he needed to make a change. Through the support of his family and friends, he was able to overcome his unhealthy lifestyle and reliance on alcohol to cope with stress.
Still one of the top federal class action lawyers in the country, the Coral Gables litigator continues to be dedicated to healthy living four years later and wants to help stoke honest conversations about stress and mental health in the legal profession.
Two months after leaving Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton and founding The Moskowitz Law Firm, Moskowitz sat down with The Daily Business Review to talk about his professional and personal growth, and how he hopes he can inspire even one attorney struggling with drinking or stress to do something about.
Towns, Schools Say Turf Maker Hid Faulty Fibers
A putative class of municipalities and schools urged a New Jersey federal court Monday to keep alive multidistrict litigation against a company they say deliberately concealed shoddy sports field turf, arguing they should be allowed to pursue claims that
otherwise would have expired.
“We are very confident in the claims that we submitted in our complaint and we look forward to having the issues adjudicated by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp and moving on toward class certification for the benefit of all class members across the country,” co-lead counsel for the class Adam M. Moskowitz told Law360 Tuesday.
Suicides, addiction — even murder — vex state’s lawyers
Miami Attorney Adam Moskowitz says many in his profession suffer from substance abuse.
“As I kept becoming more successful in my class actions, I started to get caught up with other lawyers. It was very easy to go out with a big group as a stress reliever or a crutch to drink,” he said. “It started to take a toll physically.”
Crain's Miami: "If I Knew Then..." Featuring Adam Moskowitz, Founder & Managing Partner, The Moskowitz Law Firm
Shortly after announcing the launch of his new firm, Adam M. Moskowitz discusses overcoming the unhealthy lifestyle of his past and how it has led to the betterment of his personal and professional future as one of the most successful class action lawyers in the country.
"Now I’m a better lawyer for my clients because now I have a solid base."
Critical Mass: Why Adam Moskowitz is Starting His Own Firm
After 25 years, it might not be too surprising that plaintiffs’ attorney Adam Moskowitz has decided to leave Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton to start his own firm — but his reason might surprise you. “I just needed to make the jump,” said Moskowitz.
Senior-Level Hires and Promotions For The Week Of Jan. 29, 2018
At The Moskowitz Law Firm in Miami, which is newly formed: Adam M. Moskowitz is Managing Partner of the Firm, which is focused primarily on representing plaintiffs in class action and commercial matters. Howard M. Bushman is Partner. He was formerly at Harke Clasby & Bushman.
Miami Class Action Attorney Exits Kozyak Tropin To Start Firm
Miami-based class action attorney Adam Moskowitz has left Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton PA after a prominent 25-year career there to launch a firm of his own, with plans to focus his new firm’s practice primarily on representing plaintiffs in class actions and commercial litigation, The Moskowitz Law Firm said Wednesday.
The new firm, has opened on the heels of Moskowitz’s settlement of about 30 force-placed insurance class action lawsuits for consumers, recovering approximately $5.9 billion in relief so far for more than 5 million homeowners nationwide.
“Class action litigation is often the first and only line of defense for consumers in protecting against corporate abuse, negligence and fraud,” Moskowitz said in a statement. “The Moskowitz Law Firm will be among only a few firms in the country to concentrate solely on this form of consumer representation. By narrowing our focus and resources to serving consumers in this capacity, we can take on even more
claims of injustice that might otherwise be ignored.”
Adam Moskowitz Leaves Kozyak Tropin After 25 Years to Launch New Class Action Firm
The Moskowitz Law Firm began operating in early January and expects to expand quickly.
Plaintiffs attorney Adam Moskowitz has left Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton after 25 years to start his own firm representing clients in the kind of class action and commercial matters that made him well-known nationwide as a member of the plaintiffs bar.
Moskowitz has settled more than 30 nationwide class action cases against banks and insurers relating to high-priced insurance forced on homeowners.
Miami Marathon Runners Raise Money For South Florida Holocaust Survivors
A team of runners in the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon pressed through the rain in last Sunday’s race to raise money for local Holocaust survivors, two days after International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The 21 runners partnered with The Blue Card and Jewish Community Services of South Florida, two nonprofit organizations that provide financial support for survivors. They raised more than $22,000 for local Holocaust survivors, surpassing their original goal of $15,000.
The captain and founder of the team, Adam Schwartzbaum, said he was inspired to start the team after learning about the financial obstacles survivors face while working on cases for them at his previous law firm.
Miami Firms Gift $1M In Hopes Of Creating Class Action Hub
Three Miami trial and class action law firms have made a $1 million gift to the University of Miami School of Law to support scholarships and fund an annual forum on class action law that the attorneys hope will help make South Florida a hub for complex mass actions and MDL litigation.
Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton PA, Podhurst Orseck PA and Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP have joined to make the gift that will fund an annual forum set to debut in December. They hope it will become the premier conference on the subject of class action litigation.
“I've traveled and spoken at seminars and programs, but it's not the consistent academic study that we think is necessary,” said Adam Moskowitz, chair of the class action practice at Kozyak Tropin. “There's really not that much out there other than just scrambling when there's a new case that makes the news. We want to have an opportunity to take a step back without all of the political frenzy.”
DuPont Ordered to Pay Damages Of $78.3 Million in Benlate Case
A Florida jury in Miami ordered DuPont Co. to pay $78.3 million to two plant nurseries in Costa Rica that claimed devastating losses after using the company's recently discontinued Benlate DF fungicide.
The verdict, late Friday, came in the first Benlate case to go to trial against DuPont alleging violations of Florida's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a statute modeled in many states after a federal law that allows plaintiffs to recover treble damages in civil suits where they can prove a continuing pattern of fraud. The verdict and the damage award capped six years of litigation and a three-week trial before Dade County Circuit Judge Amy Steele Donner.
"We're very happy we finally had the opportunity to present this case to a jury, and we're pleased by the result," said lead plaintiffs lawyer Adam Moskowitz.