Sherrie R. Savett, Chair Emeritus of the Firm, Co-Chair of the Securities Litigation Department and Qui Tam/False Claims Act Department, and member of the Firm’s Management Committee, has practiced in the areas of securities litigation, class actions, and commercial litigation since 1975.
Ms. Savett serves or has served as lead or co-lead counsel or as a member of the executive committee in a large number of important securities and consumer class actions in federal and state courts across the country, including:
Ms. Savett has helped establish several significant precedents. Among them is the holding (the first ever in a federal appellate court) that municipalities are subject to the anti-fraud provisions of SEC Rule 10b-5 under § 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and that municipalities that issue bonds are not acting as an arm of the state and therefore are not entitled to immunity from suit in the federal courts under the Eleventh Amendment. Sonnenfeld v. City and County of Denver, 100 F.3d 744 (10th Cir. 1996).
In the U.S. Bioscience securities class action, a biotechnology case where critical discovery was needed from the federal Food and Drug Administration, the court ruled that the FDA may not automatically assert its administrative privilege to block a subpoena and may be subject to discovery depending on the facts of the case. In re U.S. Bioscience Secur. Litig., 150 F.R.D. 80 (E.D. Pa. 1993).
In the CIGNA Corp. Securities Litigation, the Court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment, holding that a plaintiff has a right to recover for losses on shares held at the time of a corrective disclosure and his gains on a stock should not offset his losses in determining legally recoverable damages. In re CIGNA Corp. Securities Litigation, 459 F. Supp. 2d 338 (E.D. Pa. 2006).
Additionally, Ms. Savett has become increasingly well-known in the area of consumer litigation, achieving a groundbreaking $24 million settlement in 2008 in the Menu Foods case brought by pet owners against manufacturers of allegedly contaminated pet food. (In re Pet Food Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1850 (D.N.J. 2007).
In the data breach area, she was co-lead counsel in In re TJX Retail Securities Breach Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1838 (D. Mass.), the first very large data breach case where hackers stole personal information from 45 million consumers. The settlement, which became the template for future data breach cases, consisted of providing identity theft insurance to those whose social security or driver’s license numbers were stolen, a cash fund for actual damages and time spent mitigating the situation, and injunctive relief.
Ms. Savett also litigated a case on behalf of the City of Philadelphia titled City of Philadelphia v. Wells Fargo & Co., No. 17-cv-02203 (E.D. Pa.), involving alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act. The case was resolved in 2019 with a settlement providing $10 million to go to citizens of Philadelphia for down payment assistance, to local agencies to assist homeowners in foreclosure, and for greening and cleaning foreclosed properties in Philadelphia which blight neighborhoods.
In the past decade, she has also actively worked in the False Claims Act arena. She was part of the team that litigated over more than a decade and settled the Average Wholesale Price qui tam cases, which collectively settled for more than $1 billion.