James J. Pizzirusso
James has led Hausfeld’s Consumer Protection practice group since the firm’s inception and courts have personally appointed him to leadership positions in numerous successful consumer fraud class actions. He has a diverse practice centering on consumer protection and cybersecurity/privacy law, antitrust law (with an emphasis in agriculture), environmental torts, and sports and entertainment law. James’ practice also includes domestic and international environmental and public health litigation.
James has pursued justice on behalf of his clients, both domestically and abroad, in a wide variety of practice areas and on behalf of notable clients -- including musicians and professional athletes. He has successfully resolved the claims of numerous farmers and landowners in Barbados who suffered reduced crop yields and property damages as a result of a massive jet fuel spill. James has also represented farmers and other entities seeking damages related to unauthorized releases of genetically modified crops. Domestically, he has represented municipalities and individuals suffering harm related to lead paint and other toxic products.
James’ distinctive approach to litigation has resulted in recoveries of hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients and class members.
Deceptive Business Practices and Consumer Protection
- In re Warner Music Group Corp. Digital Downloads Litig. - Nationwide settlement of royalty dispute involving $11.5 million in past damages and future royalty increases in perpetuity.
- James v. UMG Recordings, Inc. - Nationwide settlement of royalty dispute involving $11.5 million in past damages and future royalty increases in perpetuity.
- Wolph v. Acer America Corp. - Disputed class involving defective computers certified on a nationwide basis; $22.7 million settlement later achieved.
- Radosti v. Envision EMI, LLC - $17.5 million nationwide settlement.
- In re Tyson Foods, Inc., Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics Consumer Litig - $8 million nationwide settlement.
- Brown v. Transurban (USA), Inc. – Appointed co-lead counsel; nationwide settlement in this case involving excessive toll lane fees.
- In re Honey Transshipping Litig. - $4 million nationwide Lanham Act settlement.
- In re Monsanto Company Genetically- Engineered Wheat Litig. – Appointed Chair of Lead Counsel Group.
- U.S. Hotel and Resort Management, Inc. et al v. Onity Inc. – Appointed co-lead counsel.
- In re Sony PS3 “Other OS” Litig. – Appointed co-lead counsel.
- Ross v. Trex Co., Inc.– Case involving defective product; nationwide settlement.
- Pelletz v. Weyerhaeuser Company– Case involving defective product; nationwide settlement.
- Bhatia v. 3M Company – Appointed Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee; representing dentists seeking compensation from 3M related to defective crowns.
Cybersecurity and Privacy
- In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litig.- Appointed to Steering Committee on behalf of financial institutions, nationwide class certification granted; $60 million settlement approved.
- Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union v. Kmart Corp. – Served as one of three appointed co-leads; $18.5 million settlement approved.
- In re The Home Depot, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litig. – Appointed Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee; $25 million settlement pending.
- First Choice Federal Credit Union v. Wendy’s – Appointed to Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee.
- In re Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Breach Litig. – Appointed to Executive Leadership Committee.
- In re: Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. Data Security Litig.- Appointed Co- lead counsel.
Antitrust / Competition
James represents clients alleging price fixing and collusion in various agricultural sectors:
- In re: Packaged Seafood Products Antitrust Litig. – Ongoing case alleging a price-fixing conspiracy between the leading packaged tuna manufacturers.
- In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litig. - One of the firm’s principal attorneys on this case which has so far reached $136 million in settlements, Class certification has been granted against remaining defendants.
- In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litig. - $19.5 million settlement reached.
- In re: Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litig. - $300 million settlement.
Mass Torts and Public Health Threats
Sports and Entertainment
- Dryer v. Nat’l Football League - Represented several prominent retired football players, including Jim Brown and Billy Joe Dupree; resulted in a $50 million settlement, asserting copyright and publicity rights claims from the NFL’s use of retired players’ images and likenesses.
- James has also represented several prominent musicians including Chuck D of Public Enemy (“Fight the Power”), Sister Sledge (“We Are Family”); Gary Wright (“Dream Weaver”), and hip-hop group The Black Sheep (“The Choice is Yours”) in seeking compensation for unpaid digital download royalties from their records labels.
What Others Say
- Lawdragon has selected James as a “Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyer” (2019)
- Super Lawyers has consistently honored James as a “Top Rated” Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Washington, DC (2016-Present)
- The National Law Journal named James a “Cybersecurity Trailblazer” (2017)
- Who’s Who Legal: Competition named James as one of the country’s leading antitrust practitioners (2017)
- James was named as one of just four “Rising Stars under 40” by Law360 in Consumer Protection and Privacy law (2012)
- The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists recognized James as one of the “leading US competition lawyers for plaintiffs” (2014)
- The Benchmark Plaintiff Guide to America’s Leading Plaintiff’s Firms and Attorneys recognized James as one of the country’s top sixteen “Antitrust Litigation Stars” (2012) and one of DC’s “Local Litigation Stars” (2013-15)
- James is regularly asked to appear as a speaker at conferences around the country and has presented on topics including antitrust, consumer protection, toxic torts, and public interest litigation.
George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors, 2001
University of Tennessee-Knoxville, B.A., summa cum laude, 1998
District of Columbia
The Supreme Court of the United States
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
The Sixth Court of Appeals
The Ninth Court of Appeals
Several Federal District Courts
Affiliations & Memberships
Co-Chair, ABA Antitrust Section’s Food & Agriculture Committee (2017)
Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section’s Food & Agriculture Committee (2014-2016)
Vice Chair, ABA Antitrust Section’s Trade, Sports, Professional Associations Committee (2012- 2013)
Adjunct Professor, Environmental and Toxic Torts, George Washington University Law School (2009)
Visiting Associate Professor of Clinical Law, Vaccine Injury Clinic, George Washington University Law School (2007)
News & Press
Mr. Pizzirusso’s practice was profiled in Lawdragon's, "Lawyer Limelight," January 2012
James J. Pizzirusso, "Proving Damages in Consumer Class Actions”. Newsletter of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Consumer Protection Committee (Vol. 22, No. 1, March 2016)
Co-author, “Contaminated Crops”, American Association for Justice (AAJ) Trial Magazine (Vol. 52, No. 8, August 2016)
Co-author, “From the gold mine to the courtroom — Toxic tort, silicosis and the largest class-action lawsuit in South African history”, Westlaw Journal, Toxic Torts (Vol. 30, Issue 8, May 30, 2012)
James J. Pizzirusso, “Liberalizing Rule 27 in the Twombly/Iqbal Era”, Law 360 (November 11, 2009)
James J. Pizzirusso, “Utilizing Novel Technologies to Sustain Trespass and Battery as Toxic Torts”, The Environmental Litigator (Spring, 2008)
James J. Pizzirusso, “Agency Rule-Making Power and the Clean Air Act: Putting the Brakes on American Trucking”, Spring 2001 Term: Whitman v. American Trucking Associations, Inc., 7 Environmental Law 729 (June, 2001)
James J. Pizzirusso, “Increased Risk, Fear of Disease and Medical Monitoring – Are Novel Damage Claims Enough to Overcome Causation Difficulties in Toxic Torts?”, 7 Environmental Law 183 (September, 2000)
Presentations & Speeches
“Drafting a Reasonable Security Test”, Sedona Working Group 11 Mid-Year Meeting, September 2018 – Los Angeles, CA
“An Ethical Journey Through E-Discovery”, ANTITRUST LAW 2018 SPRING MEETING - AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, April 2018 – Washington, DC
“Ethics and Pitfalls to Avoid in Class Action Litigation”, CLASS ACTION ROUNDTABLE, April 2018, Rancho Palos Verde, CA
“Litigating Multistate Class Actions”, CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, May 8-10, 2017 - Phoenix, AZ
“Managing Class Action Cases”, CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 29, 2016 - Manalapan, FL
“Agricultural Antitrust: Cases and Issues”, AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL LAW ASSOCIATION (AALA) ANNUAL AGRICULTURE LAW SYMPOSIUM, October 7, 2016 - Oklahoma City, OK
“The Capper Volstead Act - Recent Lessons from the Trenches”, AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (ABA) ANTITRUST SECTION'S AGRICULTURE AND FOOD COMMITTEE, Dec. 9, 2016 (Teleconference)
“Transshipping and Neonics - Prospects for Litigation on Behalf of Honey Producers”, NORTH AMERICAN BEEKEEPING CONFERENCE, January 2014 – Baton Rouge, LA
“Non-Traditional Approaches to Class Certification”, CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 2014 – San Diego, CA
“Class Action Settlements”, CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 2013 – Boca Raton, FL
“A Bumper Crop of Attacks on Capper Volstead”, ANTITRUST LAW 2013 SPRING MEETING - AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, April 2013 – Washington, DC
“Ascertainability in Class Actions”, CONSUMER CLASS ACTION ROUNDTABLE - INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION (IIEF), November 2013 – Chicago, IL
“Nationwide Certification of Class Actions; Managing Class Actions”, CAMBRIDGE - PLAINTIFFS’ CLASS ACTION FORUM, April 2012 – Santa Barbara, CA
“Ongoing Football Litigation,” INDEPENDENT RETIRED FOOTBALL PLAYERS SUMMIT & CONFERENCE, May 2012 – Las Vegas, NV
“Toxic Trespass and Other New and Emerging Toxic Torts”, ABA COMMITTEES JOINT CLE SEMINAR, January, 2008 – Snowmass, CO
“Outlook for Litigation”, NORTH CENTRAL REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON ELIMINATING CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING, September, 2006 – Chicago, IL
“Developing Novel Theories of Recovery in Toxic Tort Litigation,” CONTAMINATION EXAMINATION: A WORKSHOP ON THE CHANGING FACE OF CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION LITIGATION", September, 2006 – ABA CLE Program – Wilmington, DE
“Strategies for Pursuing Litigation Remedies”, NORTHEAST REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON ELIMINATING CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING, November, 2006 – Providence, RI
“Consumer Protection Law”, D.C. BAR ANIMAL LAW CONFERENCE, April, 2004 - American University Washington College of Law – Washington, DC
“Public Interest Tort Litigation: Using Private Tort Actions to Further Environmental Justice & Public Ends”, THE PUBLIC INTEREST ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CONFERENCE, March, 2003 – University of Oregon School of Law – Eugene, OR