James J. Pizzirusso

 
Washington, DC
 
 

While still in law school, James argued and won his first trial in the Court of Federal Claims under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program representing a family whose daughter had been severely injured (Dela Rosa v. Sec’y. of Health and Human Services, 2001 WL 1056928, NO. 93-433v (Aug. 14, 2001)). Since that time, he 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. James’ distinctive approach to litigation has resulted in recoveries of hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients and class members and numerous professional accolades.

James is a partner in Hausfeld’s Washington, DC office. 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. In addition to practicing law, James has served as a Visiting Professor at George Washington University Law School.

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 including: In re Warner Music Group Corp. Digital Downloads Litig., No. CV-12-0559-RS (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide settlement of royalty dispute involving $11.5 million in past damages and future royalty increases in perpetuity); James v. UMG Recordings, Inc., No. 11-CV-1613-SI (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide settlement of royalty dispute involving $11.5 million in past damages and future royalty increases in perpetuity); Wolph v. Acer America Corp., No. CV-09-01314-VRW (N.D. Cal.) (disputed class involving defective computers certified on a nationwide basis, $22.7 million settlement later achieved); Radosti v. Envision EMI, LLC, No. 1:09-CV-00887-CCK (D.D.C.) ($17.5 million nationwide settlement); In re Tyson Foods, Inc., Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics Consumer Litig., C.A. 08-1982 (D. Md.) ($8 million nationwide settlement); Brown v. Transurban (USA), Inc., No. 1:150CV000494-JCC-MSN (E.D. Va) (Co-lead) (nationwide settlement involving excessive toll lane fees); and In re Honey Transshipping Litig., 1:13-cv-02905 (N.D. Ill.) ($4 million nationwide Lanham Act settlement). 

Other cases in which he has served as lead counsel include: In re Monsanto Company Genetically-Engineered Wheat Litig., 2:13-md-02473-KHV-KMH (D. Kansas) (chair of lead counsel group); U.S. Hotel and Resort Management, Inc. et al v. Onity Inc., 0:13-cv-01499-SRN-FLN (D. Minn.); and In re Sony PS3 “Other OS” Litig., No. CV-10-1811-RS (N.D. Cal.) (co-lead). He also been appointed to serve in a leadership capacity in several data breach cases including In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litig., MDL No. 14-25522 (D. Minn.) (Steering Committee on behalf of financial institutions, nationwide class certification granted, $60 million settlement approved), Greater Chautauqua Federal Credit Union v. Kmart Corp., No. 1:15-cv-02228 (N.D. Ill.) (One of three Co-Leads) ($18.5 million settlement); In re The Home Depot, Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litig., No. 14-md-02583 (N.D. Georgia) (Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee) ($25 million settlement pending); First Choice Federal Credit Union v. Wendy’s, Case No. 2:16-cv-00506 (W.D. Pa.) (Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee); In re Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Breach Litig., No. 3:15-md-2633-SI (D. Or.) (Executive Leadership Committee); and In re: Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. Data Security Litig., Civil No. 1:17-cv-514-AT (N.D. Ga.) (Co-Lead).  James has also been involved in defective product cases such as Ross v. Trex Co., Inc., No. 5:09-CV-00670 (N.D. Cal.) (nationwide settlement) and Pelletz v. Weyerhaeuser Company, No. C08-0334 JCC (W.D. Wash.) (nationwide settlement) and currently represents dentists seeking compensation from 3M related to defective crowns in Bhatia v. 3M Company, No. 0:16-cv-1304 (D. Minn.) (Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee).

In the antitrust practice area, James represents clients alleging price fixing and collusion in various agricultural sectors. He is one of the firm’s principal attorneys in In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litig., No. 2:08-cv-04653 (E.D. Pa.) ($136 million in settlements reached, class certification granted against remaining defendants) and In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litig., No. 4:10-MD-2186-BLW (D. Idaho) ($19.5 million settlement reached). He was also involved in In re: Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litig., 2:08-md-01000 (E.D. Tenn.) ($300 million settlement). Currently, James is also one of the firm’s attorneys working on In re: Packaged Seafood Products Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2670. He presently serves as Co-Chair of the ABA Antitrust Section’s Food and Agriculture Committee, having previously served as a Vice Chair from 2014-2016.

In the sports and entertainment area, James has 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. He also represented several prominent retired football players, including Jim Brown and Billy Joe Dupree, in the Dryer v. Nat’l Football League, No. 0:09-cv-02182-PAM-AJB (D. Minn.) ($50 million settlement) asserting copyright and publicity rights claims from the NFL’s use of retired players’ images and likenesses.

Mr. Pizzirusso’s practice also includes domestic and international environmental and public health litigation. He 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.

In 2012, James was named as one of four “Rising Stars under 40” by Law360 in Consumer Protection and Privacy law. The International Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists recognized James as one of the leading US competition lawyers for plaintiffs in 2014. Additionally, 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” in 2012 and one of DC’s “Local Litigation Stars” from 2013-2015. In 2016, James was recognized by Super Lawyers as a Top Rated Class Action & Mass Torts Attorney in Washington, DC. Who’s Who Legal: Competition named him as one of the country’s leading antitrust practitioners in 2017. James has been asked to appear as a panelist at several conferences around the country and presented on topics including antitrust, consumer protection, toxic torts, and public interest litigation. James is also the author of several published papers.

James lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and two daughters.  

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