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Class Certification Affirmed by Second District Court of Appeal

Brannock Humphries & Berman successfully persuaded the Second District Court of Appeal to uphold, without comment, an order certifying a class action against a Tampa-based clinic that claims to be able to treat chronic, incurable lung diseases such as COPD using stem cells.

The plaintiffs assert that the so-called treatments have no basis in science and are little more than high-priced snake oil or placebos.  They also allege that this clinic, Lung Institute of Tampa, uses aggressive and deceptive marketing techniques to prey on elderly consumers who are very sick and desperate for some hope of relief.  Each plaintiff in the class—numbering up to at least 900 patients, and possibly into the thousands—paid thousands of dollars for their “treatment” up front, out of their own pockets.

After a Hillsborough County trial court certified the class, the clinic appealed, claiming that certification was inappropriate because too many issues had to be decided on an individual basis.  The clinic also raised other issues concerning the merits of the lawsuit.  Brannock Humphries & Berman was brought on board by the trial team of Ben Vinson, Mark Alonzo, and Steve Barnes to lead the charge on appeal. 

The firm filed a comprehensive written brief addressing the flaws in Lung Institute’s challenges to the trial court’s order and then followed the written brief up with an oral argument in late May.  Two weeks later, the appellate court affirmed the class certification order, allowing the plaintiffs’ claims to proceed.