(Daily Journal) Steven Williams of the Joseph Saveri Law Firm was selected by the California Daily Journal as one of 31 “Top Plaintiff Lawyers” in California for 2019. He and fellow Top Plaintiff Lawyer Joseph Saveri were profiled in a supplement issue contained in today’s Daily Journal. The firm was one of only six statewide to field multiple winners of this prestigious award.
Steven Williams – Antitrust, consumer protection, qui tam
In 2018, Steven N. Williams moved to join the Saveri firm from his longtime partnership at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP. “I could not be happier,” he said. “It has been a great, rejuvenating change for me.”
Over the last decade, Williams has been named lead or co-lead counsel in more antitrust cases than perhaps any other attorney in the U.S., his firm said, recovering more that $2 billion for his clients and obtaining rulings that have expanded the right of claimants to bring antitrust actions.
He remains co-lead counsel in a case he brought with him from the Cotchett firm, in which a class of consumers of Nestlé’s Poland Springs brand contend the bottled water is not “100% Natural Spring Water,” as the label says, but illegally mislabeled common groundwater.
“We did 18 months of pre-complaint investigation,” Williams said. “It’s a long story that should be a movie. Everywhere you go back East, Poland Springs is all you see people drinking. We had a sense we were right about the stuff, and the judge let us do testing right at the so-called springs. I can’t discuss the results now, but we feel even more confident in our case.” Patane v. Nestlé Waters North America Inc., 3:17-cv-01381 (D. Conn., filed Aug. 15, 2017).
In March, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer of New Haven, Conn., denied Nestlé’s motion to dismiss the case.
Williams and his new firm are also co-lead counsel in a potential class action that accuses Facebook Inc. of failing to properly protect its content monitors from post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma related injuries they suffer while viewing and removing offensive and disturbing posts. The complaint alleges the plaintiffs witnessed thousands of acts of extreme and graphic violence.
“You see a beheading, it affects you,” Williams said. “These people have no benefits and are paid below a living wage, designated as independent contractors. Yet, Facebook’s business model depends on them.” Scola v. Facebook Inc., 18CIV05135 (S.F. Super. Ct., filed Sept. 21, 2018).
More than 7,500 content reviewers work for Facebook, including full-time employees and contractors, according to published reports. The lead plaintiff, former Facebook contract employee Selena Scola, worked at the company’s offices in Menlo Park and Mountain View for Facebook staffing service provider Pro Unlimited Inc.
Williams said the case and others he’s involved [with] are fascinating and fulfilling.
“It’s a great thing to wake up and be excited about going to work.”
(Reporting by John Roemer)