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Class Actions

Civil Rights

The civil rights of U.S. citizens are protected by the Bill of Rights, the constitutions of each state, and by other federal and state legislation. Among the many rights to which each citizen is entitled are the right to equal protection under the law regardless of race, religion, sex, or other characteristics unrelated to individual worth, and the rights to due process of law, to privacy, to freedom of speech, and to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

Sometimes an individual’s rights will be infringed upon by other individuals, corporations, or law enforcement officials. When this occurs, experienced civil rights lawyers can help victims put a stop to the violation of their rights and obtain compensation. At Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP, our lawyers have helped victims of discrimination in a wide variety of cases.

Some of our settled civil rights cases include:

Illegal Strip Searches

Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP has successfully resolved a number of unconstitutional strip search cases alleging various counties’ policies of strip searching individuals arrested for minor crimes create an infringement of civil rights. Class action cases on behalf of these individuals have been settled in Rensselaer County, NY for $2.7 million settlement, Philadelphia, PA for $5.9 million, and Dauhpin County, PA for $2.165 million.

Stolen Identities of Veterans

In May 2006, burglars stole a laptop and an external hard drive from the home of an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The external hard drive contained the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of some 26.5 million veterans and their spouses. Affected veterans brought three separate federal class action lawsuits, alleging violations of the Privacy Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP attorneys were appointed to represent the plaintiffs as co-lead counsel. The parties agreed to settle the case for $20 million.

How Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP Can Help

Our civil rights attorneys are always available to help victims whose rights have been infringed upon. Some of our current cases include:

Strip Searches

Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP represents individuals who were strip searched following their arrests for misdemeanor crimes or minor offenses in county jails throughout the country. In these class action cases, plaintiffs allege the defendant-counties maintained an unconstitutional policy of strip searching arrested individuals without regard to the crimes charged, in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Unconstitutional strip search class action cases are currently pending in Erie County, NY; Niagara County, NY; Allegheny County, PA; Bexar County, TX; and West Virginia.

Google Buzz

Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP represents plaintiffs in a class action against Google, alleging that Google’s launch of its Buzz application violated various state and federal laws protecting electronic privacy. The introduction of Buzz was met with public outcry when Google users realized their frequent contacts and other private information were publically disclosed.

African American Farmers

Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP represents clients in a proposed $1.25 billion nationwide class settlement on behalf o behalf of tens of thousands of black farmers were denied equal access to U.S. Agriculture Department loan programs. Class members are black farmers who were excluded from participation in an earlier settlement with the government over USDA loan discrimination.

Experienced Civil Rights Attorneys

If you believe one of your constitutional rights has been violated, do not wait to contact the civil rights lawyers at Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP today. We can help you understand your legal options and protect your rights.

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