While the lawsuit against shoemaker Skechers USA Inc. has made headlines nationwide, what is less known is a Mississippi law firm is playing a lead role in the proceedings.
The Davis & Crump law firm of Gulfport and its attorney Trevor Rockstad has been appointed to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee. Rockstad and the rest of the committee are charged with bringing the lawsuits to a successful end for numerous plaintiffs located in multiple jurisdictions.
Rockstad pointed out that this is not part of the previous class-action lawsuit, but rather the committee is representing individual plaintiffs.
“The Plaintiff’s Steering Committee looks to save time and money for both sides,” Rockstad said. Rockstad added that the relationship with the Defendant’s Steering Committee is largely non-adversarial. “It’s about compromise.”
An example of this is a website established for applications and other documentation that both the plaintiffs’ and defendant’s attorneys can utilize. The website offers a convenient, time- and money-saving option to mailing multiple parties and disseminating the paperwork.
At the heart of lawsuits is Skechers’ claims that wearing its rocker-bottom shoes would help improve the wearers’ health. The company has denied any wrongdoing, but the Federal Trade Commission ruled otherwise.
“Skechers’ unfounded claims went beyond stronger and more toned muscles. The company even made claims about weight loss and cardiovascular health,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC’s message, for Skechers and other national advertisers, is to shape up your substantiation or tone down your claims.”
In the class-action lawsuit, which wrapped up in May 2012, Skechers agreed to pay $40 million to settle the case.
How long Rockstad and the committee will be at its work is yet to be determined. Meeting in California, Rockstad said the work could take as long as five years to complete.
The judge-appointed position is not new for Davis & Crump. The firm has a long track record of serving on committees for complex, multi-jurisdictional cases. Other multi-jurisdictional committee work includes cases involving Boston Scientific and hydroxycut.
For Rockstad, though, it is a milestone. He has served on subcommittees in the past, but the Skechers case represents the first where he is serving on a full committee.
Rockstad grew up in Tupelo, and received his undergraduate degree in political science and English from the University of Mississippi. During his tenure at the University of Mississippi, Rockstad was a student in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the honor fraternity Phi Kappa Phi. He went on to obtain his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 2010, graduating sixth in his class. While attending law school, Trevor was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal, the Dean’s Leadership Council and the Environmental Law Society.
Trevor participates in several aspects of the firm’s practice, including the complex litigation practice. He has worked on several different pharmaceutical and medical device litigations, including the Chantix, Gadolinium, Yaz/Yasmin, Depuy hip implant, IVC filter and hormone replacement therapy litigations. He is licensed in California and Mississippi.