Jenelle Welling’s primary practice area is complex and class action litigation in consumer financial services and consumer products. She also practices in antitrust and commercial litigation. She has lectured on the Truth in Billing Act, mediating consumer class actions, and presented seminars on the basics of consumer class action litigation for plaintiffs’ lawyers. She graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law where she was honored with the American Jurisprudence Award in both Moot Court and Trial Advocacy. She also was a member of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal. Prior to law school, Ms. Welling received a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. She graduated with Highest Honors from the University of California at San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Recognized as a Rising Star by the Super Lawyers of Northern California, Ms. Welling is a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the American Association for Justice, the Consumer Attorneys of California, and the Contra Costa County Bar Association.
Some of the clients and plaintiff classes Ms. Welling has represented include:
- In re: Ford Explorer Cases, J.C.C.P. Nos. 4266 & 4270. Ms. Welling, along with co-counsel, represented a class of California consumers alleging that Ford withheld material information about the rollover propensity of the Ford Explorer. Ms. Welling was a member of the 5-person trial team that presented plaintiffs’ case over the course of a 50-day trial, and was primarily responsible for presenting expert testimony in support of restitution under Business & Professions Code §17200 totaling more than $500 million. The case settled on the eve of closing argument and ultimately provided injunctive relief that will inure to the benefit of consumers nationwide, as well as the opportunity for monetary redress for consumers in California, Texas, Illinois, and Connecticut.
- In re CARB Compliant Gasoline Cases II, JCCP No. 4449. Jenelle Welling served as co-liaison counsel in this anti-trust action filed in California Superior Court. Plaintiffs allege that Union Oil Company misled the California Air Resources Board (CARB) into adopting standards for the composition of summertime reformulated gasoline that overlapped with Union Oil Company’s then undisclosed and pending patents. Through this alleged deception and other alleged anti-competitive acts, California consumers in the downstream market allegedly overpaid for summertime CARB-complaint gasoline. A settlement providing $48 million in cy pres was approved by the court in 2008.
- In re: Baycol Cases I and II. This action alleges that Bayer’s advertisement and sale of the cholesterol drug Baycol, which was ultimately pulled from the market for safety risks, violated California’s Unfair Competition Law. In February 2011, Ms. Welling successfully overturned an appellate opinion, and obtained a ruling in Plaintiff’s favor on important class action procedural issues. See In re Baycol Cases I and II, (2011) 51 Cal.4th 751.
- Brothers v. Hewlett-Packard. In this case, Ms. Welling secured speedy relief for owners nationwide of certain HP laptop computers that were alleged to contain a defect associated with an advanced graphics card. Consumers received a new, equally performing graphics card at no expense and a refund of 100% of expenses associated with any repair of the alleged defect. This case also generated the first decision within the Ninth Circuit establishing federal jurisdiction under CAFA for Magnuson-Moss claims without the 100 plaintiff jurisdictional requirement. See Brothers v. Hewlett Packard, Co., Case No. 06-02254, 2007 WL 485979 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 12, 2007).
- In re: Tenet Healthcare Cases II. Jenelle Welling served on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in this consolidated action that obtained redress for uninsured consumers who received treatment from one of Tenet Healthcare’s 42 California hospitals. The complaint alleged Tenet charged exorbitant and unconscionable prices, for example, marking up prescription drugs 1,038% on average, to increase revenues and profits. A national settlement was approved in August 2005 that provides for restitution, injunctive relief and $4 million of cy pres damages. The settlement has been hailed as a model for how the nation’s uninsured population should be billed for hospital care.
- Prata v. Bank One. Ms. Welling, along with co-counsel, represented the plaintiff class in this case involving “Same as Cash” credit card financing claims. The Superior Court in Los Angeles approved a $3 million cash settlement for California consumers who participated in the “Same as Cash” financing plan. Litigation of this case resulted in a oft-cited opinion interpreting Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, Prata v. Sup. Ct. (2001) 91 Cal. App. 4th 1128.
- Starkey v. Rusnak BMW. Ms. Welling led this class action asserting that expensive BMW wheels on new cars were secretly replaced before sale with lower value aftermarket wheels. The action was resolved quickly to the benefit of the class, and included an agreement by the dealer to refrain from selling aftermarket wheels on new cars.
- Prata v. GE Capital. Ms. Welling, along with co-counsel, restored another $2.5 million to Californians who were duped by the “Same as Cash” advertising slogan and program that GE bought from Bank One. GE also agreed to refrain from using the “Same as Cash” slogan to advertise financing plans that require minimum monthly payments.