Prior to the FBF&G founding, Mr. Blankinship was an attorney at Meiselman, Packman, Nealon, Scialabba and Baker, P.C., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Mr. Blankinship received his B.A. from Emory University in 1991 and his M.A. from the University of North Carolina in 1995. He attended law school at the University of Washington, and he earned his J.D. in 2001. While in law school, Mr. Blankinship was a member of the University of Washington Law Review. Mr. Blankinship is a member of the New York and Massachusetts bars, as well as the United States Court of Appeals, First and Second Circuits, the United States District Court for the Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York, and the Districts of Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Greg Blankinship is a founding partner of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber LLP. Mr. Blankinship is an experienced class action litigator, having represented both defendants and plaintiffs in numerous nationwide, multi-district class actions, including consumer fraud, privacy, and employment matters. As a result of Mr. Blankinship’s tireless work on behalf of consumers, corporations who ignore their legal obligations have been forced to pay tens of millions of dollars in direct benefits to redress the unlawful behavior.
A sampling of Mr. Blankinship’s successful cases include:
- Appointed Class Counsel of a nationwide class in Wise v. Energy Plus Holdings LLC, No.: 11-7345 (S.D.N.Y.). Plaintiffs alleged that Energy Plus, an independent electricity supplier, misrepresented that its rates were reflective of the market when they were much higher. The Court granted final approval of a settlement covering more than 400,000 consumers in eight states and valued at more than $11 million.
- Appointed Class Counsel in Brenner v. J.C. Penney Company, Inc., No. 13-11212 (D. Mass.). Plaintiff alleged that J.C. Penney requested and recorded customers’ ZIP codes, which it then used to identify consumers’ mailing addresses to send them junk mail, in violation of Massachusetts law. The Court granted final approval of a settlement valued at more than $3.5 million.
- Appointed Class Counsel In Re Michaels Stores, Inc. Zip Code Litigation, No. 11-cv-10920 (D. Mass.). Mr. Blankinship prevailed on Massachusetts’ highest court to declare that the deceptive collection of personal identification information from consumers is unlawful and that consumers may bring lawsuits to vindicate the resulting loss of privacy. The Court granted preliminary approval to a settlement valued at $418,000.
Appointed Class Counsel in Brenner v. Kohl’s Corporation, No. 13-cv-10935 (D. Mass). State-wide class action alleging that Kohl’s unlawfully collected consumers’ personal identification information. The Court granted final approval to a settlement valued at $435,000.
Mr. Blankinship also represents consumers in pending litigation against a number of independent energy companies who allegedly deceive consumers as to the rates they will charge (which are substantially more than the rates local utilities charge), retailers who unlawfully collect consumers’ private information, food and supplement manufacturers who use deceptive labels to mislead consumers about health benefits, auto manufacturers that misrepresent EPA mileage estimates, and employers that shortchange employees.
Greg Blankinship is also an accomplished appellate attorney, and he has successfully obtained numerous groundbreaking decisions from federal and state appellate courts. Examples include: In Re Zappos.Com, Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 16-16860, 2018 WL 1189643 (9th Cir. Mar. 8, 2018) (reversing dismissal by district court and holding that consumers whose personal identification information was stolen in a data breach have Article III standing);Zahn v. N. Am. Power & Gas, LLC, 2016 IL 120526, 72 N.E.3d 333 reh’g denied (Jan. 23, 2017) (on certified question from the 7th Circuit, holding that the Illinois Commerce Commission does not have exclusive jurisdiction to hear consumer claims against alternative retail electricity suppliers); Zahn v. N. Am. Power & Gas, LLC, 847 F.3d 875 (7th Cir. 2017) (reversing dismissal of consumer’s putative class action seeking redress for excessive electricity charges by alternative retail electricity supplier); John v. Whole Foods Mkt. Grp., Inc., 858 F.3d 732, 738 (2d Cir. 2017) (reversing dismissal of consumer’s putative class action seeking redress for Whole Foods’ alleged practice of representing the weight of prepackaged foods);Tyler v. Michaels Stores, Inc., 464 Mass. 492, 984 N.E.2d 737 (2013) (on certified question from U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, finding that the collection of ZIP codes from consumers using credit cards violates Massachusetts consumer protection law).