Thomas Richie represents clients in procedurally complex civil litigation, both in trial and appellate courts throughout Alabama and across the country. He has litigated a broad range of cases, from class actions to municipal tax disputes to the Chapter 9 bankruptcy case of Jefferson County, Alabama. He has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by Alabama Super Lawyers, and has had success both asserting and defending claims.
Thomas has litigated cases in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee and has successfully prosecuted or defended appeals in the Alabama Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit, and the Fourth Circuit.
Thomas has experience across every phase of civil litigation, from emergency injunctions at the outset of a case to high-stakes appeals after judgment. He has successfully litigated more than a dozen class actions to favorable judgments or settlements in state and federal courts. He has experience with class actions involving federal statutory claims, breach-of-contract, negligence, products liability, warranty, tax, data breach, and financial services issues. He represents clients across industries, including insurance, retail, defense, pharmaceutical, environmental, finance, wireless communication, and manufacturing. In addition to defending class actions, Thomas regularly litigates commercial disputes, whether involving breach of contract, competitive torts, or deceptive trade practices.
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Litigation – Insurance, 2021-2023 Commercial Litigation, 2023 Listed in Benchmark Litigation "40 & Under Hot List," 2016-2023 "Future Star," Alabama, 2018-2021, 2023 Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, "Rising Stars" Business Litigation, 2016-2018 Class Action, 2019-2021 JD Supra Readers' Choice Top Author 2020, Recognized as a Top 10 author for Class Actions Listed in Alabama Super Lawyers, "Rising Stars," Business Litigation, 2015 Listed in B-Metro, Rising Star Lawyers and Attorneys of Note, 2014 MSPA Claims 1, LLC v. Infinity Property & Casualty Corp., Case No.: 2:17-CV-513-KOB, U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Northern District of Alabama Represented Infinity Property & Casualty Corporation in a class action complaint filed by plaintiff claim recovery companies on behalf of numerous Medicare Advantage Organizations. The allegations in the complaint were similar to other class actions that these same plaintiffs have filed against dozens of insurers and medical providers across the country arising under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. The complaint alleged that Infinity failed to fulfill its statutorily mandated duty under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act to reimburse these Medicare Advantage Organizations for medical expenses paid to Medicare beneficiaries arising out of automobile accidents. The plaintiffs alleged that they hold the rights of these Medicare Advantage Organizations through various assignments allowing them to bring these claims and that these organizations provided Medicare benefits to eligible beneficiaries who were simultaneously covered by insurance policies issued by Infinity. By allegedly failing to reimburse these organizations for medical bills and services that Infinity was responsible for paying under their no-fault insurance policies, the plaintiff claim recovery companies argued that Infinity violated provisions of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. After conducting jurisdictional discovery, Bradley assisted Infinity in filing for summary judgment and challenged whether the plaintiff organizations have standing. Infinity’s motion argued, inter alia, that the plaintiffs’ alleged standing is based on a chain of assignments that are invalid or ineffective, and that these assignments do not link to any actual claim that Infinity should have paid but failed to do so. On March 18, 2019, Judge Karen Bowdre granted Infinity’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims with prejudice. The court agreed with Infinity that the plaintiffs lacked Article III standing and found that “MSPA’s purported web of assignments and secondary payer rights suffers from several defects, each of which is fatal to MSPA’s standing to bring its claims…” Shelithea Hallums and Samuel Castillo v. Infinity Insurance Company and Infinity Auto Insurance Company, Case No.: 16-24507-CIV-Moreno, U.S Dist. Ct. for the Southern District of Florida Successfully obtained summary judgment for Infinity Insurance Company and Infinity Auto Insurance Company in putative class action lawsuit alleging that Infinity’s Lessor Liability Endorsement was illusory and did not provide any valuable coverage. Plaintiffs argued that the Graves Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 30106, foreclosed any possibility of lessor liability. Plaintiffs pleaded claims for declaratory judgment, unjust enrichment, fraudulent concealment, and negligent omission. The case involved allegations that, under the Lessor Liability Endorsement, the damages that a lessor becomes legally obligated to pay can only stem from an injury for which the insured is also legally liable. Plaintiffs argued that this liability fell within the definition of “vicarious liability” that was disallowed by the Graves Amendment. At various stages of the litigation, Infinity challenged whether plaintiffs had Article III standing and argued that the endorsement was not illusory because it provided coverage for lessors in many different situations. Infinity also maintained that plaintiffs’ interpretation of the endorsement was contrary to various rules governing the interpretation of insurance policies under Florida law, as well as that, regardless of plaintiffs’ interpretation, Infinity still had an obligation to defend the lessors, even against claims barred by the Graves Amendment. After extensive briefing and a hearing on summary judgment and class certification issues, the court granted Infinity’s motion for summary judgment and entered a final judgment in favor of Infinity and against the plaintiffs. The court held that the endorsement was not illusory because plaintiffs’ interpretation would render the Graves Amendment’s savings clause a nullity, and, regardless, Infinity still owes a duty to defend the lessor and raise the Graves Amendment as an affirmative defense. Bradley’s work on the matter included collaboration with local counsel Raoul Cantero and Ramon Abadin. The case involved extensive analysis of insurance policy interpretation and standing issues, as well as extensive analysis of different comparative fault statutes nationwide. In re Jefferson County, Alabama Successfully litigated the largest confirmed municipal debt plan of adjustment in history, which was consummated in December 2013. The bankruptcy case featured numerous evidentiary hearings tried to successful result. Ellis v. Louisiana-Pacific Corp., 699 F.3d 778 (4th Cir. 2012) Obtained affirmance of district court order dismissing products-liability class action asserting breach of warranty and deceptive trade practice claims. Midfield City of Education v. City of Midfield, Jefferson County Circuit Court, Bessemer Division (2013) Obtained temporary restraining order against defendant City to ensure timely tax payments to the municipal school board, and obtained a timely and favorable settlement. Ex parte JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 70 So. 3d 1198 (Ala. 2011) Successfully defended appeal regarding our client’s authority to bring claims against parties involved in refinancing the County’s sewer debt. Smith v. Saxon Mortg., 446 Fed. Appx. 239 (11th Cir. 2011) Defeated plaintiff’s appeal of summary judgment on all claims. Bank of New York Mellon v. Jefferson County, (N.D. Ala. 2009) Briefed and argued the case for Jefferson County, Alabama, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Plaintiffs, holders and insurers of municipal warrants issued to fund the construction and improvement of the County’s sewer system, sued in federal court alleging that the County had defaulted on its bond-payment obligations. As relief, the plaintiffs requested that the court appoint a receiver to administer the sewer system. After extensive briefing and oral argument, the court agreed with the County that the federal Johnson Act, 28 U.S.C. 1342, and principles of abstention precluded the appointment of a receiver of the sewer system’s operations. Merck & Co. v. Reynolds, No. 08-905 (U.S. Sup. Ct.) Represented DRI as amicus curiae in case involving operation of statute of limitations applicable to federal securities-fraud claims. Mollica, et al. v. Conseco Insurance Company, et al., 2:07-cv-1753-IPJ (N.D. Ala. Jan. 21, 2009) Obtained summary judgment on all claims, including promissory fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent suppression, negligence, wantonness and quantum meruit, in a case in which several agents alleged, among other things, that our client had made various misrepresentations in connection with the rollout of a new universal life insurance product.