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Douglas C. Ballantine

Work Highlights

Intellectual Property disputes

As lead counsel in a trade name and trade dress infringement action in federal court, Doug successfully established that his client’s unregistered trademarks were protected under the Lanham Act and, after a multi-witness injunction hearing, obtained a preliminary injunction against a competitor in the elder care industry requiring the Defendant to change its name, logo, and signage. See Trilogy Healthcare v. Camelot Leasing, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-00307-RGJ, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144653 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 22, 2019).

Lead counsel representing Kentucky Derby winning jockey in dispute with his agent over breeding rights

Lead counsel in defending claims in federal court against Kentucky Derby winning jockey regarding claims by agent for portion of yearly stud fee from the stallion, Unbridled’s Song. After briefing and argument, case was dismissed by District Court.  On appeal by opposing party, after briefing and argument, U.S. Court of Appeals for 6th Circuit affirmed in all respects.   Adika v. Smith, 466 F.3d 503 (6th Cir. 2006).

Shareholder Derivative Actions

Lead counsel defending action by single, dissident shareholder who brought both derivative claims on behalf of the corporation and direct claims against certain directors. SKO successfully argued in litigation that the dissident shareholder had no standing to assert claims and lacked the ability to bring a derivative action for failure to satisfy the statutory requirements for doing so. The litigation continued to the enforcement of a stock buy-sell agreement, upon which our client was successful in both its enforcement and the valuation of the minority member’s shares.  Conlon v. Haise, Case No. 2014-CA-001581-MR (Ky. Ct. App. 2016).

Non-Compete Cases

Lead counsel for plaintiff in injunction action regarding violation of non-compete and theft of trade secrets. After hearing, federal court issued injunction barring former employee from continuing to violate non-compete and enjoining any dissemination of trade secrets.

Publishing Rights

Successfully represented best-selling author of fiction works in multiple disputes, including arbitration concerning ownership, copyrights, publishing rights and royalty payments. Negotiated confidential settlement favorable to client.

Business Litigation Claims

Lead counsel representing manufacturer-supplier of equipment supplied to multi-billion dollar nuclear waste processing facility regarding claims against client for alleged latent defects in products and in related claims against prime contractor for amounts due under contract.   Case settled after multiday mediation.   CB&I Areva Mox Services, LLC v. Flanders Corporation, Civil Action No. 1:18-00052-TLW (U.S. Dist. S.C.).

Insider Trading Cases

Lead counsel in alleged insider trading cases brought by Securities and Exchange Commission. Claims involved alleged “tipper” and “tippee” liability relating to the purchase of stocks.  Successfully negotiated settlement with SEC to satisfaction of clients.   Securities and Exchange Commission v. Somers, et al., Case No. 3:11-cv-00165-JGH;  In the Matter of Monster Beverage Company, LA-4500. 

Defense of Environmental Contractor in train derailment resulting in catastrophic burns to two workers performing cleanup operations

Co-lead counsel in case involving a train carrying flammable chemicals that derailed resulting in a breach of the tanker car and subsequent release of flammable chemical. During cleanup operations, two workers were seriously burned when a flash fire resulted when they were using a cutting torch to separate train cars near the leaked chemical.   The injured workers filed an action against the railroads and the environmental contractor resulting in complex claims among several parties.  Those claims necessitated a deep understanding and application of OSHA regulations, contract law, and common law.  SKO represented the environmental contractor retained for air monitoring at the site.  The case ultimately settled. 

Defense of Van Conversion Company in Vehicle Rollover Accident, resulting in ejection of child through roof

Lead counsel in case in which van conversion company installed raised roof in van. Driver of van fell asleep, resulting in rollover accident in which minor was ejected through the modified roof of the van.  Minor was seriously injured resulting in brain damage and paralysis (paraplegic).  SKO represented van conversion company.  The case ultimately settled.

Defense of Chemical Manufacturer in claims resulting from fire on train containing boxcar full of containers of chemical

Co-counsel on case in which containers loaded with reactive chemical caught fire inside train boxcar resulting in evacuation of town into which train was traveling when fire occurred.   Multiple alleged personal injury claims from residents allegedly exposed to toxic fumes.  Those claims were settled.   After two jury trials relating to the claims between chemical manufacturer and railroad, those claims were ultimately settled after trial. 

Class Action Claims Against Cemetery for Improper Practices

Lead counsel representing a putative class of individuals with relatives buried in a cemetery, asserting claims against numerous former and current owners of the cemetery for improper burial practices. The case was pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, and was ultimately settled.

Nuisance Claims

The firm represented several land owners being sued by neighboring property owners both individually and as a class for an alleged nuisance related to odors emanating from hog barns. The plaintiffs claimed that the odors unreasonably interfered with their enjoyment of property. The case was before the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky where it ultimately settled just before trial. Powell v. Tosh, No. 5:09-CV-00121-TBR-DW (W.D. Ky.).