Perry M. Bentley
Member , Lexington KY
Perry is a Member of Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Lexington office and has been with the firm since 1984. He serves as Chair of the Tort, Trial, and insurance Services practice and Co-Chair of the Arbitration & Mediation practice.
Perry is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Among the highlights of Perry’s career is being named a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, a distinction for trial lawyers who receive a verdict or settlement of one million dollars or more. Among his multi-million verdicts/settlements was a seven-week trial that followed an explosion that destroyed his client’s factory. He secured a compensatory award of $122 million, believed to be the largest in Kentucky history. The verdict included damages for the destruction of the plant and lost profits. The jury also awarded $1.3 million in punitive damages.
For his work on behalf of his manufacturing client, and many other legal accomplishments at SKO, Perry has been named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Best Lawyers in America® peer-review publication for four consecutive years. In 2019, he was named by Super Lawyers as being considered one of Kentucky’s Top 50 lawyers.
Prior to practicing law, Perry was a certified public accountant.
Tort, Trial & Insurance Services: Perry focuses on professional negligence (non-medical), personal injury, product liability, fire and explosion, insurance coverage and defense, insurer insolvency/rehabilitation, and insurance bad faith. He represents clients in all aspects of litigation, from initial investigation and discovery to trial and appeal.
Arbitration & Mediation: Perry also acts as a mediator in a variety of cases ranging from personal injury to professional negligence and complex business disputes.
- United States Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
Professional & Community Activities
American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
American Bar Association
Kentucky Bar Association
National Society of Insurance Investigators
American Association for Justice, Associate Member
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Arlington Christian Church, Deacon and Sunday School Teacher
Midway Foundation for Integrative Medicine, former Board Member
Woodford Youth Soccer Association, former Coach and Board Member
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
Benchmark Litigation: Local Litigation Star-Insurance, 2013-2017
Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, 2012-2017
Wrongful Death: Domestic Violence
Estate of Amanda Ross v. Steven R. Nunn, Fayette Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 09-CI-05104. Obtained a judgment against Steven R. Nunn in the amount of $24,253,298.85 for the wrongful death of Amanda Ross. The trial team has pursued foreclosure of Nunn’s real property, garnishment of his pension assets and garnishment of his prison commissary account in partial satisfaction of the judgment. The trial team also successfully defended the right of the Estate to garnish Nunn’s pension funds despite a Kentucky statute that Nunn claimed provides a partial exemption for those assets. See Stephen R. Nunn v. Diana M. Ross as Personal Representative of the Estate of Amanda Ross, 2015 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 593 (Ky. App. 2015) (review denied Supreme Court Case No. 2015-SC-473 (February 10, 2016)).
Insurance Bad Faith
Sazegari v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co., 2008 U.S. Dist LEXIS 54822 (W.D. Ky. 2008), aff’d, No. 08-5990, 08-6015 (6th Cir. 2009). Represented GEICO in a bad faith lawsuit arising from a property damage claim. After years of litigation that began in state court, obtained summary judgment from the federal district court and successfully argued the merits of the case before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009, obtaining an oral ruling from the bench.
Barbara A. Abel et al v. J. Brent Austin et al, 411 S.W.3d. 728 (Ky. 2013). Successfully defended an attorney accused of misappropriation of client funds, obtaining summary judgment from the trial court which was then affirmed by the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Supreme Court in a published opinion.
Product Liability, Explosion & Failure to Warn
Successfully represented a manufacturing client, whose factory was destroyed by an explosion caused by a vendor’s product. The seven-week trial resulted in $122 million verdict, the single largest award of compensatory damages by a jury in Kentucky history.
Motor Vehicle Accident: Negligent Failure to Maintain Construction Site
Successfully represented an operator of motor vehicle, who suffered serious injuries in an accident caused by road construction crews’ failure to use proper signage. Matter settled prior to trial.
Insurance Companies Company Rehabilitation: Contested Settlement Agreement
Successful bench trial, resulting in approval of contested $5 million settlement agreement regarding an insurance company rehabilitation.
- Trying the Soft Tissue Injury Case in Kentucky, 1996-1998
- Everything a Land Surveyor Needs to Know to be a Witness, 1997
- Trying the Automobile Injury Case in Kentucky, 1994
- Bad Faith Litigation in Kentucky, National Business Institute Inc., 1993-1994
- Bluegrass Claims Association Seminar, UIM, UM, and No-Fault Law Developments, 1993
- Writing Settlement Agreements in General Mediations, various mediation train sessions for the Mediation Center of Central Kentucky
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