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Class Action

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OVERVIEW

Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Class Action practice is comprised of attorneys with an array of litigation experience who have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in class actions in state and federal courts in Kentucky and beyond. Because our class action attorneys regularly practice in other areas of both civil and administrative agency litigation, they have a deep knowledge not only of the procedural intricacies of class action litigation, but also of the substantive legal issues found at the core of class claims. As with all litigation matters we handle, our class action attorneys use the best available tools to handle document management and discovery, knowing that efficiency is vitally important in all complex litigation.

In any particular class action, the SKO team will include trial lawyers who are familiar with the nuances of Rule 23 practice and experienced in the relevant subject matter of the action. For example, any SKO team working on a class action matter involving employment law issues would include class action litigators and lawyers with broad employment law experience. SKO has handled class certification issues in the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes and is therefore positioned to immediately advise clients on the key issue in every one of such cases—will a class be certified?

Our scope of services includes:

  • Tax refund issues
  • Statutory overcharge claims
  • Coal, oil, and gas lease contractual disputes
  • Actions having related or collateral administrative agency issues, including primary jurisdiction claims
  • Matters involving filed rate doctrine claims
  • Employment matters involving wage and hour claims
  • Employment matters involving discrimination claims
  • Actions involving various insurance issues
  • Antitrust matters
  • Structured settlement matters
  • Tobacco litigation matters
  • First Amendment matters

Work Highlights

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.

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.

Related Practices: Class Action, Business Torts

Defense of Insurance Class Action Litigation

SKO successfully resolved a complex class action litigation matter where the purported class was challenging the method by which a national insurance company calculated the Actual Cash Value (“ACV”) payments on homeowners’ insurance claims in Kentucky.

Related Practices: Class Action, Business Litigation

Defending and Prosecuting Class Action Lawsuits

SKO was successful in multiple class action litigations on both the plaintiff and defense side. SKO oversaw multiple complex settlements with multi-thousand class member cases.  SKO's class action clients have included a national insurance carrier, a national environmental consulting service, consumers defrauded by unfair commercial practices, a regional home builder, and national agriculture companies. 

Shareholder Class Action

Margie Elstein v. Lexmark International, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 16-CI-02380 (Fayette Circuit Court)

SKO successfully represented Lexmark in successfully dismissing a proposed class action lawsuit claiming Lexmark’s merger was unfair to shareholders.  A mere three days before the scheduled shareholder vote, an injunction hearing was held and the Court dismissed the lawsuit.

Related Practices: Class Action, Business Litigation

Local Hotel Taxes

Successfully defended online travel companies in litigation by three local governments seeking to collect local hotel taxes. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Govt., Lexington-Fayette Urban County Govt., et al. v. Hotels.com, L.P., et al., 590 F.3d 381 (6th Cir., 2009).

Related Practices: Tax, Class Action

Class Action, Telecommunications and Consumer Protection

SKO acted as counsel for a 175,000-member plaintiff class in U.S. District Court to challenge sales tax collection on broadband Internet access services provided by incumbent local exchange carrier. The Court approved settlement agreement in August 2007 that provided class members full refunds of overpayments plus interest, totaling $8.2 million. Clark v. BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., 461 F.Supp.2d 541 (W.D. Ky. 2006).

Claims Against Cemetery for Improper Practices

SKO represents 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 is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Related Practices: Class Action, Business Litigation

Class Action, Telecommunications, Public Utility, Taxation & Consumer Protection

SKO represented a class of more than 450,000 members in U.S. District Court challenge to overcharges/tariff violations by regulated telecommunications carrier. SKO obtained summary judgment on federal overcharge claims for class members and protected class certification by defeating an interlocutory appeal to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. SKO also prevailed for class members in a collateral state utility commission proceeding on issues referred by the District Court. Settlement approved by District Court in November 2013 included cash refunds to all class members. Bowers v. Windstream Ky. East, LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157242 (W.D. Ky. 2013).

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