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Tort, Trial & Insurance Services

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OVERVIEW

The attorneys in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Torts, Trial & Insurance Services practice routinely represent individuals and corporate clients in all aspects of litigation involving torts and insurance matters.

Torts
SKO’s attorneys represent clients from initial investigation through discovery, trial, appeal when necessary, and mediation/settlement where appropriate. Our experience is comprehensive and includes defense and prosecution of cases for clients of all sizes, ranging from large companies to individual persons. We have experience in virtually all varieties of tort litigation including but not limited to:

  • Accounting malpractice
  • Aviation disasters
  • Business torts
  • Chemical exposure
  • Clergy malpractice
  • Damage to business and business interruption
  • Defamation
  • Engineering and design failure
  • Engineering malpractice
  • Fraud
  • Highway and trucking accidents
  • Hospital and nursing home negligence
  • Industrial and occupational injury or disease
  • Industrial fires and explosions
  • Heavy equipment operation
  • Land and title disputes
  • Legal malpractice
  • Medical device litigation
  • Medical malpractice
  • Personal injury
  • Pharmaceutical liability
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Property damage
  • RICO violations
  • Toxic tort
  • Violations of safety standards
  • §1983 civil rights actions

Insurance

SKO is fully experienced in all types of insurance issues, representing policyholders and insurers alike in a wide range of claims. Our practice involves traditional first and third party insurance defense, including personal, commercial and professional liability insurance. We also routinely handle coverage disputes, defense of bad faith claims, and other matters relating to surety, bonding, and life and health insurance claims.

Litigation
Our attorneys represent clients through all stages of the litigation process, with emphasis on complex litigation and trials. SKO has a record success in trials and includes among its members many nationally-recognized trial lawyers.

At the same time, we recognize that courtroom trials can be expensive and place huge demands on the time, resources and business of our clients. Therefore, we encourage dispute resolution when appropriate including mediation, arbitration and traditional settlement negotiation.

From the onset of a lawsuit, we work to reduce costs by assembling an appropriately sized team to handle the matter in the most efficient, cost effective manner possible with frequent communication to the client.

Work Highlights

Insurance Company Rehabilitation and Liquidation

Representation of the Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Insurance in her capacity as the Rehabilitator of AIK Comp, an unincorporated association and group self-insurance fund in rehabilitation. Ernst & Young, LLP v. Clark, 323 S.W.3d 682 (Ky. 2010); Curtis Green & Clay Green, Inc. v. Clark, 318 S.W.3d 98 (Ky. App. 2010); Koetters v. Ernst & Young LLP, 2005 WL 1475533 (E.D. Ky. 2005).

Medical Malpractice Defense

Successfully defended Anesthesiology Associates, P.S.C. in medical malpractice action and secured appellate opinion affirming trial verdict. Norman v. Galen of Ky., Inc., 2004 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 529 (Ky. App. 2004).

Insurance Company Rehabilitation and Liquidation

Lead counsel for Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI), the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Kentucky, in the negotiation of a complex loss portfolio transfer with the Kentucky Office of Insurance and the Rehabilitator of Kentucky School Board Insurance Trust.

Auto Insurance Stacking Precedent

Consol. Ins. Co. v. Slone, 538 S.W.3d 922, 925 (Ky. Ct. App. 2018).  Chadler established insurance stacking precedent preventing further escalation of auto insurance premiums for fleet policies.  Chadler successfully defended an insurance company at the Kentucky Court of Appeals on an issue of first impression in Kentucky: whether underinsured motorist benefits under a fleet policy were stackable by student occupants of a county school bus involved in a motor vehicle accident.  Upon prevailing on appeal, the client’s coverage liability exposure was reduced by $31.5 million.  

 

Breach of Non-Competition and Confidentiality Agreements

iEntry, Inc. v. B2B NETWORK SYSTEMS, LLC, et al.,  Fayette Circuit Court, Case No. 10-CI-2061.  Lead trial counsel for the plaintiff in this case involving allegations of breach of employee non-competition agreements, breach of confidentiality agreements and other business torts.  The plaintiff obtained judgment in an amount in excess of $1.6 Million.

Summary Judgment – Parent Company Immune from Workers’ Compensation Claim

Travis, et al. v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Fayette Circuit Court, Case No. 11-CI-2155, and Falk, et al. v. Alliance Coal, LLC, et al., Fayette Circuit Court, Case No. 11-CI-5433.  Lead trial counsel for the defense in these two cases.  In each case, the plaintiffs claim that a parent company of the decedents’ employer is liable in tort for the decedents’ deaths.  In each case, the trial court granted summary judgment dismissing the parent company because the parent company is immune from liability pursuant to the workers’ compensation exclusivity clause in KRS 342.610.  The parent company carries the workers’ compensation risk for the subsidiary/employer and, thus, is immune.  The issue is one of first impression in Kentucky and the two cases have been consolidated for appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

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)).

Commercial Trucking Accident

Collins v. Westfreight  Systems, Inc., No. 08-227, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33141 (E.D. Ky. Apr. 17, 2009)

Successfully defended commercial trucking client against negligence claims arising out of a highway accident.  Case resulted in dismissal of lawsuit for improper service of process on foreign entity.

Premises and Promoter Liability

Brotherton v. Victory Sports, Inc., 24 F. Supp. 3d 617 (E.D. Ky. 2014)

Successfully defended motocross race promoter and venue owner against negligence claims relating to injury sustained during motocross racing event.  The case resulted in complete summary judgment in favor of SKO’s clients.

Statutory Civil Rights

Tallman v. Elizabethtown Police Dep't, 344 F.Supp.2d 992 (W.D. Ky. 2004), aff’d, 167 Fed. Appx. 459 (6th Cir. 2006). Successfully defended the Elizabethtown Police Department in a statutory civil rights claim arising from a fatal accidental shooting that occurred following a high speed chase. After the federal claims were disposed of, the state law claims were re-filed in the Hardin Circuit Court and favorable dispositive rulings were obtain from the trial court, the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Supreme Court.

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.

Professional Negligence

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.

Wrongful Death: Shooting Over Boundary Line Dispute

In 2011, obtained a $3,760,003.50 judgment in a wrongful death claim arising from a fatal shooting over a boundary line dispute.

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.

Motor Vehicle Accident: Alleged Negligent Maintenance of Street Light

Obtained a unanimous defense jury verdict on behalf of a public utility. The plaintiff claimed that the utility failed to properly maintain street light, which caused a motor vehicle accident. This is first and only case of its kind to be tried to a jury in Kentucky, subsequent to decision by Kentucky Supreme Court allowing such causes of action.

Product Liability: Negligent Design, Manufacture, and Maintenance of Heavy Equipment

Successfully represented the estate, widow, and children of a farm employee killed while operating heavy machinery. Matter settled for policy limits prior to filing suit.

Insurance Companies Company Rehabilitation: Contested Settlement Agreement

Successful bench trial, resulting in approval of contested $5 million settlement agreement regarding an insurance company rehabilitation.

Medical Malpractice: Alleged Surgical Negligence

Obtained unanimous defense verdict on behalf of OBGYN in medical malpractice action. Plaintiff claimed that the physician negligently lacerated her bladder while performing a hysterectomy.

Premises Liability: Alleged Negligent Failure to Maintain Safe Business Premises

Obtained a Summary Judgment dismissal on behalf of a manufacturing client, based upon Kentucky’s “Up the Ladder” defense. Plaintiff truck driver, who had slipped and fallen, claimed that the premises were not appropriately maintained.

INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT

American College of Trial Lawyers

Kentucky Academy of Hospital Attorneys

Kentucky Defense Council

Litigation Counsel of America

Professional Liability Defense Federation

 

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