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Perry M. Bentley

Direct Phone: 859.231.3930

Perry M. Bentley

Perry is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Lexington office and has been with the firm since 1984. He serves as Chair of the Tort, Trial & 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, products 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.

Work Highlights

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.

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.

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.

Nilson-Newey & Co. v. Ballou, 839 F.2d 1171 (6th Cir. 1988)

State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Brewer, 778 F.Supp. 925 (E.D. Ky. 1991)

Kabara v. Kiffmeyer, 2005 U.S. Dist LEXIS 26559 (E.D. Ky. 2005)

In Re Air Crash, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55124 (E.D. Ky. 2008)

Sazegari v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54822 (W.D. Ky. 2008)

Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co. v. CTA Acoustics, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35069 (E.D. Ky. 2008)

Collins v. Lewis, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33068 (E.D. Ky. 2008)

Davis v. Progressive Direct Ins. Co., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5640 (E.D. Ky. 2009)

Jackson v. State Auto. Mut. Ins. Co., 837 S.W.2d 496 (Ky. 1992)

Howard v. Motorists Mut. Ins. Co., 955 S.W.2d 525 (Ky. 1997)

U.S. Fid. & Guar. Co. v. Preston, 26 S.W.3d 145 (Ky. 2000)

Regenstreif v. Phelps, 142 S.W.3d 1 (Ky. 2004)

Equitana Ins. Co. v. Slone & Garrett, 191 S.W.3d 552 (Ky. 2006)

Cumberland Valley Contrs., Inc. v. Bell County Coal Corp., 238 S.W.3d 644 (Ky. 2007)

Motorists Mut. Ins. Co. v. RSJ, Inc., 926 S.W.2d 679 (Ky. App. 1996)

Gibson v. EPI Corp., 940 S.W.2d 912 (Ky. App. 1997)

Alderman v. Bradley, 957 S.W.2d 264 (Ky. App. 1997)

Midwest Mut. Ins. Co. v. Wireman, 54 S.W.3d 177 (Ky. App. 2001)

Hartley v. Geico Cas. Co., 2004 Ky. App. LEXIS 270 (Ky. App. 2005)

After a seven week trial, the largest compensatory award by jury verdict in Kentucky, May 21, 2007, $122 Million Dollars, CTA Acoustics vs. Borden Chemical et. al, Laurel Circuit Court. Client's factory was destroyed by an explosion caused by a vendor’s product. The verdict included compensatory damages for the destruction of the plant and lost profits. The jury also award $1.3 million dollars in punitive damages.

Asher et al. vs Unarco et. al. United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky. Five week jury trial settled just before closing arguments, December 2008.

Bench Trial, February 2008, Approval of a contested $5 Million settlement agreement, AIK Comp Rehabilitation, Franklin Circuit Court, Kentucky.

Oral Arguments before the Supreme Court resulting in 3 reported decisions.

Five day jury trial 2002, Legal Negligence resulting in a defense verdict for the client, Vimont vs. Garrett, Fayette Circuit Court.

Representation of injured person, Personal Injury Settlement 2012, motor vehicle accident, more than $1.3 million dollars for the client.

Representation of injured person, Personal Injury Settlement 2001, trucking accident, more than $3 million dollars for the client.

Representation of injured person, Personal Injury Settlement, products liability electrocution case 2002, more than $2 million dollars for the client.

Six Week Jury trial in 1998 with Plaintiff claiming $36 million dollars in lost profits against our client. Ultimately after a 10 year court battle, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a complete defense verdict for the client. Cumberland Valley Contractors vs. Bell County Coal.