Favorable Defense Verdict in Motor Vehicle Accident Case
Obtained a favorable defense jury verdict in Fayette Circuit Court on behalf of operator of motor vehicle, despite the court instructing the jury that the operator was liable as a matter of law. The plaintiff alleged that the operator was distracted by her cell phone and slammed into the rear of plaintiff’s vehicle, causing bodily injury. The plaintiff sought in excess of $100,000 for past and future pain and suffering. However, the jury awarded only a small amount for past pain and suffering and $0 for future pain and suffering.
Product Liability: Alleged Design and Manufacturing Defect
Successfully defended manufacturer of automatic door against design and manufacturing defect claims. The case resulted in complete summary judgment in favor of SKO’s client.
Hospital Negligence Defense Opinion in Medical Review Panel
Obtained one of the few no liability opinion from the Kentucky Medical Review Panel on plaintiff’s negligence claims against our hospital client. (October 2018).
Dismissal of Government Entity on Sovereign Immunity Grounds
Obtained dismissal in state circuit court on sovereign immunity grounds for our client in a number of cases on plaintiffs’ negligence claims. (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).
Landowner Summary Judgment in Slip and Fall
Obtained summary judgment in federal district court for our landowner client on a plaintiff’s slip and fall claim. Mitchell v. Carhartt, Inc., No. 4:14-cv-00057-JHM, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148122 (W.D. Ky. Nov. 2, 2015).
Estate of Fate Herd v. Scotty Contracting
Estate of Fate Herd v. Scotty Contracting; Simpson County, Kentucky, represented plaintiff in wrongful death action involving tractor trail accident in interstate construction zone, $2.4 million jury verdict.
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.
Government and Employment Defense
Successfully obtained a full dismissal in favor of his client on claims of defamation, retaliation, and tortious interference with a business advantage.
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.
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). Successfully established insurance stacking precedent preventing further escalation of auto insurance premiums for fleet policies. 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.
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.
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 a street light, which caused a motor vehicle accident. This is the 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, 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.
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.).
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.