Class Action Defense – Energy

Overview

Energy companies facing class action litigation need a defense team that can handle the complexities of large-scale litigation, as well as the unique business, regulatory and legal issues impacting the energy sector. The Energy Class Action Defense team at BakerHostetler combines a deep and broad class action practice with focused, energy-specific experience in order to provide top-notch class action defense representation to a wide range of energy clients, including:

  • Global oil and gas companies
  • Natural gas processors
  • Natural gas utility companies
  • Electric companies
  • Petrochemical plants
  • Pipeline companies
  • Oil field service companies
  • Mining and metals companies
  • Energy service providers
The BakerHostetler Advantage

Our seasoned class action defense lawyers represent public and private companies in every facet of class action proceedings – from removal under the Class Action Fairness Act to motions to dismiss, class certification proceedings, discovery, trial, settlement and appeal. At trial, our litigators are armed with solid defense strategies and in-depth knowledge of the issues at hand and we have an outstanding track record of success obtaining early victories, whether by defeating class certification, obtaining a dismissal of claims, or negotiating favorable settlement terms. As a result of our exceptional reputation and notable class action successes, our Class Action Defense team was named a Law360 “Practice Group of the Year” in 2014.

Additionally, by drawing on the knowledge of the members of our nationally recognized energy practice, we are able to address the unique energy issues involved in class action litigation. Since many of our energy lawyers have technical degrees or have worked in-house with major energy companies and have received recognition from such organizations as Chambers Global in the field of energy, we are able to leverage our hands-on experience with our litigation skill to defend energy clients in connection with complex energy-specific issues.

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Unique Insight
  • Emergency response/catastrophe assessment
  • State consumer fraud acts
  • Royalty disputes
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Wage and hour
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • Personal injury claims
  • Investigation, operational response and enforcement actions
  • Individual opt-out cases
  • Oil spills
  • Securities

Select Experience

  • Represented a natural gas utility in the investigation, operational response, enforcement actions, class actions and individual opt-out cases arising from spills of mercury from service pressure regulators in the homes of more than 1,000 customers.
  • Represented an energy company in a race discrimination action brought by five individual plaintiffs seeking class certification under Ohio law, alleging that they were denied employment opportunities, training, promotions and benefits based on race; were paid at a lower rate than white employees; and/or were subject to a hostile, offensive and/or discriminatory working environment.
  • Defended a Texas-based energy provider in a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action alleging that the defendant sent unsolicited “robo-calls” to the plaintiff and other utility customers. After obtaining a dismissal with prejudice of the Texas action based on a novel mootness theory, the plaintiff refiled the lawsuit in New York and asserted a new claim under a New York statute.
  • Defeated class certification of mass tort claims arising from an explosion at a petrochemical plant, which was affirmed on appeal, and defended a class action claim, several wrongful death claims of employees, OSHA penalties, environmental contamination cleanup and related claims.
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Experience

  • Represented a natural gas utility in the investigation, operational response, enforcement actions, class actions and individual opt-out cases arising from spills of mercury from service pressure regulators in the homes of more than 1,000 customers.
  • Represented an energy company in a race discrimination action brought by five individual plaintiffs seeking class certification under Ohio law, alleging that they were denied employment opportunities, training, promotions and benefits based on race; were paid at a lower rate than white employees; and/or were subject to a hostile, offensive and/or discriminatory working environment.
  • Defended a Texas-based energy provider in a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class action alleging that the defendant sent unsolicited “robo-calls” to the plaintiff and other utility customers. After obtaining a dismissal with prejudice of the Texas action based on a novel mootness theory, the plaintiff refiled the lawsuit in New York and asserted a new claim under a New York statute.
  • Defeated class certification of mass tort claims arising from an explosion at a petrochemical plant, which was affirmed on appeal and defended a class action claim, several wrongful death claims of employees, OSHA penalties, environmental contamination cleanup and related claims.
  • Defended a major pipeline company in a class action arising from an oil spill in Louisiana, including defeating class certification and obtaining a favorable settlement on remaining claims.
  • Defended a petroleum company in a case arising from the explosion of a chemical plant, with a certified class of over 10,000 neighboring residents alleging personal injury, property damage, real property diminution in value and evacuation claims. Our emergency response team assisted in dealing with OSHA, EPA (federal and state) and the local emergency response commission. We responded to multiple toxic tort class action suits filed after the incident.
  • Acted as lead counsel for a major energy company, handling thousands of claims and related litigation from an oil spill in Louisiana, including the successful defense of attempts to certify a class of plaintiffs in a Louisiana trial court to bring more than $10 million in damages.

Recognition

  • Law360: Class Action "Practice Group of the Year" (2014)
  • LA Daily Journal: Top Appellate Reversals of 2014
  • Chambers USA 2017: Two Attorneys Listed
    • Paul Karlsgodt
    • Daniel Warren
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2017: Seven Attorneys Listed
    • Rodger Eckelberry
    • Joe Ezzie
    • Mark Johnson
    • Richard Knoth
    • Jerry Linscott
    • George Tzanetopoulos
    • Dan Warren
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, we were named to the 2018 BTI Client Service 30 for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Corporate Counsel® magazine guide to in-house law departments: "Go-to Law Firm" for litigation

News

Publications

Blog

In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Federal Authorities Continue to Monitor Proposed Class Action Settlements
By Douglas A. Vonderhaar
April 18, 2018
Officials at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continue to scrutinize class settlements to ensure that neither defendants nor class action counsel are improperly benefiting at the expense of class...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
D.C. Circuit vacates FCC's definition of ATDS but upholds consent-revocation rule in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission
By Sam Camardo
March 29, 2018
In 2015, the FTC issued an order that addressed certain aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Congress enacted the TCPA in 1991 to address perceived abuses of telephone equipment that allowed entities to autodial consumers’...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Supremes Hold SLUSA Is Clear – 33 Act Class Claims Stay in State Court
By Cody S. Wigington
March 22, 2018
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, handed class action plaintiffs a victory by holding that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) allows them to pursue alleged violations of the...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Ninth Circuit Vacates Final Approval of National Settlement Class Action Certification
March 5, 2018
Last month, the Ninth Circuit vacated the certification of a nationwide class for settlement in the In re Hyundai & Kia Fuel Economy Litigation, No. 15-56014, 881 F.3d 679 (9th Cir. Jan. 23, 2018). The Ninth Circuit concluded that the...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The Fourth Circuit Refuses to Enforce Arbitration Clause and Class Action Waiver in Employment Contracts
February 21, 2018
As we have previously written, several Supreme Court decisions have upheld, in various contexts, arbitration agreements that waive the right to assert claims on a class basis. See, e.g., AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333...
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