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
The US Supreme Court's Ruling in American Pipe Does Not Extend to Allow Tolling of Statutes of Limitation in Successive Class Actions
June 13, 2018
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has limited the reach of its landmark decision in American Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), which tolled the statute of limitations applicable to a timely filed putative class...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
State Court Adoption of Comcast v. Behrend
By Albert G. Lin, Rand L. McClellan
June 11, 2018
In Comcast v. Behrend, 569 U.S. 27 (2013), the United States Supreme Court clarified the requirements for establishing that classwide injury and damages predominate over individual issues for the purposes of FRCP 23(b)(3). In particular...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
2018 Class Action Landscape
May 15, 2018
In 2016, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, resolving a circuit split on whether an unaccepted offer of judgment pursuant to Rule 68 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure could moot a named...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Proposed Rule 23 Amendment for Class Action Settlement: Sea Change or Codification of the Status Quo?
May 11, 2018
Proposed amendments to the class action settlement process in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e) are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1, 2018. One of the proposed amendments requires that “[t]he parties must provide the court with...
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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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