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

  • Chambers USA: Litigation
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio) – Band 2 (2019)
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado) – Recognized (2019)
    • Retail: National – Recognized (2019)
  • Chambers USA:
    • Paul Karlsgodt – Litigation: General Commercial (Colorado), Band 4 (2019)
    • Daniel Warren – Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio), Band 2 (2019)
    • Ernest Vargo – Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio), Band 4 (2019)
  • Law360: Class Action "Practice Group of the Year" (2014)
  • LA Daily Journal: Top Appellate Reversals of 2014
  • Best Lawyers in America® 2018:
    • Rodger Eckelberry
    • Joseph Ezzie
    • Mark Johnson
    • Richard Knoth
    • Jerry Linscott
    • George Tzanetopoulos
    • Ernest Vargo
    • Daniel Warren
  • Corporate Counsel® magazine guide to in-house law departments: "Go-to Law Firm" for litigation.
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2019 BTI Client Service 30 for the fifth consecutive year.

News

Publications

Alerts

Blog

In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Standing in Uncertainty: Spokeo Three Years Later
By Brittany N. Lockyer, Kenneth G. Prabucki
May 21, 2019
In 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins, holding that even when Congress has granted parties a statutory right, a procedural violation of that right will not by itself satisfy the “concrete harm” requirement...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Supreme Court: Express Consent Required for Class Arbitration
May 14, 2019
On April 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an ambiguous arbitration agreement does not provide a sufficient basis to conclude that parties agreed to class arbitration. In Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
BakerHostetler Q1 2019 Insurance Class Action Update
April 25, 2019
The new year began with dramatic growth in vehicle total loss class actions over payment of sales tax and title transfer and registration fees, interpretations of the filed rate doctrine, and further activity in labor depreciation class...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Caution: Precertification Communications with Absent Class Members
March 28, 2019
Are absent members of an uncertified class or Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action “parties” and thus “represented” by plaintiff’s counsel? If so, is defense counsel prohibited from speaking with absent class members? At first...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Trial Courts Wrestle with Expert Testimony and Daubert at Class Certification
By William DeVinney
March 19, 2019
Expert testimony plays a critical role in nearly all putative class actions, including at the class certification stage where parties rely on expert evidence to address the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The Supreme...
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