Rodger L. Eckelberry

Partner

Columbus
T +1.614.462.5189
F +1.614.462.2616

Overview

Rodger Eckelberry is a civil litigator whose practice primarily focuses on defending alleged class actions in the insurance and consumer arenas in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the country. Having defended more than 70 alleged class actions, Rodger draws on his decades of experience to resolve cases for clients as quickly and efficiently as possible.

His understanding of the insurance industry, in particular, allows Rodger to quickly assist clients in finding the best, most cost-effective way to resolve alleged class actions and other complex litigation. Rodger’s familiarity with the laws and regulations governing insurance, as well as industry trends, enables him to educate clients on the best practices and approaches to not only succeed in litigation, but to also avoid further litigation.

At those times when clients decide to settle, Rodger has negotiated numerous state and national class actions upon very favorable terms, and saw them through successful, cost-effective administration.

Select Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment in alleged class action challenging auto insurer’s valuation methodology for total loss vehicle claims. Fortson v. Garrison Prop. & Cas. CO., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15478 (M.D.N.C. Jan. 21, 2022).
  • Obtained summary judgment for commercial auto insurer in alleged “negligent underwriting” and assumed duty of care action arising from an accident involving the death of one person and severe injury of another by a taxi driver ineligible for a taxi license under state law. Affirmed Foster v. Integrity Mut. Ins. Co., 1999 F.3d 1103 (8th Cir. 2021)
  • Obtained summary judgment for property insurer in alleged class action challenging the insurer’s ACV only endorsement for roof damage claims caused by wind or hail. Richelson v. Liberty Ins. Corp., 796 Fed. Appx. 277 (6th Cir. 2020). 
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Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment in alleged class action challenging auto insurer’s valuation methodology for total loss vehicle claims. Fortson v. Garrison Prop. & Cas. CO., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15478 (M.D.N.C. Jan. 21, 2022).
  • Obtained summary judgment for commercial auto insurer in alleged “negligent underwriting” and assumed duty of care action arising from an accident involving the death of one person and severe injury of another by a taxi driver ineligible for a taxi license under state law. Affirmed Foster v. Integrity Mut. Ins. Co., 1999 F.3d 1103 (8th Cir. 2021)
  • Obtained summary judgment for property insurer in alleged class action challenging the insurer’s ACV only endorsement for roof damage claims caused by wind or hail. Richelson v. Liberty Ins. Corp., 796 Fed. Appx. 277 (6th Cir. 2020). 
  • Negotiated favorable, claims-made settlement of class action challenging the depreciation on non-material items in determining actual cash value in adjusting property damage claims in Tennessee, Mississippi and Ohio (Holmes v. Liberty Mutual, M.D. Tenn. 2020, Carter v. Liberty Mutual, S.D. Ohio, 2021).
  • Obtained dismissal of an alleged class action alleging conspiracy to underinsure motorists, along with an award of attorneys’ fee for the client. Snyder v. Accord Corp., 811 Fed. Appx. 447 (10th Cir. 2020).
  • Obtained dismissal of alleged class action challenging the enforceability of exclusion of “negative equity” in GAP insurance. Arnold v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 392 F.Supp.3d 747 (E.D. Ky. 2019).
  • Obtained summary judgment in alleged class action challenging insurers' payment of sales tax and fees to lienholder rather than insured. Betts v. USAA Gen. Indem. Co., 2020 Ark. App. 426
  • Obtained judgment on the pleadings, prior to discovery, in an alleged class action challenging an exhaustion requirement in auto insurance policies before underinsured motorist coverage is implicated. Obtained affirmance from the Seventh Circuit without oral argument. Livingston v. Trustguard Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5614 (7th Cir. March 26, 2014).
  • Obtained judgment on the pleadings, prior to discovery, in a $5 million breach of agency contract action. Obtained affirmance from the Sixth Circuit without oral argument. CoMa Ins. Agency Inc. v. Safeo Ins. Co., 526 Fed. Appx. 465 (6th Cir. 2013).
  • Obtained dismissal, prior to discovery, of an alleged nationwide class action challenging the repair, rather than replacement, of shingle roofs. The plaintiffs argued that repairs were not permitted under the International Residential Code and that the entire face of a damaged roof slope had to be replaced. The Eighth Circuit affirmed in a unanimous opinion. O’Neal v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 630 F.3d 1075 (8th Cir. 2011).
  • As co-counsel, obtained a reversal of a class certification of claims challenging an adjustment of hail damage claims. Kartman v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 634 F.3d 883 (7th Cir. 2011).
  • Developed and implemented a creative strategy to move a certified question of law quickly through the court system in an industrywide, precedent-setting, alleged insurance consumer class action. Decades-old precedent allowed insured persons to recover payment for the same medical expenses twice under different coverages. On behalf of a national insurer, obtained a unanimous decision from the Ohio Supreme Court reversing prior law, establishing an industrywide change before any discovery or other cost to the client. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Grace, 123 Ohio St. 3d 471 (Ohio 2009).

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2014 to present)
    • Ohio: Commercial Litigation
  • Ohio Super Lawyers "Rising Star" (2005 to 2007)
  • Columbus CEO: Top Lawyers (2015)
  • Public Interest Law Foundation "Excellence in Public Service" Award, Private Sector (2019) 

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association

Community

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States: Lifetime Member
  • American Legion: Lifetime Member

Industries

Military Service

  • United States Navy (1986 to 1995)
    • Gulf War Veteran
    • USS Acadia AD-42
    • USS Tattnall DDG-19
    • USS Nicholson DD-982
    • Naval Brig Philadelphia

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 1999
  • B.S., State University of New York at Albany, 1995

Blog

In The Blogs

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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Eleventh Circuit Stands Firm – No Incentive Awards for Class Representatives
By Kamran B. Ahmadian
August 12, 2022
Nearly two years after it issued its initial decision in Johnson v. NPAS Sols., LLC, in which it held incentive awards for class representatives to be per se unlawful, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit denied a...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
Florida Requires Concrete Injury For Standing - Class Action Defense
By Joel Griswold
July 14, 2022
On July 13, 2022, the Florida District Court of Appeal for the Fourth District affirmed an order dismissing a putative class action filed under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) for lack of standing. Southam v...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The Demand Curve Problem for UCL Class Actions
By Brian A. Troyer
June 1, 2022
A recent opinion from a California federal court, Mier v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. et al., No. 8:20-cv-01979-DOC-ADS, slip op. (C.D. Cal. May 9, 2022),touches on an aspect of econometric modeling that class action defense counsel should...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
BakerHostetler Releases Insurance Class Action Update
By Mark A. Johnson
May 19, 2022
The Class Action Defense team released its Insurance Quarterly Report covering the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Included in the report are updates and analyses about property and casualty class action lawsuits...
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Class Action Lawsuit Defense
The U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Regarding Whether State Business Registration Requirements Can Create General Personal Jurisdiction
By Ali I. Haque
May 3, 2022
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits a state from requiring a corporation to consent to personal jurisdiction as a condition to doing business in the state...
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