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Biography

Chris is a trial lawyer in Frost Brown Todd LLC’s litigation department with jury experience in multiple forums. Chris has served as lead counsel at trial for a variety of clients, ranging from major agricultural equipment manufacturers to franchise operations on a nationwide basis. While he represents product manufacturers in fire and explosion matters, Chris also represents clients in a variety of commercial disputes including franchise agreement interpretation and intellectual property enforcement. He has experience at both the trial and appellate levels and has numerous reported opinions. 

Experience

Defense Cases

Chris’ experience includes the following:

  • Grede Holdings, LLC v. Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, LLC, Mercer Circuit Court, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky (June 2016) – Served as lead trial counsel and obtained judgment in favor of Grede Holdings for $1.2 million in automotive commercial dispute while also successfully defending Hitachi’s counterclaim seeking approximately $2.7 million in damages.
  • Estate of Matthew Lane, et al. v. W.A. Kendall & Co., et al., Owsley Circuit Court, Booneville, Kentucky (October 2015) – Served as trial counsel and obtained a complete defense verdict in favor of a commercial motor carrier in a wrongful death (husband) and catastrophic amputation (wife) lawsuit seeking $70 million in damages.
  • Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Michigan v. CNH Industrial America LLC, Western District of Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan (October 2015) – Served as lead trial counsel and obtained a defense verdict for agricultural equipment manufacturer, CNH Industrial America LLC, in a one-week jury trial addressing product defect claims.
  • Mountain View Recreation, Inc. dba Mountain View Casino v. Imperial Commercial Cooking Equipment, et al., Nye District Court, Pahrump, Nevada – Defended product manufacturer in a $35 million property damage subrogation lawsuit arising out of a catastrophic casino fire.
  • Ryan v. CNH Industrial America LLC, Caldwell Parish District Court, Columbia, Louisiana (May and June 2015) – Served as lead trial counsel in two-week jury trial addressing product defect claims against CNH. Obtained favorable outcomes at trial court and on appeal with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Louisiana. 2016 WL 7407418 (La. App. 12/22/16).
  • Martin v. Louisville Gas and Electric Company, et al., Jefferson Circuit Court, Louisville, Kentucky (March 2015) – Served as trial counsel and obtained a defense verdict in favor of an electrical utility company in a two-week motorcycle lawsuit seeking $4.5 million in personal injury damages.
  • Smith v. PPG Industries, Inc., 2015 WL 3466266 (W.D. Ky. June 1, 2015), Western District of Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky – Obtained summary judgment under Kentucky’s Up-the-Ladder Immunity Doctrine for paint and caulk manufacturer on claim seeking over $2.5 million in personal injury damages.
  • Brasher v. Speedway, LLC, Jefferson Circuit Court, Louisville, Kentucky (April 2014) – Served as lead trial counsel and obtained defense verdict on plaintiff’s personal injury claims.
  • Wallace Wales v. Louisville Gas and Electric Company, et al., Jefferson Circuit Court, Louisville, Kentucky – Gained summary judgment in favor of a gas and electric utility company on personal injury claims in motorcycle case seeking more than $4 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
  • Colyer v. Speedway, 2013 WL 5966121 (E.D. Ky. Nov. 8, 2013), Eastern District of Kentucky, London, Kentucky – Obtained summary judgment in favor of convenience food store on personal injury claims where plaintiff sought significant damages.
  • John Rhodes Revocable Trust v. John L. Smith, Jefferson Circuit Court, Louisville, Kentucky – Obtained summary judgment in favor of plaintiff in state court with respect to a promissory note executed by Defendant.
  • Manrriquez-Hernandez v. Texas Roadhouse, Jefferson Circuit Court, Louisville, Kentucky (August 2011) – Gained summary judgment in favor of a national restaurant chain in a wrongful death dram shop lawsuit arising out of a drunk driver incident
  • Fisher v. Elmo Greer and Sons LLC, 2009 WL 3161400 (E.D. Ky. Sept. 24, 2009), Eastern District of Kentucky, London – Gained summary judgment in favor of road contractor in matter involving catastrophic personal injuries to plaintiffs.

Product Manufacturers & Premises Owners Defense

Chris has defended product manufacturers or premises owners in multiple matters involving natural gas, propane, and other products:

Adair County Explosion, Adair County, Kentucky, January 26, 2016 – four deaths

Knox Home Explosion, Powell County, Kentucky, September 22, 2011 – two deaths

Rhode Island Station Nightclub Fire, West Warwick, Rhode Island, February 20, 2003 – 100 deaths, 100 + injured

Woodland Home Fire, Louisville, Kentucky, February 1, 2009, two deaths

Mizpah Hotel Fire, Reno, Nevada, October 31, 2006 – 12 deaths, 30 + injured

Ivel Pipeline Explosion, Ivel, Kentucky, November 8, 2004 – six serious injuries, five houses destroyed

Factory Explosion, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 6, 2006 – four deaths, heavy property damage

Apartment Fire, Washington, D.C., March 12, 2008 – approximately $5 million in property damage

Mountain View Resort and Casino, Pahrump, Nevada, April 29, 2003 – approximately $25 million in claimed property and lost income damages

Related Articles

Other Info About Chris

Education

Law School

University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 2006, Order of the Coif

Undergrad

University of Kentucky, B.S., Mathematics, 2003, summa cum laude, 4.0 GPA

Bar Membership

Kentucky

Courts

Commonwealth of Kentucky

Eastern District of Kentucky

Western District of Kentucky

Southern District of Indiana

Western District of Michigan

Eastern District of Michigan

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Trial Jurisdications

Commonwealth of Kentucky

State of Louisiana

Western District of Kentucky

Western District of Michigan

Middle District of Florida

Recognition

Kentucky Rising Stars® 2013-2016

Professional Affiliations

Kentucky Bar Association, 2006

Louisville Bar Association, 2006

Civic Activities

Home of the Innocents, Home Run Committee, 2009-2014

YMCA Spirit Campaign, Division Leader, 2009-2014

Blackacre Nature Preserve, Board of Directors, 2015-present