Representation of Public Entities
We have extensive experience and success representing public entities on various levels including school boards, counties, municipalities, and states in a variety of litigation. This experience gives us a direct understanding of the complexities faced by public entities and the challenges to balance various interests while protecting their citizens and the public fisc.
- Kanner & Whiteley currently represents various Attorneys General, including in New Mexico and Vermont, in their investigations and litigation of claims related to PFAS contamination. PFAS are a family of man-made chemicals that repel heat, oil, stains, grease, and water, that were a popular choice for a variety of household and industrial products, but are now known to be toxic and pose significant threats to public health and the environment. Due to their widespread use, these chemicals are now ubiquitous in the environment. Kanner & Whiteley is currently litigating on behalf of states against manufacturers of PFAS chemicals and manufacturers of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (“AFFF”), a PFAS-containing fire suppressant often used in fire training efforts and in emergency response efforts, to address state-wide PFAS contamination, as well as specific dischargers of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials in connection with specific contaminated sites.
- Kanner & Whiteley is currently engaged in investigating and preparing lawsuits for local government clients in several states to recover damages incurred as a result of the opioid crisis, including health insurance and prescription drug costs, as well as the costs associated with social services, emergency response and other community losses. Thus far, K&W has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Monmouth County, NJ, Monmouth County v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., MID L-003010-18 (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div.), and has been retained by Northampton County, PA to proceed with its opioid litigation, Northampton County, Pennsylvania v. Purdue Pharma L.P., et al., C48-CV-2017-11557 (Northampton County CCP). K&W is in the process of filing a number of lawsuits on behalf of multiple other counties, cities, and joint insurance funds.
- Kanner & Whiteley has also successfully represented local governments in pollution cases, such as Christopher Petrovic, et al. v. Amoco Oil Co., No. 95-0121 c/w City of Independence, et al. v. Amoco Oil Co., No. 95-0019 (W.D. Mo.)(representing a class of property owners and the City of Independence for environmental contamination claims against Amoco Oil); and property damage litigation such as In re School Asbestos Litigation.
- James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, Attorney General, ex rel. State of Louisiana v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al., Civ. Act. No. 620978, Div. D (19th JDC, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA), (Depakote).
- State of Louisiana, ex rel. James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, Attorney General v. Shire, PLC, Civ. Act. No. 603091, Div. D (19th JDC, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA), (Adderall).
- State of Louisiana, ex rel, James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, Attorney General v. Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al., Civ. Act. No. 624672, Div. D (19th JDC, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA), (Lidoderm).
Kanner & Whiteley contributed significantly to Louisiana’s second highest rating for Medicaid fraud recoveries in FY 2014, second only to New York, in total dollar recoveries, and over twice of that received by Texas.
- Kanner & Whiteley also has considerable expertise in consumer protection and antitrust litigation and is well positioned to assist state Attorneys General and local governments in protecting public monies from deceptive and anti-competitive practices.
- In Lemmings v. Second Chance Body Armor, et al., No. CJ-2004-64 (Mayes County District Court, OK) and In re: SCBA Liquidation, Inc., f/k/a/ Second Chance Body Armor, Inc., No. 04-12515 (W.D. Mich.) Kanner & Whiteley successfully represented law enforcement officers, departments, and local and state agencies in seeking reimbursement for monies spent on defective bulletproof vests.
- Kanner & Whiteley currently represents the State of New Mexico in its litigation against Dollar General for the deceptive and misleading marketing and advertising of obsolete motor oil. State of New Mexico, ex rel. Hector H. Balderas, Attorney General v. Dolgencorp, LLC (d/b/a Dollar General Corporation), No. 4:17-cv-00832-GAF (W.D. Mo.). Kanner & Whiteley is also representing the State of Mississippi in similar litigation against Dollar General. State of Mississippi, ex rel. Jim Hood, Attorney General for the State of Mississippi v. Dollar General Corporation and Dolgencorp, LLC, No. 3:17-cv-801-LG-LRA (S.D. Miss.).
- Kanner & Whiteley’s expertise in first party insurance claims and litigation has often been used by local government entities. Following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Superstorm Sandy, K&W was retained by several government entities in Louisiana, South Texas, the Gulf Region, and New Jersey to investigate and/or pursue claims against their insurers for property damage, loss of use, extra expense coverage, business interruption as well as agent and broker claims, when applicable, each involving multi-million dollar recoveries beyond what was originally paid by the insurer. Our clients have included the City of Gretna (Louisiana), Plaquemines Parish School Board, Cameron Parish School Board, the City of Pasadena (Texas), Barbers Hill Independent School District (Texas), Laporte Independent School District (Texas), and Woodbridge Township (New Jersey).
Litigation is not always the best answer for a government agency in a particular situation and the lawyers of Kanner & Whiteley pride themselves on being good counselors as well as good trial lawyers putting their clients’ best interests first.
Kanner & Whiteley takes seriously its responsibility to act solely at the direction of its public entity clients and maintain dialogue and transparency throughout the litigation.