Peter R. Kahana
Peter R. Kahana is a shareholder in the Insurance and Antitrust practice groups at Berger Montague. He concentrates his practice in complex civil and class action litigation involving relief for insurance policyholders and consumers of other types of products or services who have been victimized by fraudulent conduct and unfair business practices.
Significant class cases vindicating the rights of insurance policyholders or consumers in which Mr. Kahana was appointed as co-class counsel have included: settlement in 2012 for $90 million of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence claims (certified for trial in 2009) on behalf of a class of former policyholder-members of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. (“Anthem”) alleging the class was paid insufficient cash compensation in connection with Anthem’s conversion from a mutual insurance company to a publicly-owned stock insurance company (a process known as “demutualization”) ( Ormond v. Anthem, Inc., et al., USDC, S.D. Ind., Case No. 1:05-cv-01908 (S.D. Ind. 2012)); settlement in 2010 for $72.5 million of a nationwide civil RICO and fraud class action (certified for trial in 2009) against The Hartford and its affiliates on behalf of a class of personal injury and workers compensation claimants for the Hartford’s alleged deceptive business practices in settling these injury claims for Hartford insureds with the use of structured settlements (Spencer, et al. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., et al., 256 F.R.D. 284 (D. Conn. 2009)); settlement in 2009 for $75 million of breach of contract, Unfair Trade Practices Act and insurance bad faith tort claims on behalf of a class of West Virginia automobile policyholders (certified for trial in 2007) alleging that Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company failed to properly offer and provide them with state-required optional levels of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. O’Dell, et al., Circuit Court of Roane County, W. Va., Civ. Action No. 00-C-37); and, settlement in 2004 for $20 million on behalf of a class of cancer victims alleging that their insurer refused to pay for health insurance benefits for chemotherapy and radiation treatment (Bergonzi v. CSO, USDC, D.S.D., Case No. C2-4096). For his efforts in regard to the Bergonzi matter, Mr. Kahana was named as the recipient of the American Association for Justice’s Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award, which is presented annually to those attorneys whose cases tell the story of American civil justice and help educate state and national policymakers and the public about the importance of consumers’ rights.
Mr. Kahana has also played a leading role in major antitrust and environmental litigation, including cases such as In re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litigation ($723 million settlement), In re Ashland Oil Spill Litigation ($30 million settlement), and In re Exxon Valdez($287 million compensatory damage award and $507.5 million punitive damage award). In connection with his work as a member of the trial team that prosecuted In re The Exxon Valdez, Mr. Kahana was selected in 1995 to share the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Public Justice Foundation.
From Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana:
“[T]his case involved Anthem’s demutualization, a complex and heavily regulated process where members liquidated their ownership interests in exchange for stock or cash . . . . First, the Court finds that the risk undertaken by Class Counsel was significant, especially considering the lack of similar cases, complex legal theories, and vigorous defense . . . . Second, as this Court has previously stated, ‘the quality of work by counsel has been impressive, and the sheer quantity of the motions practice has been astonishing’ . . . . The Court finds Class Counsel’s performance in this case was outstanding as is reflected by the result achieved.”
Regarding the work of Peter R. Kahana, among others, in achieving a $90 million settlement of Ormond v. Anthem, Inc., et al., dated November 20, 2012 (USDC, S.D. Ind., 1:05-cv-01908).
From Judge Janet C. Hall, of the U.S. District Court of the District of Connecticut:
Noting the “very significant risk in pursuing this action” given its uniqueness in that “there was no prior investigation to rely on in establishing the facts or a legal basis for the case . . . . [and] no other prior or even now similar case involving parties like these plaintiffs and a party like these defendants.” Further, “the quality of the representation provided to the plaintiffs . . . in this case has been consistently excellent . . . . [T]he defendant[s] . . . mounted throughout the course of the five years the case pended, an extremely vigorous defense . . . . [B]ut for counsel’s outstanding work in this case and substantial effort over five years, no member of the class would have recovered a penny . . . . [I]t was an extremely complex and substantial class . . . case . . . [with an] outstanding result.”
Regarding the work of Berger Montague attorney Peter R. Kahana, among other co-class counsel, in Spencer, et al. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., et al., in the Order approving the $72.5 million final settlement of this action, dated September 21, 2010 (USDC, D. Conn., Case Number 3:05-cv-1681).
From Judge H. Russel Holland, of the U.S. District Court of the District of Alaska:
“The skill and efficiency of the attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in this matter were outstanding . . . . Exxon put up an unflagging, spare-no-expense defense that might have been overwhelming but for the skill and resources of Class Counsel.”
Regarding the work of Berger Montague shareholders H. Laddie Montague, Jr. and Peter R. Kahana, among other co-class counsel, in In Re the Exxon Valdez, Order No. 365, Class Counsel’s Renewed Motion for Award of Attorney Fees and Costs, Case No. A89-0095-CV, at 58-59 (D. AK. January 29, 2004).
From Judge Charles P. Kocoras, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois:
“The stakes were high here, with the result that most matters of consequence were contested. There were numerous trips to the courthouse, and the path to the trial court and the Court of Appeals frequently traveled. The efforts of counsel for the class has [sic] produced a substantial recovery, and it is represented that the cash settlement alone is the second largest in the history of class action litigation . . . . There is no question that the results achieved by class counsel were extraordinary[.]”
Regarding the work of Berger Montague shareholders H. Laddie Montague, Jr. and Peter R. Kahana, among others, in achieving a more than $700 million settlement with some of the defendants in In Re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litigation, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1734, *3-6 (N.D. Ill. February 9, 2000).
From Judge William C. Carpenter, Jr., of the Superior Court of Delaware (New Castle):
“[L]et me make several unsolicited comments about the case. First, I do not believe in my ten years on the bench I have had finer attorneys practice before me. Both Mr. Wallace [for defendant Texaco] and Mr. Kahana [for plaintiff Christiana] were not only gentlemen but excellent advocates for their clients, and I do not believe the case could have been better presented to the jury. While not regular practitioners in this Court, they both exhibited the highest degree of advocacy and civility expected of our profession and will always be welcome in my Court.”
Praising the litigation work of Peter R. Kahana in Christiana Marine Service Corporation v. Texaco Fuel and Marine Marketing Inc., and Texaco, Inc., 2004 Del. Super. 3, *28-29.
Prominent Judgments and Settlements
- In re Exxon Valdez Litigation ($794.5 million compensatory and punitive damage award)
- In re Brand Name Prescription Drug Litigation ($723 million settlement)
- Ormond, et al. v. Anthem Inc., et al. (n/k/a/ WellPoint, Inc.) ($90 million settlement)
- Spencer, et al. v. The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., et al. ($72.5 million settlement)
- Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v .O’Dell ($75 million settlement)