Christopher S. Burnside
Chris has been with the Firm for 25 years and is a member of the litigation department in Louisville, Kentucky. His practice of providing fresh perspectives and aggressive representation has resulted in client demand for his work in over 15 states. This distinction has evolved from his genuine client interest from early in his career, treating client matters as his own and advocating on their behalf.
Chris has successfully handled complex class actions, insurance coverage, bad faith, and fire cases in federal and state courts in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, DC.
He began his practice with the Firm in the insurance and tort practice group, handling insurance coverage, fraud and bad faith matters. Chris also has chaired the Firm's e-discovery litigation review group and was instrumental in starting the Firm's information management and electronic discovery group. Chris has defended class action lawsuits involving construction and other products liability matters, insurance claim settlement software, legal negligence and tax issues. Chris was instrumental in establishing the firm's Class Counsel Blog.
Class Action & Complex Trial Practice
Before class certification twice obtained dismissal of consumer class action suits involving sprinkler retro fit for manufactured homes, with exposure of over $400 million before Plaintiff was allowed to proceed with class discovery.
Over a seven year period of time, defeated four separate motions to certify class action involving a construction product and consumer class action claims under California's UCL with alleged exposure of more than $2 billion. During the case, FBT successfully excluded Plaintiff's mold expert during the certification phase, won a sua sponte motion under CAFA to remand the matter under the local controversy exception, and eventually obtained a defense judgment on the pleadings.
Obtained a $5 million default judgment in Federal Court matter as a result of opposing party's electronic discovery abuse.
Effectively managed cases involving more than 2 million electronic images.
Obtained a modest settlement in a consumer class action matter involving computer software and over $100 million in claimed damages.
Has successfully removed complex cases to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA").
After winning a complex motion to remand under a CAFA removal and filing a strong motion to dismiss, obtained settlement in putative consumer / legal negligence class action for an amount substantially below cost of defense.
After strong motion to dismiss, and before class certification phase, obtained settlement in Connecticut putative consumer class action involving service warranties for an amount substantially below the cost of defense.
Obtained a dismissal of an alleged consumer fraud / Lanham Act matter in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Obtained directed verdict in a $75 million mold case, and successfully argued the matter on appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Obtained a jury verdict in an insurance fraud and bad faith insurance matter in Los Angeles, California resulting in a $2 million judgment.
Insurance Coverage & Fraud
Successful in obtaining summary judgment in over 20 arson and fraud matters, all involving claims for punitive damages.
Obtained first ever and highest fine ever imposed against a fraudulent medical clinic under Certificate of Need laws and regulations on behalf of insurance company.
Advised clients in start up of Special Investigative Units.
Successfully referred and presented suspected insurance fraud matters to Department of Insurance for prosecution.
Successfully lead investigation of over 50 suspected arson and fraudulent insurance and worker's compensation claims.
Trained insurance and law enforcement officers on how to fight fraud and avoid extra contractual damages.
Trained numerous insurance professionals and provided advice about resolving water intrusion and mold claims in the wake of the Melinda Ballard verdict.
Helped several self-insured companies obtain their first ever decision upholding denial of fraudulent workers' compensation claims.
Obtained numerous summary judgment decisions regarding property insurance and commercial general liability coverage issues.
Highlights & Recognitions
- Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®
Memberships & Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Louisville Bar Association
- Kentucky Supreme Court; Mass Tort and Class Action Litigation Committee, Member
- Kentucky Bench & Bar Publications Committee, Past Member
- Defense Research Institute, Member
- International Association of Special Investigators, Member
- National Association of Professional Insurance Investigators, Member
- Kentucky Defense Counsel, Member
- Kentucky Association of Special Investigators, Member
Recent Blog Posts
Civic & Charitable Organizations
- Metro United Way, Board Member
- Metro United Way Tocqueville Society, Past Chair
- Metro United Way, Employee Coordinator of the Year, 2008
- Reclaim Our Culture Kentuckiana ("ROCK"), Volunteer President and Board Chair
- A Woman's Choice Resource Center and Necole's Place, Board Member
- Leadership Louisville, Class of 2006
- Leadership Louisville Advisory Committee, Member
- Bingham Fellows, Class of 2015
Non-FBT Publications and Events
Speaker: "Thoughts on the World Without Insurance"
Defense Research Institute Coverage and Practice Symposium, New York, NY December 5, 2014
Author: "Winning Strategies for Presenting Insurance Carriers to Judges and Juries"
Defense Research Institute, October, 2014
Speaker: "Why the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is Relevant to Every Company"
Trial.com, San Diego, CA October, 2014
Speaker: "How to Safely Catch a Thief"
Defense Research Institute Practice Seminar Insurance Fraud (All Kinds), New York, NY December 7, 2000
Speaker: "How SIU Can Fight Fraud and Avoid Extracontractual Damages"
New York Department of Insurance, New York, NY November 9, 2000