Jason defends companies against product liability claims, especially issues arising in the fire suppression and alarm services industry. He also handles cases related to fire investigation, fire loss and HVAC systems. Recently, he has also handled matters involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). He helps his clients solve problems however he can, whether he immerses himself in a field to better understand it before litigation begins or joins a case at the eleventh hour for trial. Jason’s litigation work has included claims of wrongful death, personal injury and property damage, and he has helped his clients sort through complex issues related to insurance and indemnity.
Much of the law in the fire suppression and alarm services industry has been developed by Jason’s litigation team during his time at Shook, and he uses his in-depth knowledge of the field to advise his clients on risk-mitigating techniques to avoid or minimize litigation. Jason has also published articles and presented on how his clients can update contractual language that leverage recent developments in risk allocation and mitigation case law.
Jason is passionate about finding the best possible outcome for his clients, which has often meant creating an alternative billing solution to avoid unnecessary spending. He represents many of his clients on a flat-fee basis rather than using a billable hour framework. His alternative fee arrangements align his interests with his clients: finding an optimal solution in less time and, if a settlement is necessary, for less money.
Jason manages all aspects of a lawsuit, including:
- pre-suit risk mitigation and analysis, including published articles providing compliance counsel;
- initial case triage and resolution determinations;
- dispositive motion practice;
- all aspects of discovery both written and deposition work;
- developing, retaining and presenting expert witnesses;
- trial presentation, including serving as first and second chair; and
- post-trial appellate review.
New Liability Theories. Jason has represented clients facing new theories of liability and has successfully fought the theory in ensuing litigation. In one fire-protection case, Jason represented a client in a lawsuit that presented a novel theory of liability that had industry-wide implications. He worked with in-house experts to address the science underlying the new theory and provided counsel on rewriting industry standards to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Industry and Product Line Immersion. Jason thoroughly familiarizes himself with his clients' work to help him better represent his clients. For example, before beginning work for Tyco Fire Products, Jason attended an in-depth certification program where, alongside city, state and regional fire marshals, he learned the specifics of fire suppression and fire alarm installation, maintenance and operation.
In addition, below are a few examples of recent trials, dispositive motions and settlements Jason has achieved for his clients:
- Successfully argued Rule 12 dispositive motion obtaining dismissal of all claims with prejudice on behalf of alarm services client in wrongful death suit related to a residential fire pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. M.F. v. ADT, Inc. f/k/a Protection One, Inc., No. 18-2360, 2018 WL 6042763 (D. Kan. November 19, 2018).
- Settled TCPA class action with potential class of more than 1 million following hearing on competing motions for summary judgment and class certification. Estey v. ADT LLC, No. 16-3141 (N.D. Ga. 2018).
- Second-chaired Lanham Act and Deceptive Trade Practices trial on behalf of ADT LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The defendant, ADT competitor Vivint, settled with ADT for $10 million on the third day of trial. ADT LLC v. Vivint, Inc., No. 17-80432 (S.D. Fla. 2017).
- Second-chaired alleged massive data breach trial in the Southern District of Florida involving the claimed theft of more than $60 million in pharmaceutical drugs from a warehouse in 2014. The three-week trial resulted in a complete defense verdict and an award of defense costs in favor of our client. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Tyco Integrated Security, LLC, No. 13-80371 (S.D. Fla. 2016).
- First-chaired property damage and alleged theft trial on behalf of alarm service company in Texas state court. Trial resulted in complete defense verdict and an award of partial defense costs. Valbruna Stainless, Inc. v. ADT Security Services, Inc., No. 2010-77852, 189th Judicial District (Texas Dist. Ct., Harris Cty., 2012).
- Second-chaired jewelry store robbery trial following daytime theft of goods from Houston Galleria jeweler. Although trial ended in plaintiff’s verdict, the court granted JNOV in favor of our client and remitted verdict down to contractual limitation of $1000. Nacol & Co. v. ADT Sec. Servs. Inc., No. 10-137 (S.D. Tex. 2012).
Publications and Presentations
Jason Scott, Aaron Kirkland and Kenneth Cochran, Best Practices for Defeating Attempts to Void Contracts, Law360, October 23, 2017.
Kristi Burmeister, Aaron Kirkland and Jason Scott, "Enforcing Exculpatory Provisions in Contract Cases Involving Fraud-Based and Gross-Negligence Claims," Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s 11th Annual Update of the Law (Kansas City, Mo.), June 25, 2014.
Aaron Kirkland and Jason Scott, Enforcing Exculpatory Provisions Against Meritless Claims, Law360, March 17, 2014.
Jason Scott, Requiring an Independent Tort Duty in Alarm Services Lawsuits, Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers Quarterly Report, Spring 2013.
Jason Scott, One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State: An Analysis of LGBT Rights, UMKC L. Rev. (2008).
Jason Scott, Death to Poochy: A Comparison of Historical and Modern Frustrations Faced by Owners of Injured or Killed Pet Dogs, 75 UMKC L. Rev. 569 (2006).