Cases & Deals

Schnitzer Steel Industries and MMGL awarded $3.4 million in attorneys' fees and costs for successful claims against Continental Casualty Company and Transportation Insurance Company

Clients Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.

On December 11, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Oregon awarded Jones Day clients Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. and MMGL Corp. (formerly known as Schnitzer Investment Corp.) more than $3.4 million in attorneys' fees and costs in litigation lasting four years and culminating in a unanimous jury verdict and equitable award for Schnitzer Steel Industries and MMGL.

At trial, the jury found that Continental Casualty Company and Transportation Insurance Company breached their insurance contracts with Schnitzer Steel Industries and MMGL by refusing to pay certain defense costs and reimbursing other defense costs at unreasonably low rates and habitually late. A large percentage of the unreimbursed defense costs was incurred by Schnitzer's environmental defense counsel, who are defending Schnitzer against Superfund claims at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. The jury awarded the Schnitzer plaintiffs more than $8.6 million in damages, and the District Court subsequently awarded more than $2.8 million in prejudgment interest.

Then, after defeating all post-trial motions, the Schnitzer team sought attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to, inter alia, an Oregon statute (ORS 742.061) authorizing awards of reasonable attorneys' fees to insureds who recover more than their insurers offer to settle claims. Through multiple briefs and evidentiary submissions, including four years' worth of documentary, fact, and expert evidence, Schnitzer Steel Industries and MMGL Corp. established the reasonableness of the requested $3.4 million in fees awarded by the District Court.

The Jones Day team representing Schnitzer was led by John Iole (partner), and included Rebekah Kcehowski (partner), Matthew Samberg (associate), and Allison Parker (associate), all in Jones Day's Pittsburgh office.

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. v. Continental Casualty Company, Case 3:10-cv-01174-MO (D. Or.)

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