Attorney Eric Barton, Kansas city public defender represents clients in complex commercial litigation and class actions, including national multi-district litigation, often involving antitrust, contract issues, or defective products. He has handled cases arising from a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, automobiles, drugs and medical devices, insurance, technology, television and tobacco, to name a few. He also has significant experience representing state governments, counties, and cities, as plaintiffs and defendants. He routinely handles cases locally and in jurisdictions around the country, associating with local counsel when appropriate.
Before starting his private practice in 1995, Eric clerked for Judge Stephen H. Anderson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He also served a clerkship for Justice Fred N. Six of the Kansas Supreme Court. Eric has also taught classes for many years at the University of Kansas School of Law, including first-year lawyering classes and trial advocacy.
Eric has been repeatedly named in Super Lawyers for Business Anti-trust Litigation in Missouri and Kansas. He served as a merit selection panelist for the United States District Court of Kansas in evaluating applicants for a federal magistrate position. He co-founded the Lawyer’s Association of Kansas City’s annual Run for Justice 5K, which has raised money since 2005 for Legal Aid of Western Missouri. He currently serves on the board of the Midwest Music Foundation, a non-profit organization providing health care and educational assistance to Kansas City area musicians. He also writes occasional columns for the Manhattan Mercury newspaper.
Some representative matters Eric has handled include:
Representing dozens of county and city governments in Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, Florida, and Mississippi in lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain medications seeking recoveries of damages arising from the nationwide opioid addiction crisis, in In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804 (N.D. Ohio).
Co-Lead Class Counsel in excessive oil and battery consumption class action, obtaining final court approval of settlement awarding financial and extended service benefits to class of over 80,000 owners and lessees of BMW vehicles with N63 engine. Bang v. BMW of North America, No. 2:15-cv-6945 (D.N.J.).
Class Counsel for indirect purchaser settlement class in antitrust price fixing case arising from sales of polyurethane foam, obtaining settlements collectively valued at over $151 million. In re: Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation, MDL 2196 (N.D. Ohio).
Representing Commonwealth of Kentucky in consumer protection action against manufacturer of transvaginal mesh products in Franklin (Ky.) Circuit Court. Commonwealth of Kentucky ex rel. Andy Beshear, Attorney General v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Civ. No. 16-CI-87.
Co-lead counsel for State of Kansas in multi-year, complex arbitration proceeding against tobacco manufacturers arising from contract disputes valued at over $450 million to the State, helping State reach settlement of disputes preserving revenues from 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.
Co-lead class counsel, obtaining court-approved $7.6 million settlement for class of commercial customers alleging breach of contracts for waste-hauling services. Whitton v. Deffenbaugh Disposal, Inc., No. 2:12-cv-2247 (D. Kan.).
Successfully opposed motion for class certification for Jackson County, MO, in case seeking certification of class of detainees of Jackson County Detention Center seeking damages on civil rights claims alleging poor conditions inside the facility. Prado v. Jackson County, Missouri, No. 4:17-cv-506 (W.D. Mo.)
Obtained summary judgment for defendant client, a family-owned, independent pharmacy, on claims of tortious interference and misappropriation of trade secrets by national chain pharmacy. Kreisler Drug Co. v. Missouri CVS Pharmacy, LLC v. Summers Pharmacy, No. 4:14-1050 (W.D. Mo.)
PRIOR WORK EXPERIENCE
Clerk, Hon. Stephen Anderson, U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Clerk, Hon. Fred Six, Kansas Supreme Court