Tom Ferguson represents clients across the U.S. in complex commercial
litigation in the following industries and areas: energy/natural
resources, electric and gas utilities, healthcare, insurance and
intellectual property. For years, clients have relied on Tom to
structure the best options for them, whether the dispute goes to trial
or they find acceptable alternatives prior to trial. His focus is
always on uncovering the right business solutions.
Tom has successfully defended business-destroying cases, having secured
and collected judgments as large as $100 million, and having brokered
business settlements worth even larger amounts. To keep business needs
in focus, Tom believes each engagement should start with the same
question: “What do you want to accomplish?” Once that business
objective is set, then the legal team is fully aligned with the
interests of the business stakeholders.
Tom has been involved in a number of civic and charitable organizations,
providing both volunteer leadership and pro bono legal representation.
He has been involved in community education, serving as a guest speaker
in community college classes as well as serving on the Workforce
Development Advisory Board for Tulsa Community College. Tom is a former
Mayor and member of the City Council of Sand Springs, Oklahoma. In that
capacity he served on numerous state and local boards, authorities, and
commissions. Tom is a former President of Restore Hope Ministries, a low
income transaction services program. He has served on a variety of
local and district boards and committees for the United Methodist
Church. Tom has been involved with youth sports for twenty years,
serving as a coach in numerous sports and as an Athletic Advisory Board
member for the Salvation Army/Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
- Florida Gas Transmission. Following a multi-week trial, a
Broward County, Florida jury awarded Florida Gas Transmission $82.7
million in damages for failure by the Florida Department of
Transportation to reimburse FGT for relocation of its natural gas
pipelines. After the verdict was affirmed on appeal, the judgment was
satisfied with a payment from the FDOT in excess of $100 million. The
trial also resulted in the trial court entering an order interpreting
rights in over one hundred miles of easement.
- Southwest Gas Merger Litigation. A decade of litigation in
several jurisdictions followed the unsuccessful tender offers by two
competing utilities for Nevada-based Southwest Gas Corporation. The
failed tender offers spawned litigation in Oklahoma, Nevada, California,
and Arizona, appeals before the Ninth and Tenth Circuits, as well as
ancillary proceedings in other states and before administrative
agencies. Disclosed damages claims by our client were approximately one
billion dollars. The legal effort resulted in numerous settlements as
well as a two month trial in Arizona federal court that led to a jury
verdict of $60.3 million dollars against an elected member of the
Arizona Corporation Commission. The verdict, recognized by the National
Law Journal as a Top 100 Verdict for the year, was the largest punitive
damage verdict ever awarded against an individual. The various cases
involved depositions of hundreds of witnesses, a substantial number of
whom were presented at the Arizona trial, and production and management
of millions of pages of documentary evidence and emails.
- Warranty Wind Up. Litigation and settlement of thousands of
warranty claims, both individual and through servicing dealers, on
behalf of a large national insurer. The insurer was the remaining
solvent defendant after large books of warranty business were written in
contravention of company policy. The effort involved litigation,
administrative proceedings, and resolution of un-filed claims throughout
the Midwest and Southern United States, including successfully
resisting administrative efforts in several states to impose penalties
and business restrictions on the insurer, including cancellation of
licenses to do business.
- Take or Pay Gas Contracts. Litigation and settlement of take
or pay claims arising from a public utility’s gas contract portfolio.
The effort involved resolution of approximately $500 million in claims
arising under thousands of contracts covering Oklahoma gas produced from
approximately 5,000 wells. In addition to litigating approximately 50
cases filed in state and federal courts in Oklahoma and Texas, the
effort involved administrative matters related to the ratable taking of
gas under Oklahoma Statutes and Oklahoma Corporation Commission rules.
- Grynberg Qui Tam Litigation. Representation of clients in
connection with multi-district litigation arising from qui tam claims
brought by relator Jack Gynberg on behalf of various public entities
alleging that the natural gas industry had underpaid gas royalties by
- Lignite Mine litigation. Representation of a Louisiana-based
electric utility against claims by contract partner in connection with
operation of an east Texas lignite mine. The litigation involved
reconstruction of decades of business practices and legal opinions.
- Re-roofing Patent Litigation. Representation of a
Houston-based metal roofing manufacturer against claims that hundreds of
projects throughout the United States were built in contravention of
plaintiff’s patent rights. The case involved a significant historical
analysis and investigation of the re-roofing industry. After a two-week
trial, the jury determined by clear and convincing evidence that the
patents in issue were invalid. The result was affirmed by the Court of
Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Manufactured Gas Toxic Tort Litigation. Representation in
connection with claims by over two hundred plaintiffs that their
property had been contaminated by toxic manufactured gas plant waste.
The waste was allegedly deposited from the late 1800’s to the mid
1950’s. The case involved hundreds of witnesses and millions of pages
of documents, the majority of which were ancient records.
- Medicaid Fraud. Representation of healthcare providers in
connection with investigations and actions by the Oklahoma Health Care
Authority and the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Fraud division relating to
alleged fraud and abuse in receipt of Medicaid funds.