Kenneth R. Behrend is a graduate of Cornell University, School of Hotel Administration having received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel Administration in1979. In 1982, Mr. Behrend received a degree in law from the Duquesne University School of Law. In1981, he attended various law courses for which he received a Diploma from Cambridge University, Emmanuel College. Mr. Behrend is a graduate of the Gerry Spence College of Trial Advocacy.
Mr. Behrend is admitted to practice in the State of Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is specially admitted to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of West Virginia and various other state and federal courts.
Between 1983 and 1985, Mr. Behrend was employed as a law clerk for the Honorable Silvestri S. Silvestri, deceased, who at that time was the judge assigned to hear all class action cases filed in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Amongst other items, Mr. Behrend’s duties included research, review of briefs concerning class certification issues and drafting opinions thereon.
Mr. Behrend was a founding partner of the law firm of Behrend and Ernsberger, and is now a shareholder in its successor, Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. with offices in the City of Pittsburgh. Mr. Behrend is primarily engaged in trial practice in the insurance and consumer fraud areas. He is a member of the AAJ, PAJ, the Bar of Pennsylvania, and the Bar of Allegheny County.
Mr. Behrend served on the Allegheny County Board of Assessment Appeals from 1996 through 2000. He was the only Board member who refused to sign the Sabre System Contract, arguing that it did not adequately protect the public from errors in the accuracy of property values and data collection. In 2002, he published the “Property Assessment Appeal Hearing Assistance Handbook,” which helped guide Allegheny County residents in their property appeals. Click here to review Attorney Behrend’s updated 2012 “Property Assessment Appeal Hearing Assistance Handbook.” Recently, Mr. Behrend has been presenting workshops around Allegheny County to help property owners appeal their property assessment. Click here to read a letter from an attendee of one of Mr. Behrend’s presentations at the South Park Library.
Mr. Behrend was the first lawyer to sue Domino’s Pizza, Inc. over the injuries and death caused by the delivery drivers rushing to comply with the corporate policy of the 30 minute delivery deadline. His case created a new tort in Pennsylvania which recognized the concept of a “negligent corporate policy.” This theory was then recognized in nearly every jurisdiction of the United States. As part of the nationwide Domino’s Pizza litigation, the American Trial Lawyers Association named Mr. Behrend as head of the Delivery Service Negligence Litigation Group. In that capacity, Mr.Behrend coordinated the discovery and trial efforts of plaintiffs’ counsel nationwide. This combined national effort resulted in a Seventy-two Million Dollar ($72,000,000.00) verdict awarded in a case in St. Louis, in which plaintiff’s counsel was one of the litigation group members. After this verdict Domino’s Pizza discontinued the 30 minute delivery policy.
Mr. Behrend has had substantial experience in life insurance sales practices claims and successfully prosecuted the first case in Pennsylvania in which an insurance company has held in violation of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices andConsumer Protection Law. The case of Pekular v. Eich and State Farm Insurance 523 A.2d 427 (Pa.Super. 1986), appeal denied, 533 A.2d 93 (Pa.1987) was filed in 1984.
Mr. Behrend filed his first case against Metropolitan Life for replacement/churning type claims in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 1991. The case was Lesoon v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 898 A.2d 620 (Pa. Super., 2006) allocatur denied 912 A.2d 1293(Pa. 2006). He, along with his partners and associates, have represented numerous clients for bad faith and fraudulent sales practices claims on homeowners insurance, automobile insurance, disability insurance, and health insurance policies.
Mr. Behrend has presented winning appellate arguments in the following cases:
DeArmitt v. New York Life Ins. Co., ____ A.3d. ____, 2013 Pa. Super 161 (Pa. Super 2013)
Agliori v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 879 A.2d 315 (Pa. Super. 2005)
Dilworth v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co.,418 F.3d 345 (3d Cir. 2005)
Drelles v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 357 F.3d 344 (3rd Cir. 2003)
Drelles v. Manufacturers Life Ins. Co., 881 A.2d 822 (Pa. Super 2005)
Gray v. MetLife et al., 146 WDA 2004 (Pa. Super. 10/05/04)(unpublished)
Knouse v. General American Life Ins. Co., 391 F.3d 907 (8th Cir. 2004)
Lesoon v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 898 A.2d. 620 (Pa. Super 2006), allocator denied, 912 A.2d 1293 (Pa. 2006)
Mohney v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 5468, 93 Fed. Appx. 391 (3d Cir. 2004)(unpublished)
Mohney v. U.S. Credit Life Ins. Co., 838 and 917 WDA 2008 (Pa. Super. 7/01/08) (unpublished), appeal denied, 373 WAL 2008 (Pa. 12-10-08)
Pekular v. Eich and State Farm, 513 A.2d 427 (Pa. Super. 1986), appeal denied, 533 A.2d 93 (Pa. 1987)
Toy v Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 863 A.2d 1 (Pa. Super. 2004), affrmd, 928 A.2d 186 (Pa. 2007)
Tran v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 408 F.3d 130 (3d Cir. 2005), rehearing en banc denied (July 25, 2005)
Mr. Behrend served as Coordinating Counsel for State Court Plaintiffs in the Multi District Litigation against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. In the Court of Common Pleas of AlleghenyCounty, Kenneth R. Behrend was named Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel for the Life Insurance Sales Practices Litigation for all consolidated cases filed in Allegheny County against life insurance companies. Mr.Behrend, along with his partners and associates, have won motions for judgment on the pleadings, motions to dismiss, preliminary objections, motions to compel discovery, and motions for summary judgment, along with appellate decisions against Metropolitan Lifeand other insurance companies in fraudulent life insurance sales practices cases filed in United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and United States District Court of Massachusetts, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the Suprome Court of Pennsylvania and the Courts of Common Pleas of Allegheny, Butler, Green, Lebanon, and Armstrong Counties.
In the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, Mr. Behrend sought and received a determination from the Horton Court in July of 1999 that not all investment claims were barred by the Horton settlement and Injunction Order.
Mr. Behrend, acting as lead counsel for the law firm of Behrend and Ernsberger in fraudulent life insurance sales practices cases, filed cases against: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Prudential Insurance Company of America, Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, New York Life Insurance Company, U.S. Life Insurance Company, ITT Hartford Life Insurance Company, State Farm, Knights of Columbus, Great Southern Life Insurance Company, General American Life Insurance Company, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, Amerus, and Mutual of New York. Mr.Behrend, along with other members of Behrend and Ernsberger, P.C. staff, have reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of discovery in cases against Prudential and Metropolitan Life and various other life insurance companies; taken numerous depositions of agents and company officers and directors; and spoken to hundreds of clients and witnesses. He understands the challenges in this fraudulent life insurance sales practices litigation and the many nuances of the life insurance industry.