Daniel Griffin Resigns from Firm

It is with sadness coupled with congratulations that we say goodbye to our managing partner, Daniel Griffin. In mid-December, Dan advised the other Firm partners that he was going to leave the Firm as of December 31, 2018 to pursue other interests. Specifically, Dan is going to work for a plaintiffs’ law firm in Texas handling opioid litigation. Again, congratulations and good luck to Dan in this endeavor. The Firm’s founding partner, Daniel O’Connell, shall resume his position as managing partner of the Firm.

Defense Verdict for OTGB in Wisconsin

MADISON, WISCONSIN, July 21, 2017 – O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns LLC, a national litigation firm, secured a defense verdict in Wisconsin for a sealing product manufacturer, which was the only remaining defendant at trial.


Our client was represented by Daniel Griffin and Megan McCormick from OTGB’s Milwaukee office.  Plaintiffs claimed Ronald Carroll’s mesothelioma was caused by his work with asbestos-containing products during his service in the U.S. Navy as a boiler tender and during his work as a plant helper, auxiliary operator and boiler operator for Wisconsin Power and Light. 


The United States District Court – Western Division of Wisconsin jury reached a unanimous verdict in favor of our client in a matter of hours, rejecting allegations of negligence and strict liability. The Honorable William Conley presided over the trial.


Plaintiffs were represented by Sam Iola and Steve Schulte in association with the Simon Greenstone Panitier Bartlett law firm.  Testifying on behalf of the plaintiffs was Dr. Edwin Holstein.  Plaintiffs also called our client’s corporate representative to testify in their case-in-chief.  Trial paralegal, Susan Brooks, assisted the team throughout all aspects of the trial.


Tim McGuire Elevated to Member of the Firm

The members of O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns are proud to announce that Mr. Timothy McGuire was elevated to member of the firm recently.  Tim oversees the Edwardsville, Illinois office for OTGB.  He joined the firm in May of 2012. Prior to his time at OTGB, Tim worked on asbestos matters as well as commercial litigation, real estate law, labor law and estate planning.  Congrats Tim!

Sean Fergus Named Senior Associate

Mr. Sean Patrick Fergus was recently named Senior Associate by the members of O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns.  Sean was a graduate of DePaul for Law School.  He has been a long time associate with the firm, starting in 2002.  He handles asbestos cases and real estate matters in Illinois.  Prior to his time with OTGB, he worked at the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.  Congrats Sean!


This just in! Defense verdict for OTGB in NYCAL in the Charles Zammit case. NYCAL is listed as the number two Judicial Hell Hole in America.  Mr. Zammit alleged his lung cancer and asbestosis were wrongfully caused by asbestos.

Daniel Griffin of O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, LLC tried the case along side Suzanne Halbardier of Barry, McTiernan & Moore LLC on behalf of John Crane Inc.  Plaintiff was represented the Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A.



Summary Judgment Granted Against Wylder Law Firm in McLean County, Illinois

OTGB won summary judgment for our client in the Estate of Clarence Hardy matter filed in McLean County, Illinois. Plaintiff alleged his mesothelioma was caused by exposure to our client’s products while employed at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.  Plaintiff elicited testimony from a co-worker that identified our client on board several ships that were allegedly in the shipyard.  OTGB presented evidence that the co-worker was factually incorrect. The evidence included that the co-worker was in fact not at the shipyard at the same time as Plaintiff and that the ships identified were not at the shipyard during the time frame the co-worker testified to being there.

Plaintiff argued it was a question of fact for the jury to decide.  Judge Rebecca Foley disagreed and ruled with OTGB’s position that there was  lack of product identification and granted summary judgment.

Plaintiff was represented by the Wylder, Corwin, Kelly LLP law firm.

Maritime Law Applied, Summary Judgment Granted in Illinois Federal Court for OTGB

In the case John Bell v. ABB Group, Inc., Honorable Staci M. Yandle, District Judge, granted OTGB client’s Motion for Summary Judgment.  After considering and agreeing that Maritime law applied, the Court ruled that Plaintiff could not create a genuine issue of  material fact by mere speculation or the building of inference on inference.  Instead, inferences must be supported by facts in the record, not by speculation or conjecture. See below links Full Decision and Harris Martin for more information.  O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, LLC attorneys Sean P. Fergus and Caroline Olson represented our client. Congrats!

Full Decision   Harris Martin Link

Carly Olson 2012         Sean

OTGB wins the first asbestos case tried before Federal Judge Staci Yandle in the Southern District of Illinois

After nearly two weeks of trial, the jury in the ANDREW KOCHERA case returned a defense verdict for O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, LLC.’s client in Federal court.

Congratulations to Daniel Griffin, Sean Fergus and Simon Purnell of OTGB who successfully defended our client.  Mr. Kochera claimed to have developed asbestosis from his work with our client’s insulation, cement and packings while in the U.S. Navy and aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1950s. His work included installation and removal of packing, mixing cement, applying insulation and sweeping up asbestos containing debris. Plaintiff asked the jury to award $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.  The jury of 8 deliberated for less than two hours and found our client not liable.

The case was tried before Honorable Staci M. Yandle in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois located in Benton, Illinois.  Mr. Kochera’s case was originally filed in Madison County, Illinois but was removed to Federal court by a co-defendant.  Our client was the only defendant remaining in the case at the time of trial.

Plaintiffs called Dr. Rosner, Dr. Vuskovich and Jerome Spear, CIH as expert witnesses in their case.

Our client called Dr. Crapo, Dr. Madl and Captain McCloskey.

Plaintiff was represented by Ben Vinson, Jr. of the Vinson Law Firm in Tampa, Florida and Clay Zelbst of the Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Firm in Longview, Texas.GriffinSean

Mark Tivin and Simon Purnell of O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, LLC with local counsel, James Elliott of Richardson Plowden, obtained a defense verdict in the Dennis Seay, mesothelioma case.  The case was tried in the South Carolina 7th Judicial Circuit Court for Spartanburg County in South Carolina.  The case was tried before Honorable D. Garrison Hill.  The plaintiff claimed to have developed mesothelioma and died at the age of 70 from his work at Hoechst-Celanese which included exposure to our client’s gaskets for 10 years. This included using a power wire brush to remove gaskets from flange faces.

Plaintiff called Drs. Brody, Kradin and Holstein as expert witnesses.  OTGB called Drs. Toca, Crapo and Roggli.  After deliberating for several hours, the jury found our client not liable.  The jury did award $12,000,000 in compensatory damages to Plaintiff and found Hoechst-Celanese liable for the full amount. The jury also awarded $2,000,000 in punitive damages against Hoechst-Celanese.

Plaintiff was represented by Mr. Christopher Panatier from Simon Greenstone.

Hoechst-Celanese was represented by H. Lane Young II of Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP in Atlanta.

Despite sitting through almost three weeks of trial, the jury only needed twenty minutes to return TWO DEFENSE VERDICTS in a consolidated trial for OTGB’s client in Baltimore, Maryland.  Baltimore, Maryland is notorious for being Plaintiff friendly and this is only the third asbestos defense verdict over the past few years.

The Estates of Waldon Edwards and Walter Koepper, both diagnosed with mesothelioma, consolidated their cases and were tried in front of Honorable Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill.

The Estate of Waldon Edwards alleged that his  death was caused by exposure to our client’s gaskets, packing and rope from his work as a mechanical helper at Bethlehem Steel, Sparrows Point in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Estate of Walter Koepper alleged that his death was caused by exposure to gaskets, packing and rope from his work as a machinist at the Lever Brothers Plant in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1960s through the 1980s.

Plaintiffs called as expert witnesses Dr. Arthur Frank, Dr. Arnold Brody, Dr. Jerrold Abraham, Dr. John Maddox, William Longo, Dr. Jerry Lauderdale, David Rosner, Dr. James Millette and Dr. Christine Oliver.  Our client called as its witnesses Dr. Amy Madl, Dr. James Crapo and Dr. Fred Toca.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs were from the Peter Angelos Firm. Trial attorneys from OTGB were Dan Griffin, Tom Burns and Alex Hryhorczuk along with local counsel from Miles & Stockbridge including Michael Brown and Deborah St. Lawrence-Thompson.

Congratulations to all. Another great win for the defense.

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