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.


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.

Benjamin J. Pucci Elevated to Equity Member

O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, L.L.C. has elevated Benjamin J. Pucci to equity member. Ben started with the firm as an associate in 2006.  Throughout his time with the firm, he achieved the ranks of senior associate and non-equity member.  Ben handles various asbestos matters for both national and local jurisdiction clients.  Ben is also a trial attorney.  Congrats to Ben!

Defense Verdict in Plaintiff-friendly Florida for OTGB

Tom Ben

O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, L.L.C. achieved a MAJOR defense verdict in plaintiff-friendly Florida on September 29, 2014. The case was before Honorable Kenneth A. Marra.  The plaintiff, William Hays, at 67 years old died of mesothelioma. Our client was the sole defendant at trial.  He alleged exposure to our client’s gasket and packing products from 1959 through 1981 on board ship in the U.S Navy.  In addition to Mr. Hays’ videotaped testimony, Plaintiff called cellular biologist Arnold Brody, medical doctor Dr. Jerald Abraham and shipmate/commanding officer Commander Weaver.  The defense called industrial hygienist Dr. Fred Toca and medical doctor Dr. James Crapo.

The case went to the jury on two theories: strict liability and negligence.  The jury returned a defense verdict on both counts in 65 minutes.  The case was tried by O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, L.L.C.’s Tom Burns with assistance from Ben Pucci of O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, L.L.C. and Mike Holt of Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell as local counsel. This win marks O’Connell, Tivin, Griffin & Burns, L.L.C’s fifth defense verdict in a row.