Overview

Eric is a partner in the firm’s Admiralty & Maritime practice group. He focuses his practice on a range of maritime matters, including personal injury cases alleging negligence under the Jones Act and unseaworthiness under general maritime law. Eric has extensive experience representing clients in the defense of maritime and land-based asbestos litigation in federal and state court.

Eric has defended clients in actions involving personal injury to and deaths of seamen, longshoremen and harbor workers (slips, falls, back, shoulder and neck injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder claims, and alleged toxic exposures to asbestos). He also has represented shipowners in matters involving property damage (collision, allision, propeller wash, dock damage).

Prior to joining the firm, Eric represented employers throughout Ohio in thousands of workers' compensation administrative hearings and has experience handling workers' compensation litigation. His experience defending clients in such a high volume of workers’ compensation matters gives him a unique perspective and understanding of defending medical and psychological aspects of claim allegations.

Experience
  • Member of team responsible for successfully obtaining dismissal of shipowner defendants in hundreds of asbestos litigation cases pending in multi-district litigation based on lack of personal jurisdiction or lack of causation.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of company that allegedly exposed plaintiff to asbestos through its activities as an outside contractor at plaintiff's former work site. Successfully obtained dismissal of same company in multiple other cases similarly alleging exposure from outside contractor activities.
  • Obtained summary judgment of Jones Act negligence and unseaworthiness claims on behalf of shipowner on statute of limitations grounds.
  • Obtained exclusion of plaintiffs' liability experts in defending automotive manufacturer from claim of sudden acceleration. Buck v. Ford Motor Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97380 (N.D. Ohio, Aug. 30, 2011).
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a medical device manufacturer on ground of preemption. Wilhite v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64843 (N.D. Ohio, June 20, 2011).
  • Obtained Court of Appeals decision affirming jury verdict in favor of the employer where an employee sought to participate in workers' compensation fund for alleged chemical sensitivity purportedly developed in the course and scope of his employment. Brophey v. Admr, Bureau of Workers Comp., 2008 Ohio App. LEXIS 545 (7th App. Dist., Feb. 12, 2008).
  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed by Court of Appeals, in a workers' compensation case where employee alleged an industrial injury when he slipped and fell on his front porch prior to entering his work vehicle. Rantamaki v. Conrad, 2006 Ohio App. LEXIS 910 (11th App. Dist., March 3, 2006).
  • Member of team that obtained appellate decision affirming trial court grant of summary judgment on behalf of international manufacturer in premises liability/workplace intentional tort case stemming from employees injury while working with molten magnesium. Meadows v. Air Craft Wheels, L.L.C., 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 230 (8th App. Dist., Jan. 26, 2012).
  • Successful defense of multiple employers in Industrial Commission hearings related to claim allowances, temporary total disability compensation requests, treatment requests and other issues.
  • Defense of an automobile manufacturer in cases involving alleged personal injury or property damage, including cases alleging damages from purportedly defective airbag and roof, purportedly defective gas struts attached to vehicles hood, and alleged "sudden acceleration" incident.
  • Defense of an automobile manufacturer in claims of property damage arising out of vehicle and structural fires.
  • Defense of an automobile manufacturer against insurance subrogation actions alleging design, manufacturing, and warning defects..
Publications
  • “Asbestos: Expansion of Liability and Potential Ban,” Thompson Hine Product Liability Update, December 2016
  • "Corralling Punitive Damages: En Banc 5th Circuit Holds Punitive Damages Not Available in Maritime Unseaworthiness Causes of Action," Thompson Hine Product Liability eNewsletter, Winter 2015
  • Co-author, "Sweeping Overhaul of FDA Regulation of Food Industry Promises New Challenges," HCLL News, January 2011
  • Co-author, "Defining the New 'Green'," Product Liability Law360, October 2010
  • Co-author, "The Coming Wave of Greenwashing Class Action Lawsuits," The Voice, Defense Research Institute, May 2010
  • "Inaccurate Employment Application Not Enough to Deny Temporary Total Disability Compensation Benefits," Self Insurer's Group of Ohio website, November 2005
  • "Family and Medical Leave Act Reform: Is Paid Leave the Answer?", 51 Clev.St.L.Rev 65, 2004
Distinctions
  • Selected as an Ohio Super Lawyer Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2011 to 2017
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Maritime Law Association, Young Lawyer Liaison for the Committee on Uniformity of U.S. Maritime Law, member
  • Federal Bar Association, Admiralty Law Section, Board of Directors
  • Editor-in-Chief of Admiralty Law Section’s e-Newsletter, Admiralitas
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter, Board of Directors
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), member
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Board of Directors
  • The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, LeadDIVERSITY class of 2014
  • Propeller Club, Port of Cleveland, member
News