Overview

Bill practices in the firm's Product Liability Litigation and Construction practice groups and focuses on the defense of product liability claims and claims against construction professionals.

In the product liability area, Bill regularly counsels clients on mass tort and class action litigation involving building and other consumer products as well as litigation involving allegations of exposure to chemicals or environmental contamination (including claims of exposure to benzene, carbon monoxide, chromium, mold, PCBs, sulfur dioxide, and vinyl chloride). He advises product manufacturers and specialty chemical companies on risk avoidance, litigation, and dispute resolution concerning serious injuries to persons and property.

His construction litigation practice includes the representation of owners, contractors, architects, engineers, construction managers, and other construction professionals in various contractual disputes as well as third party claims involving serious personal injury of property damage.

Bill regularly writes and presents on green chemistry regulations, the FTC Green Guides, USGBC’s LEED program, and other regulations that affect the ability of chemical and consumer product manufacturers to commercialize their products, maintain compliance, and achieve competitive advantage.

Bill has both trial and arbitration experience, and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the 8th Appellate District of Ohio. He has appeared in numerous jurisdictions throughout the United States.

Experience
Class Actions
  • Defeated class certification in a putative class action alleging consumer warranty, strict product liability, and consumer protection violations concerning the manufacture and marketing of a wood plastic composite decking product.
  • Achieved dismissal of civil engineer in class action alleging professional negligence in design of storm water management system resulting in flooding.
  • Defense of a chemical manufacturer in environmental contamination class action seeking medical monitoring and compensation for alleged diminution of property value as a result of proximity to environmental contamination.
  • Defense of consumer product manufacturer in class action alleging breach of warranty and consumer protection violations.
  • Defense of food manufacturer in class action alleging sale of adulterated food and consumer protection violations.
Construction Litigation
  • Defense of project management consultant in negligent highway design claim relating to violations of the Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act.
  • Defense of construction manager and construction engineer in litigation involving the wrongful death of a stainless steel factory worker as a result of exposure to carbon monoxide.
  • Defense of a civil engineer in professional negligence claim involving the subsurface failure of a green parking lot.
  • Defense of engineer in claims involving negligent design of a school HVAC system resulting in sick building syndrome.
  • Lead of rapid response team for global construction and civil engineering company’s construction of 700 MW natural gas power plant.
  • Achieved dismissal of utility contractor in case alleging contraction of Legionnaires’ Disease.
  • Defense of construction manager as agent in delay claims litigation.
  • Defense of civil engineer in claim involving professional negligence in design of Maintenance of Traffic Plan resulting in accident rendering motorcyclist a paraplegic.
  • Achieved dismissal of construction manager in claims stemming from the collapse of HVAC ductwork installed in a school cafeteria that resulting in serious injury to students.
  • Defense of historic preservation consultant in litigation involving electrocution of demolition laborer.
Mass and Toxic Tort
  • Achieved summary judgment for manufacturer of window sealant in mass action alleging exposure to PCBs in a school building.
  • Defense of chemical manufacturers and trade associations in various state and federal mass and toxic tort suits involving claims of intentional tort, fraud, and civil conspiracy.
  • Defense of wall component manufacturer in various suits alleging product liability and breach of warranty claims stemming from the growth of mold in hotels and nursing homes.
  • Defense of appliance manufacturer in negligence suits stemming from the growth of mold in plaintiffs' workplace.
Defense of Product Liability and Negligence Claims
  • Defense of utility company in litigation alleging utility placement resulted in wrongful death.
  • Representation of manufacturer of waste heat recovery boilers and pollution control equipment in dispute alleging defective design and manufacture.
  • Defense of manufacturers of valves and supply lines, in subrogation claims alleging product defect resulting in flood damage.
  • Defense of installer and supplier of industrial warehouse racking system in breach of contract and product defect dispute.
  • Defense of automobile and other consumer product manufacturers in product liability and breach of warranty suits, including consumer class actions.
  • Defense of property owners in premises liability litigation, including oral argument before the 8th Appellate District of Ohio in which summary judgment was affirmed.
Product Warranty and Labelling Counseling
  • Advising consumer product manufacturer on warning label compliance with ANSI standards.
  • Drafting warranty language and terms and conditions for lighting manufacturer.
  • Advising coatings manufacturer on Material Safety Data Sheet language.
PublicationsPresentations
  • “Navigating Protective Construction Contracts,” Construction Management Association of America Ohio Chapter, January 2017
  • "In the Crosshairs: the Targeting of Building Products by California’s Green Chemistry Initiative and Other Regulations Focusing on Environmental Exposure to Toxins"
  • "Discoverability of Social Media and its Use as Trial Evidence"
  • "It’s All About Protecting the Children: Endocrine Disruptors and Continuing Developments in Causation, Dose, and Epidemiology," ACI’s 2014 Chemical Products Liability & Environmental Litigation
  • "Defending the Unintended Claim: Beyond Workers’ Compensation," ACI’s 2013 Chemical Products Liability & Environmental Litigation
  • "Regulatory Update: TSCA, REACH, IRIS, and the States," ACI’s 2012 Chemical Products Liability & Environmental Litigation
  • "Going Green Safely: Reaping the benefits and avoiding the legal risks of greening your products and services"
  • "Regulatory Update: Protecting the Company and Mitigating Risk in the Battle Between EPA, Congress, and the States to Regulate Chemicals"
  • "The 'Master's Institute' on Ohio Construction Law ... Tools for Success; Negligence and the Economic Loss Doctrine"
  • "Risks and Rewards in Green Products and Green Buildings"
  • Panelist, "Certified Sustainable Products Forum"
  • "Building Information Modeling (BIM): Implications in Defending a Building Product," Defense Research Institute
  • "BIM: Legal Pitfalls for Building Product Manufacturers," Construction Specifications Institute's Building Product Manufacturers Alliance
  • "Is the Grass Really Greener? Managing the Risks of Greening Your Products"
  • "2009 Construction Industry Hot Topics Update: Green Building Risks"
Distinctions
  • Selected as an Ohio Super Lawyer Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2010 to 2015
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Firm liaison to the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA)
  • Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), member
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI): member, Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Steering Committee; immediate past chair, Building Products Specialized Litigation Group; member, Construction Law and Product Liability Law Committees
  • Manos Inn of Court
  • American Bar Association: Litigation Section, Construction Forum
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Cleveland Restoration Society, officer
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders, Class of 2007
NewsEvents