Timothy J. Coughlin
Tim chairs our Mass & Toxic Tort group and leads our Chemical Industry group, a multidisciplinary practice group focused on finding creative solutions to our clients' concerns and issues in the chemicals, coatings and plastics industries. Given Tim’s deep industry knowledge and involvement, he serves as the firm's key representative for the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council and the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois. Tim has also represented the American Chemistry Council. His litigation practice focuses on mass and class action toxic torts, product liability and commercial litigation on a national level.
Tim has represented our clients in over twenty-three states and Canada. Tim is the lead trial counsel for several chemical companies and the industry trade association on national litigation involving chemical exposures. Tim was the 2014-2016 Committee Chair of the Defense Research Institute's Toxic Tort Environmental Law Committee and served as the Committee Vice Chair from 2013 to 2014. He is a former member of DRI's Corporate Counsel Roundtable Steering Committee and is a current member of IADC. He frequently presents on the issues facing the chemicals industry and the science of causation in chemical exposure cases.
- National representation of multiple chemical companies and the industry trade association in wrongful death product liability and industry wide conspiracy claims involving occupational and consumer exposure to vinyl chloride.
- Defense of a putative class action against a leading coatings manufacturer arising out of claimed environmental contamination involving hexavalent chrome in Jersey City, New Jersey.
- National representation of an after-market automotive supplier in product liability, wrongful death and contractual disputes.
- National representation of the largest polymer service company in product liability matters, including cancer endpoint and lung diseases.
- Multi-state representation of a target defendant in a $282 million damage phase of consumer class action-based litigation concerning dip tubes in water heaters.
- Defense of an Ohio putative consumer class action against a leading beverage maker.
- Defense of a putative class action against a global coatings manufacturer arising out of claimed environmental contamination involving groundwater solvent contaminants in Louisville, Kentucky.
- Defense of several chemical manufacturers in a putative class action arising out of occupational exposure to known carcinogen at a chemical facility in New Jersey.
- Defense of a putative consumer class action in Ohio against a leading power tool manufacturer.
- Defense of chemicals and coatings manufacturer from a chlorine railcar breach in West Virginia, including root cause analysis, third-party claims administration, facility damage analysis, federal agency interaction of cause analysis and indemnity claims analysis.
- Defense of global chemicals manufacturer in claimed pulmonary fibrosis matter arising out of exposure in aerospace industry in California.
- Defense of global chemicals manufacturer in claimed exposure from rail car valve leak in Ohio.
- Defense of a chemicals and coatings manufacturer in mass action for medical monitoring, property damage and personal injury arising out of alleged environmental contamination in West Virginia.
- Representation of a commercial vehicle parts manufacturer in multiple property damage, death and cancer claims in Mississippi arising from claimed TCE exposure.
- Representation of a commercial vehicle parts manufacturer in an action by the State of Mississippi for alleged ground water contamination with TCE.
- Defense of a global hand tool manufacturer in medical monitoring and property damage claims arising out of alleged environmental solvent contamination in groundwater in Pennsylvania.
- Representation of a leading coatings manufacturer in personal injury benzene litigation in Ohio.
- Representation of a multinational chemical company in pesticide application litigation in Ohio.
- Representation of a global coatings company against claims of environmental and groundwater contamination involving perchlorate in California.
- Representation of a polymer service company against claims of pulmonary fibrosis allegedly caused by resin dust exposure in California.
- Representation of a leading chemicals and coatings manufacturer in numerous TCE exposure cases claiming Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonism in Kentucky and West Virginia.
- Representation of coatings companies on strategies concerning BPA use and applications.
- Representation of a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in an Ohio wrongful death action.
- Representation of handgun manufacturers in various Ohio municipal litigation matters.
Technology Related Representation
- Represents court automation software firm in contract negotiation and licensing issues.
- Represented software firm in $20 million sale to publicly traded government consulting firm.
- Represents business-to-business firm in acquisition of media, print and database firm.
- Represents Fortune 10 automaker in consumer facing web site compliance issues.
Reported Cases - Ohio Supreme Court
- Valentine v. Conrad, 110 Ohio St. 3d 42 (2006) – Decision changed Ohio law governing expert witness testimony and admissibility.
- Michaels v. Ford Motor Company, 650 N.E.2d 1352 (Ohio S. Ct. 1995) – Duty of landowner in construction industry death case.
Reported Cases - Federal Circuit and District Court
- Bernard Shiner et al., v. BASF Catalysts, LLC, Case No. 1:19-cv-1591 United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division. September 24, 2021 – Duty of chemical plant landowner to contractor.
- Cooper v. Meritor, Inc., No. 4:15-CV-52-DMB-JMV, (N.D. Miss. Mar. 4, 2019) – Excluding plaintiffs’ experts in groundwater damage claims.
- Cooper v. Meritor, Inc., No. 4:16-CV-52-DMB-JMV, (N.D. Miss. Feb. 11, 2019) – Excluding plaintiffs’ experts in groundwater solvent damages matter.
- Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. Meritor, Inc., CIVIL ACTION No. 4:17-CV-74-SA-JMV, (N.D. Miss. Mar. 13, 2018).
- Taylor v. Am. Chemistry Council, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 17321 (1st Cir. Mass. Aug. 3, 2009) – Summary judgment upheld on sophisticated user in chemical industry.
- Taylor v. Airco, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64441.
- Hogan v. Goodrich Corp., 2006 WL 149011 (W.D. Ky. Jan. 17, 2006) – Summary judgment for chemical industry on conspiracy claims.
- Bogner v. Airco, Inc., 353 F. Supp. 2d 977 (C.D. Ill. 2005) – Summary judgment for chemical plant owner on employer intentional tort/chemical exposure claim.
- BP Chemicals, Inc. v. First State Insurance Co., U.S. Ct. App. 6th Cir., 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 22136.
- Roney v. Gencorp, et al., No. 3:05-0788, Judgment Order entering jury verdict in favor of defendant (S.D.W. Va. Oct. 9, 2009) – Verdict for chemical supplier in cancer wrongful death claim.
- Roney v. Gencorp, et al., No. 3:05-0788, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80849 (S.D.W. Va. Sept. 4, 2009) – Decision changed West Virginia law governing learned intermediary defense/sophisticated user.
Reported Cases - State Court
- Tesero Frias, et al. v. BASF Corporation, et al. No. BC641789 – Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles, 2021 – Order granting spoliation sanctions against opposing counsel.
- Meritor, Inc. and Textron, Inc., vs. State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, No. IN-117498, slip op. (Okla. Civ. App., Sept. 27, 2019) – Sustaining privilege claim over consulting expert work product by public institution.
- Cooper v. BASF Inc., et al., No. 26324, Ohio App., 9th Dist.; 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 2836. – Sustaining summary judgement in pesticide exposure matter.
- Gay v. O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., 2009-Ohio-2954 – Sustaining summary judgment in firearms design defect claims.
- Buynie v. Airco, Inc., 2007 WL 2275013 (N.J. Super. A.D., 2007) – Summary judgment for chemical manufacturer.
- McEldowney v. Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., 2007 Mich. App. LEXIS 1452 – Summary judgment for chemical manufacturers on product liability and industry wide conspiracy claims.
- Anderson v. Airco, 2004 WL 2827887 (Del Super. Nov. 30, 2004); 2004 WL 1551484 (Del. Super. June 30, 2004) – Summary judgment in chemical exposure matter.
- Mayor v. Ford Motor Co., 2004 WL 1402692 (Ohio 8th Dist. Ct. App. June 24, 2004).
- Furness v. Pois, 107 Ohio App. 3d 719 (Ohio App. 1995) – Summary judgment upheld on expert exclusion.
- Co-Author, “How to Explain Causation Theories to the Court,” For the Defense, DRI Toxic Tort and Environmental Law, June 2020
- Co-Author, "Admissibility of Scientific Expert Testimony," National Business Institute, June 2019
- Co-Author, "A View from Across the Pond: Perspectives on the US litigation arena," Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar, Defense Research Institute, New Orleans, LA
- Co-Author, "Strategically Using Motions in limine," National Business Institute, December 20, 2018
- Co-Author, "Resolving Discovery Disputes," National Business Institute, December 20, 2018
- “Be Careful What You Wish For: Revised TSCA Process Slower Than Industry Hoped,” Thompson Hine Product Liability Litigation Update, February 2017
- “Social Media, the Internet and Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Challenges,” National Business Institute, September 2016
- “TSCA Overhaul Will Have Major Impact on Chemical Manufacture & Use,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, June 2016
- Co-Author, “The Ongoing Anti-BPA Crusade in the United States: A Disservice to Science and Consumers,” Washington Legal Foundation, July 10, 2015
- Co-Author, “RFPs, AFAs, LPM, KPIs: Unpacking the Alphabet Soup of 21st Century Legal Service Delivery,” Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar, Defense Research Institute, Austin, TX
- “California DTSC Finalizes Green Chemistry Playbook,” Thompson Hine Green Products Update, April 2015
- Co-Author, “Changing Times: How Dukes Circumscribes Mass Toxic Tort Class Certification,” Thompson Hine Product Liability eNewsletter, Winter 2015
- Co-Author, "States Take the Lead on Legislating BPA Even Where United States & European Nations Have Found BPA Safe as Currently Used," Thompson Hine Product Liability Update, March 2015
- “Suit Urges EPA to Regulate Nanosilver, Remove Products from Shelves,” Thompson Hine Product Liability Update, January 2015
- “Potential Changes to OSHA’s PSM Standard & EPA’s RMP Regulation,” Thompson Hine Chemical Industry Update, October 2014
- "OSHA Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Process Safety Management Regulations," Thompson Hine Chemical Industry Update, January 2014
- "W.Va. Chemical Spill Prompts Dubious Regulatory Fixes," Law360, January 21, 2014
- Co-Author, “No Going Back: Strategies for Opposing Remand Under CAFA’s Exceptions,” Washington Legal Foundation - Critical Legal Issues Working Paper Series (Dec. 2013)
- "And The Defense Wins," The Voice, Defense Research Institute, August 7, 2013
- Co-Author, “Digging Deeper: Mass Toxic Tort Class Certification after Dukes, Comcast, and Amgen,” Toxic and Hazardous Substances Litigation, July 2013
- "And The Defense Wins," The Voice, Defense Research Institute, February 2012
- "Green Products Update: California Proposes New Green Chemistry Regulations," Thompson Hine Product Liability Alert, November 2011
- "Bottles, Cans, and Bans: The Latest Dispatch from the BPA Battlefield," For The Defense, Defense Research Institute, March 2011
- "Preventing Forum Shopping Sprees: How to be the Squeaky Wheel on a Forum Shopping Cart," For the Defense, October 2005
- "The Benefits of an Extranet," For The Defense, Defense Research Institute, January 2001
- “Science Day: Back to School on How to Explain Causation Theories to the Court," Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar, Defense Research Institute, February 2020, Phoenix, AZ
- "Evidence, Science and the Law - Learn from the Experts!", National Business Institute, August 16, 2019
- Moderator "A View from Across the Pond: Perspectives on the US litigation arena," Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar, Defense Research Institute, March 2019, New Orleans, LA
- "Strategically Using Motions in limine," National Business Institute, December 20, 2018
- "Resolving Discovery Disputes," National Business Institute, December 20, 2018
- "Social Media, the Internet and Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Challenges," National Business Institute, September 2016
- "The Ins and Outs of TSCA Reform," Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, September, 2016
- Moderator, “RFPs, AFAs, LPM, KPIs: Unpacking the Alphabet Soup of 21st Century Legal Service Delivery,” Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar, Defense Research Institute, March 2015, Austin, TX
- "Social Media Use and Other Complex Jury Issues," National Business Institute, November 20, 2014
- "On the Horizon: Trends Facing the Chemical Industry," Thompson Hine LLP seminar, Cleveland, Ohio, December 5, 2013
- "Handling 'Rambo' Litigators in Ohio," National Business Institute, September 2012
- "Are You Covered? Emerging Legal Threats and Their Coverage Issues, Risk International," Thompson Hine LLP seminar, Cleveland, December 2011
- "We're the Government and We Are Here to Help: The Never-ending Story(ies) of Scientific Missteps at EPA Under the IRIS Process," What's Next in Chemical Industry Regulation, Litigation and Advice, Thompson Hine LLP seminar, Cleveland, December 2011
- "Employing Effective Defense Strategies to Explain Complex Science and Medical Terminology to Judges and Juries," Chemical Products Liability & Environmental Litigation Conference, April 2011
- "Bottles, Cans and Bans: The Latest Dispatch from the BPA Battlefield," Defense Research Institute Annual Meeting, San Diego, October 2010
- "Winning Your First Civil Trial," National Business Institute, Cleveland, September 2010
- "Strengthening Defense Positions Despite Regulatory Changes Made by the Obama Administration: Overcoming Preemption Hurdles, Accepting Proposed TSCA Changes, and Coming to Terms with Chemical Bans," American Conference Institute's Chemical Products Liability and Environmental Litigation, Chicago, April 2010
- "Chemical Regulation and Its Impact on Product Liability Law," 2010 Goodyear Law Conference, April 2010
- "TSCA Update: The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – What Are the Big Threats to Chemical Manufacturers as Congress Considers Changes?", Ohio Chemistry and Technology Council 32nd Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio, April 2010
- "Evidence and Expert Testimony Best Practices: Supporting Your Case," Cleveland, December 2009
- "Best Practices in Mass, Complex and Toxic Tort Litigation," Thompson Hine LLP seminar, Cincinnati, November 2009
- "Best Practices in Mass, Complex and Toxic Tort Litigation," Thompson Hine LLP seminar, Cleveland, May 2009
- "Anti-Chemical Initiatives (chemical bans, chemical deselection mandates, and the future)," Ohio Chemistry Technology Council Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio, April 2009
- "Trends in Litigation," Association of Corporate Counsel Seminar, Cleveland, July 2002
- "Using High Tech Tools for Litigation: A Survey of Cutting Edge Technology to Assist In-house Counsel," ACCA Conference for Corporate Counsel 2002, Washington, D.C., June 2002
- "Emerging Trends in Liability Litigation," PricewaterhouseCoopers General Counsel Forum, February 2002
- "Techno Torts," Network of Trial Law Firms, Stamford, Connecticut, July 2001
- Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2012-2022
- Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list, 2014-2022
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2013 to 2022 for Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants, and Product Liability Litigation-Defendants
- The Burton Award for Legal Achievement, 2006
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter, Member
- Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC), Member
- Defense Research Institute, Toxic Tort and Environmental Law 2014-2016 Committee Chair; 2013-2014 Committee Vice Chair; 2012-2013 Seminar Program Chair; Corporate Counsel Roundtable Steering Committee, 2015
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- U.S. Law Firm Group Litigation Section Representative
- Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, Representative
- Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, Member
- Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Litigation & Environmental Section
- Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA), Member
- Friends of Breakthrough Charter Schools Board Member, 2015 to present
- Bruce Baskin/Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament Board, 1986 to present; tournament chairman, 1998
December 01, 2020
How to Explain Causation Theories to the CourtFor the Defense
June 16, 2020