Conor A. McLaughlin
Conor is a partner in the firm's Product Liability practice group who represents a broad range of clients, including manufacturers of automobiles, commercial food processing equipment, aircraft components, building products, and other commercial and consumer products in product liability and administrative matters. Conor also defends clients against putative class and mass actions involving claims related to product defect, marketing, and sale. He handles trials and appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country. Conor is active in numerous organizations, including the Federal Bar Association and the Defense Research Institute.
Before joining Thompson Hine, Conor clerked for the Honorable Alice M. Batchelder of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He also served as an extern for the Honorable Christopher A. Boyko, United States District Judge, Northern District of Ohio. Conor serves as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he coaches the Philip C. Jessup international law moot court team, and previously assisted in teaching the international war crimes research lab.
- Member of trial team for a three-week trial in which a state jury reached a defense verdict on all counts in favor of an automobile manufacturer against claims of design, manufacturing, and warning defects. Member of the appellate team that successfully upheld the verdict in the Supreme Court of Ohio.
- Obtained summary judgment for an automobile manufacturer in Ohio state court against a claimed design defect based on injuries sustained when a liftgate assembly fell on an individual.
- Successfully moved to dismiss an automobile manufacturer based on Ohio’s statute of repose.
- Defense of an automobile manufacturer in state and federal courts in cases alleging design, manufacturing, and warning defects arising out of accidents that resulted in fuel-fed vehicle fires, allegations related to the deployment of airbags, vehicle restraints, seat design, liftgate assemblies, and others.
- Defense of an automobile manufacturer in state court against insurance subrogation actions alleging breach of warranty and design, manufacturing, and warning defects.
Commercial Food Processing and Kitchen Equipment
- Obtained dismissal of plaintiff’s experts and summary judgment for a manufacturer of a commercial mixer-grinder in federal court in California against allegations that the product was defective in design and manufacture and lacked adequate warnings.
- Defense of commercial food processing and kitchen equipment manufacturer in state and federal courts against claims for design, manufacturing and warning defects. Specific products include, among others, meat choppers, mixer-grinders, mixers, slicers, meat saws, ovens, fryers, depositors, and dishwashers.
- Obtained summary judgment for a roofing adhesive manufacturer in federal court in Ohio against claims that the adhesive was defective in design, manufacture, and warnings. The decision was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Defense of nail gun manufacturers in state and federal court cases alleging breach of warranty and defective design, manufacture, and warnings.
- Successfully moved to dismiss a building product manufacturer in a putative class action in federal court alleging product defects, breach of warranty, and consumer claims. Dismissal of eight of the nine claims affirmed on appeal.
- Defense of a global shipping company in federal court against a nationwide putative class action alleging breach of contract. Defeated class certification.
- Defense of automobile manufacturer in a putative multi-state class action alleging breach of warranty and other consumer claims.
- Defense of building products manufacturer against putative multi-state consumer class action alleging breach of warranty, negligence, and other consumer claims.
- Obtained summary judgment for avionics/electronic systems manufacturer in federal court case alleging design and warning defects.
- Obtained summary judgment for manufacturer of an aircraft muffler in a triple fatality accident involving a Grumman AA-5 aircraft.
- Obtained partial dismissal in Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court for manufacturer of helicopter fuel pumps.
- Defense of aircraft component manufacturers in state and federal courts in actions alleging design and manufacturing defects.
- Defense of property owner against negligence claims resulting from a double fatality that occurred when a crane collapsed on a construction site.
- Defense of steel company against negligence claims arising out of an accident that occurred during the loading of material on a trailer, resulting in severe permanent injuries.
- Defense of a pharmaceutical company in multi-district litigation alleging design and warning/marketing defects in hormone replacement therapy drugs.
- Obtained reversal in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania of an administrative order by the Pennsylvania Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists finding that a company providing utility/asset management services had practiced land surveying without a license.
- Successfully moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction a marine sales and services company from a maritime-tort action in federal court.
- Defense of maritime shipping companies in federal and state court against claims of asbestos-related injuries.
- Co-author, “Autonomous Vehicle Legislation Creates New Liability Issues,” Thompson Hine Product Liability Update, June 2017
- Co-author, “In Mixed Ruling for Food Manufacturers, the Ninth Circuit Affirms Decertification of Damages Class While Keeping Door Open for Individual Claims,” Thompson Hine Product Liability Litigation Update, October 2016
- Co-author, “Judicial Notice at the Appellate Level: Beware of Opposing Counsel’s Attempt to Create a New Record on Appeal,” For The Defense, DRI, May 2016
- “The Brave New World of Unmanned Aircraft Systems,” Thompson Hine Product Liability eNewsletter, Fall 2015
- Co-author, “Food Litigation Class Actions after Dukes and Comcast,” For The Defense, DRI, April 2015
- Co-author, “Food Industry Litigation: An Update on Recent Trends,” Thompson Hine Product Liability eNewsletter, Winter 2015
- Co-author, "Lessons from the Lorax: Jury Selection in Difficult Cases," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Quarterly, Volume 62.3, September 2012
- Presenter, “Auto Injuries: Advanced Plaintiff Strategies,” National Business Institute Seminar, April 25, 2017
- Presenter on Product Liability and Class Action issues, “The Trump Impact: The Potential Effect on Law and Policy,” Thompson Hine Seminar Series, March 2017
- Moderator/Presenter, “How to Make the Client Happy: Tips from In-House Counsel to Foster an Effective Client Relationship,” DRI Product Liability Conference, February 2017
- Moderator/Presenter, “How to Influence Judges and Win Appeals,” FBA National Convention, September 2016
- Presented to the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio Advisory Committee on proposed changes to the Northern District of Ohio Local Civil Rules, May 2016
- Co-presenter, "Jury Issues: Jury Note Taking, Questions, and Instructions," John M. Manos Inn of Court, December 2012
- "Standing Up: A Practical Guide to On Your Feet Experiences in Court," Federal Bar Association New Lawyer Training Curriculum Seminar, July 2009
- "What Law Clerks Tell the Judge and Why," Federal Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Program, April 2009
- Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star each year from 2012 to 2020
- Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Leadership Award
- Frederick K. Cox International Law Center, Service Award
- Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Team (third Best Oralist and best Team Brief, 2007 North Central U.S. Regional Competition; third Place Team Brief in Hardy C. Dillard Competition)
- Defense Research Institute, Class Action Seminar Steering Committee, member (2013-2017)
- Federal Bar Association, member of 2016 FBA National Convention Steering Committee
- John M. Manos Inn of Court, barrister
- Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District, life member
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, member
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio
- St. Ignatius High School Alumni Executive Council; Former Chair of Young Alumni Engagement Committee
- Cleveland Bridge Builders, Class of 2018
- Thompson Hine representative for Case Western University School of Law Firm Giving Challenge