Matt O’Connell has over 30 years of experience representing the interests of manufacturers in products liability cases involving a wide variety of products, materials and systems. As the Chair of Sutter O’Connell’s Environmental and Toxic Torts practice group, O’Connell has tried or handled cases involving asbestos, silica, benzene, lead, vinyl chloride, wood products and welding rods.

A veteran of over 35 trials, O’Connell’s clients have included the manufacturers of automobiles, railroad cars, recreational boats, industrial boilers, fluid sealing products, plastic food wrap, machine tools, as well as one of the nation’s largest processor of scrap metals. His diverse non-products practice includes cases of employment discrimination, insurance coverage, legal professional liability, transportation and consumer sales practices. Currently, Matt is defending a nationally known fashion products manufacturer in class action litigation. Fluent in Spanish, Matt has defended a major Latin American insurer in numerous insurance coverage cases.

Admissions

  • Ohio
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
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  • United States District Courts
  • Northern District of Ohio
  • Southern District of Ohio
  • Eastern District of Ohio
  • Western District of Ohio
  • Eastern District of Kentucky
  • Middle District of Tennessee
  • Western District of Tennessee
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  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Education

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., 1979
  • Case Western Reserve University, J.D., 1983

Involvement

  • Mentor, Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program
  • Fellow, Cleveland Bar Foundation

Representative Matters

  • Successful defense railroad tank car manufacturer in closed head injury case resulting in directed verdict in longest civil trial in Hamilton County, Ohio.
  • Obtained affirmance of summary judgment in favor of fluid sealing materials product manufacturer in maritime asbestos case, established law of “substantial factor” in toxic exposure cases. 434 F.3d 488 (6th Cir., 2005)
  • Represented trademark holder in enforcement lawsuit resulting in jury awarding trademark holder damages in excess of $5 million. Established law in the Sixth Circuit finding contributory liability under the Lanham Act for trademark infringement. 717 F.3d 498 (6th Cir., 2013)

Publications

  • Editor, Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys Quarterly Review. Fall 2010.

Community

  • O’Connell grew up in Mexico City and has seven children. When O’Connell is not at the office, you can find him playing golf or watching an Indians game.

Associations

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio Association of Defense Counsel
  • American Bar Association
  • Irish-American Bar Association of Cleveland
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Defense Research Institute
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Federal Bar Association
  • John M. Manos American Inn of Court
  • Litigation Counsel of America

Awards & Recognition

  • Super Lawyers, 2008-2015
  • Rated AV/Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell