Mr. McGrath represents major manufacturers, distributors, and service provider businesses in product liability, toxic tort, environmental, medical device, construction and commercial matters. He regularly defends clients in consolidated, mass tort and multi-district litigation in a variety of jurisdictions as well as in national and regional forums.
With more than 30 years of trial and litigation experience, Mr. McGrath has represented clients in a broad variety of product liability cases including matters where chemicals, coatings, appliances, foods, beverages, outdoor power equipment, glass, lawn and garden equipment, medical devices and equipment, and fluid control equipment were at issue in the federal and state courts of 13 states.
Mr. McGrath is the Leader of Hinshaw's Product Liability Practice Group and a member of the firm's Executive Committee. He was, when a non-equity partner, selected by his peers at the firm to be its first elected representative serving on the firm's Executive Committee. Mr. McGrath is also immediate past chairperson of DRI's Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee. Mr. McGrath presently serves as Chairperson of the DRI Jury Trial Preservation Task Force and as a member of DRI's Issues & Advocacy and Engagement Committees.
- Defense Research Institute (DRI)
- DRI Jury Trial Preservation Task Force, Chair (2015 – 2017)
- DRI Select Nominating Committee (2015)
- DRI Committee on Engagement (2014 – 2017)
- DRI Issues & Advocacy Committee (2014 – 2017)
- DRI Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee, Chair (2012 – 2014)
- Steering Committee (2014 – 2017)
- DRI Climate Change Litigation Task Force
- Chair (2010 – 2011)
- Vice Chair (2008 – 2009)
- DRI Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee, Substantive Law Group Leader, Climate Change Litigation (2008 – 2012)
- DRI Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Seminar Committee, Program Chair (2005 – 2007)
- DRI Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee Substantive Law Group, Leader, Chemical and Solvent Exposure
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Member
Membership Development & Retention Committee, Vice Chair (2017)
- Visibility Project Committee (2017)
- Local Meetings Project Committee, Chair (2017)
- Admissions Committee (2014 – 2017)
- Officers and Directors Nominating Committee (2014)
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Civil Practice and Procedure Section
- Civil and Tort Law Section
- Product Liability Section
- Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
- Illinois Society of Trial Lawyers, Member (1997 – 2017)
Honors & Awards
- Selected by his peers for inclusion in "The Best Lawyers in America®" since 2017 for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants
- Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 - 2017)
- Recognized by his peers as a "Leading Lawyer" in the categories of Class Actions/Mass Tort Defense Law, Toxic Torts Defense Law and Personal Injury Defense Law: Products Liability
- AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
Mr. McGrath's extensive client base includes long-time representation of several Fortune 500 companies and other manufacturers, distributors, service firms and insurers. Wide-ranging trial and litigation experience includes over 20 civil jury trials taken to verdict in various state and federal courts and leadership roles as national, regional, and coordinating counsel for clients in various products liability and toxic tort matters.
Experience with these clients is illustrated as follows:
- Medical Device Litigation: Mr. McGrath is presently defending a manufacturer of medical equipment in several consolidated cases pending in Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court brought on behalf of individuals or estates alleging CRE infections developed in patients as a consequence of endoscopic surgical procedures performed with duodenoscopes at a large Chicago Hospital. Plaintiffs contend the client's product did not properly clean and disinfect the surgical instruments to permit reuse. Mr. McGrath also successfully defended a Swiss medical device manufacturer in federal court sued for deceptive business practices, breach of contract, and breach of warranty by a physicians group relating to a specialized piece of medical equipment by contesting jurisdiction. Another client and manufacturer of medical instruments was awarded summary judgment in a case where an endoscopic instrument failed by establishing the hospital's misapplication and misuse of the instrument and negligence of the attending physician in its deployment.
- Product Liability and Commercial Disputes: Mr. McGrath represents numerous manufacturers, distributors, and service firms in product liability and commercial matters. He counsels clients in the full spectrum of legal issues arising from product manufacturing and distribution, including development of product literature and labeling content, management of product recalls, drafting of sales and distribution agreements and related contract documents, and litigation and trial of product liability suits.
- Mr. McGrath serves as product liability counsel for manufacturers of food equipment, food and beverage flavorings, household appliances, heating/air-conditioning/ventilation equipment, aerospace products, glass, paints and coatings, chemicals, petroleum products, pumps, valves, electric motors, outdoor power equipment, lawn and garden equipment, medical devices and equipment, and fall protection equipment. He has successfully negotiated the settlement of numerous cases in addition to trying a variety of complex cases. Mr. McGrath deals with commercial disputes as well as property damage and personal injury matters.
- Served as national coordinating and trial counsel for a leading food and beverage flavor distributor in product liability matters litigated in state and federal courts in eleven states for eight years. Defended our client, often a target defendant, in approximately 60 cases in a very challenging legal landscape where the products at issue were under close scrutiny by regulatory authorities, government agencies, and research scientists in the academic community. Mr. McGrath was the leader of a team of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP attorneys, paralegals, and staff; ably complemented and supported by superb local counsel; with responsibility for management of this litigation in its entirety from the commencement of suit through trial and appeal. We prepared all pleadings and discovery responses; managed document and electronically stored information production; deposed opposing experts; selected, prepared and presented defense experts; conducted all party and witness depositions; prepared and presented all dispositive and other motions for trial and appeal; and tried matters to verdict.
- An aluminum roll-on-bottle closure manufacturer brought an action against a polyvinyl chloride plastic supplier seeking damages allegedly arising by reason of contamination of the plastic with petroleum distillate byproducts contaminating tens of thousands of cases of bottled beer. The Federal district court granted a motion for partial summary judgment holding a cause of action for upstream implied indemnity premised on strict liability in tort did not survive enactment of the Illinois Contribution Act. This decision continues to be cited by Illinois practitioners dealing with indemnity issues. The case was successfully defended on the merits by establishing through scientific testing that the client did not utilize the particular petroleum distillate discovered to have contaminated the beer and that same was present in a coating applied to the aluminum in the manufacturing process by plaintiff.
- Toxic Torts and Environmental Matters: Mr. McGrath defends manufacturers, distributors and other parties in property damage and personal injury claims and suits associated with toxic torts and environmental contamination. He deals extensively with claims relating to chemical exposure, indoor air quality, mold and communicable disease claims and suits in commercial real estate, health care facilities, manufacturing plants, public buildings and school environments. He has considerable experience with ground water and soil contamination and the resulting issues of liability and remediation. He has defended clients in both actual and proposed class actions.
- Defeated claims of approximately 75 workers brought in a multiple actions in Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court seeking recovery of damages for claimed exposures to carbon disulfide and other chemicals at an Illinois manufacturing facility. The claims of each plaintiff were thoroughly discovered and depositions of the parties, witnesses, and attending physicians taken to establish the absence of a causal relationship between the alleged exposures and claimed diseases. Plaintiffs' counsel dismissed the suits with prejudice before deposing defense experts.
- Successfully defended three chemical manufacturers and one chemical distributor in consolidated cases with approximately 35 plaintiffs seeking damages for various injuries and deaths allegedly caused by exposures to ethylene oxide gas in a Chicago hospital instrument sterilization unit. The claims of each plaintiff were thoroughly discovered; depositions taken of all parties, witnesses, attending physicians, and experts; and the case prepared for trial. Summary judgment was granted in favor of our clients during pre-trial motion hearings at the outset of jury selection.
- Won summary judgment in favor of a leading chemical manufacturer in a complex wrongful death suit in federal court in Chicago, brought on behalf of the estate of a truck driver asphyxiated while attempting to remove residual glue containing trichloroethylene from a tanker truck. Plaintiff brought claims for strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and distribution of unavoidably unsafe and hazardous materials against the trucking carrier, glue manufacturer, and manufacturers of the ingredients comprising the glue. The court granted summary judgment ruling client had no duty to warn plaintiff under any pleaded theory.
- A long-time industrial chemist brought strict tort liability and negligence claims against several leading chemical manufacturers and suppliers alleging he developed cancer as a consequence of exposures in the work place to an assortment of solvents. The case was discovered and a motion for summary judgment granted by the trial court and affirmed on appeal on the grounds that plaintiff knew more than two years before suit was filed of his disease and its potential wrongful cause, even though his specific cancer was not diagnosed until the year suit was filed. The case continues to be cited by practitioners for the proposition that manufacturers may assume that warnings, if communicated, will be heeded, and thereby avoid liability.
- Successfully defeated an effort to certify a purported class of 2,500 apartment unit dwellers housed in four 30 story apartment building complex in Chicago against property owner and property manager due to a claimed pest infestation in Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court. The individual claims of the proposed class members and other plaintiffs were litigated and disposed of by motion practice before initiation of expert witness discovery.
- Commercial Litigation: Mr. McGrath has counseled and represented clients in a variety of commercial and construction claims and suits, and breach of contract and warranty claims. He has drafted and negotiated contracts, sales and supply agreements, warranties, and employment agreements.
- Successfully defended a leading food and beverage manufacturer in a suit seeking millions of dollars for alleged breach of contract to construct a bakery in Mexico litigated in federal court in Chicago. Summary judgment entered in favor of client at close of discovery.
- Successfully defended a leading adhesive manufacturer in a suit seeking millions of dollars in damages for tortious interference with contract and intentional interference with business relationship litigated in federal court in Chicago. Summary judgment was entered in favor of the client at the conclusion of discovery and shortly before trial as plaintiff failed to meet its burden of proof on all claims pleaded. The court further found that plaintiff had failed to establish damages with reasonable certainty to permit recovery.
"Emerging Issues in Third-Party Litigation Funding of Product Liability and Commercial Matters," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) Annual Meeting, Montreux, Switzerland, July 2017.
"Insights From The Bench: Key Issues For Judges and Juries," DRI Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar Panel Presentation, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2017.
- "Defending "Take-Home" Asbestos Exposure Claims," The Hartford Insurance Company Legal and Claims Department, Hartford, Connecticut, September 2016.
- "Product Liability Claims and Recalls - Managing The Media," Willis Client Educational Series Webinar, November 2014.
"Product Liability Claims and Recalls - The Basics," Willis Client Educational Series Webinar, September 2014.
- “Household Chemicals – The Next Wave,” panel moderator, ABA Litigation Section seminar “Chemical Products and Toxic Torts at a Crossroads,” Houston, Texas, September 2009.
- “Food Industry Respiratory Cases are Popping Up All Over,” Defense Research Institute seminar “Toxic Torts and Environmental Law,” Phoenix, Arizona, March 2009.
- “Diacetyl and Food Flavoring Litigation,” paper and presentation, Hartford Insurance Company Complex Claims Group, Hartford, Connecticut, January 2007.
- “State of the Art – Who Knew What and When,” paper and presentation, Mealey’s Benzene Litigation Conference, Marina del Rey, California, June 2006.
- “Guidelines for MDL Litigation,” paper and presentation, Hartford Insurance Company Complex Claims Group, Hartford, Connecticut, December 2004.
- “Construction Defect Litigation and Mold - The Contractor's Perspective,” paper and presentation, Annual Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, July 2002.
- “Defense of Indoor Air Quality and Mold Claims,” paper and presentation, Consumer Specialty Products Association, Annual Meeting, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 2001.
- “Product Liability and Intellectual Property Law in the United States of America for Electronic Videogames,” paper and presentation, Sumitomo Insurance Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1996.
- “Procedural Issues: Pleadings and Discovery in Toxic Tort Cases,” paper and presentation, Chicago Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, 1994.
- “Evaluation and Defense of Spinal Injuries,” paper and presentation, Pekin Insurance Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1994.
- “Trial of a Product Liability Suit,” paper and presentation, CNA Insurance Companies, Chicago, Illinois, 1990.
- "Judicial and Legislative Responses to the Vanishing Civil Jury Trial," DRI Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2017.
"GHS Adoption in the Face of Daubert", Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, authored by Daniel W. McGrath with James M. Hofert and Frederick J. Ufkes, May, 2014.
"Providing Superior and Timely Insight," DRI For the Defense Magazine, April, 2014.
- "Developing Knowledge to Craft Effective Strategies," DRI For the Defense Magazine, January, 2013.
- "Diacetyl and Food Flavoring Litigation," paper and presentation, Hartford Insurance Company Complex Claims Group, Hartford, Connecticut, January 2007.
- "State of the Art – Who Knew What and When," paper and presentation, Mealey's Benzene Litigation Conference, Marina del Rey, California, June 2006.
- "Guidelines for MDL Litigation," paper and presentation, Hartford Insurance Company Complex Claims Group, Hartford, Connecticut, December 2004.
- "Construction Defect Litigation and Mold - The Contractor's Perspective," paper and presentation, Annual Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, July 2002.
- "Defense of Indoor Air Quality and Mold Claims," paper and presentation, Consumer Specialty Products Association, Annual Meeting, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 2001.
- "Product Liability and Intellectual Property Law in the United States of America for Electronic Videogames," paper and presentation, Sumitomo Insurance Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1996.
- "Procedural Issues: Pleadings and Discovery in Toxic Tort Cases," paper and presentation, Chicago Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, 1994.
- "Evaluation and Defense of Spinal Injuries," paper and presentation, Pekin Insurance Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1994.
- "Trial of a Product Liability Suit," paper and presentation, CNA Insurance Companies, Chicago, Illinois, 1990.
- August 15, 2018
- August 15, 2017
- August 15, 2016
- October 6, 2015
- May 8, 2015
- April 1, 2014
- November 27, 2012
- January 1, 2012
In addition to his other law school achievements, Mr. McGrath was a member of Loyola’s National Moot Court Team, Student Bar Association leader, and recipient of Loyola's Leadership and Service Award. During his undergraduate studies, Mr. McGrath was recipient of the University's Department of English Award and a member of several academic and service honor societies and fraternities.
- Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School, Corporate Work Study Program, Member
- Georgetown University's Parents' Advisory Council, Member
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church & School, Glenview, Illinois, Men's Club Member, Director and President
- Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Endowment Fund, Member, Director
- Loyola Academy Ramble, Past Director, Co-Chair and Chairperson
- Misericordia, Volunteer
- Golf Acres Community Association, Director and President
J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1982
B.A., with high honors, Loyola University of Chicago, 1979
- Federal Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois