TIMOTHY J. CONNAUGHTON is a Shareholder at Vandeveer Garzia who practices in the areas of first and third party automobile negligence, premises liability, civil rights, employment law, contract disputes, insurance coverage, and general civil litigation. He has experience representing insurance companies, construction companies, municipal corporations, rental car agencies and various other corporate and individual clients. He has successfully presented oral argument in the Michigan Court of Appeals on multiple occasions and has extensive and successful trial experience.
University of Michigan, B.A. 1996
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, J.D. 1999
State Bar of Michigan 1999
United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan 1999
United States District Court, Western District of Michigan 2006
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit 2007
State Bar of Michigan, Negligence Section
Oakland County Bar Association
Michigan Super Lawyers, “Rising Star,” Civil Litigation Defense, from 2008 to the present
Summary Disposition for Tim Connaughton and Matt Chapin
Morton v Theta Chis Fraternity
Tim Connaughton and Matt Chapin successfully defended a wrongful death case by obtaining a summary disposition from Judge Daniel J. Kelley in St. Clair County Circuit Court. We represented the President of the Zeta Tau Chapter of Theta Chi at the University of Michigan-Flint. The case arose out of a social outing at the Port Huron Float Down, in which some members and non-members of the fraternity attended. An attendee within the group, who was a minor, became intoxicated and unfortunately drowned. The Estate brought suit against our client, the national and local chapter of the fraternity, and another individual member. Plaintiff was seeking $7,000,000 in damages. Plaintiff alleged that as the President of Zeta Tau our client owed a duty of care to the decedent to not allow the furnishing of alcohol to a minor and had an obligation to uphold the fraternity’s policies and procedures regarding the furnishing of alcohol to minors.
Through discovery and extensive research we were able to establish that our client did not owe a duty of care because the Port Huron Float Down was not a sanctioned fraternity event, there was no evidence our client furnished alcohol to the decedent and there was no evidence that he allowed the furnishing of alcohol to the decedent. Furthermore, we were able to establish that our client had no involvement in the planning of the event. The judge agreed that our client did not owe a duty of care to the decedent and granted our Motion for Summary Disposition.
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