PETER R. O’TOOLE is a Partner at Vandeveer Garzia. He focuses his practice on defense litigation in personal injury, catastrophic first-party automobile claims, third-party automobile negligence, premises liability and general negligence matters. Peter defends various national clients and several major insurance carriers throughout the State of Michigan. In 2010, Peter earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. While attending law school he participated in the school’s Mediation Clinic becoming a certified civil mediator, a pupil in the American Inns of Court, an active member of the Student Bar Association Board of Governors, and the recipient of several Book Awards for academic distinction.
Grand Valley State University, B. S., Political Science, 2006
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, J.D. 2010
State Bar of Michigan 2010
State Bar of Michigan
Oakland County Bar Association
Incorporated Society of Irish American Lawyers
Costa v Auto-Owners Trial
ADAM GORDON, PETER O’TOOLE and ASHLEY SLAGHT obtained a no-cause jury verdict in a Macomb County Circuit Court matter wherein Plaintiff brought suit for recovery of Uninsured as well as Underinsured Motorist Benefits. The trial lasted approximately three weeks. Counsel for Defendant presented proofs in support of their argument that Plaintiff was precluded from recovering UM/UIM benefits on the basis that Plaintiff had committed fraud. Following the no-cause jury verdict, Defendant sought to recover costs and attorneys fee. The parties thereafter reached a resolution wherein Plaintiff agreed to pay Defendant $107,717.73.
Summary Disposition obtained for client in premises liability action
Gray v GCA Services Group, Inc.
Tina Battle, Adam Gordon, and Peter O’Toole obtained summary disposition, with prejudice, on behalf of their client in a premises liability action in which the minor Plaintiff, through minor Plaintiff’s counsel and mother, allegedly sustained serious and permanent injuries due to an allegedly dangerous condition of a doorway at the elementary school he attended. The firm’s client provided custodial services at the elementary school. The Motion for Summary Disposition argued that GCA Services Group did not owe the Plaintiff a duty without regard to the obligations in the contract sufficient to sustain Plaintiff’s negligence claim against GCA. Further, the motion argued that GCA exercised due care in its undertakings and did not breach any common law duties to Plaintiff.
Tina Battle prepared the motion and briefs; Peter O’Toole argued the motion before the Honorable Susan Hubbard in the Wayne County Circuit Court; and Adam Gordon provided strategy, advice, and guidance. Judge Hubbard agreed that Plaintiff failed to sufficiently support his claim and granted summary disposition in favor of GCA Services Group. In his Case Evaluation Summary, Plaintiff claimed damages in excess of $10,000,000.
Genesee County Trial Victory
Carol Masse, Personal Representative of the Estate of Deborah Klapp v Patsy Lou Chevrolet, Inc.
Lead trial attorney Adam Gordon along with Peter O’Toole and Ashley Slaght prevailed in a case by obtaining a no cause of action from a Genesee County jury after a lengthy trial. The matter arose out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on December 21, 2011, in which Mark Alan Bono, while operating a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, owned by Defendant Patsy Lou Chevrolet, Inc., struck a motor vehicle that was parked in the roadway and recently operated by Deborah Klapp. Unfortunately, as a result of this collision, Deborah Klapp passed away. Plaintiff Carol Masse, as personal representative, sought damages as to Defendant Patsy Lou Chevrolet, Inc., pursuant to the Michigan Civil Liability Act (MCL 257.401) as the owner of the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu.
The case had numerous legal issues, factual issues and disputes relating to all aspects of the claim. The trial began on September 5, 2018, with the Estate requesting $15 million in damages. In closing argument, it was successfully argued that Mark Alan Bono, and by extension Defendant Patsy Lou Chevrolet, Inc., was not negligent on the date of loss. This result was achieved despite the fact that Mark Alan Bono was dismissed from the case after entering into a negotiated resolution with the decedent’s Estate prior to trial.
Trial victory for Vandeveer Garzia attorneys
Deloney v Rishmawi
Peter O’Toole and Samantha Boyd obtained a no cause of action in a jury trial seeking automobile negligence damages. The trial was conducted at the Genesee County Circuit Court before Judge David J. Newblatt. This case arose out of a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident that occurred on January 5, 2016, in Flint, Michigan. As a result of being struck by Defendant’s vehicle Plaintiff alleged to have sustained several injuries that were present since day of the accident. Plaintiff alleged that he sustained a permanent disfigurement to his lip and face due to cuts that resulted from being thrown to the ground. Additionally, Plaintiff claimed to have sustained in a closed head injury that resulted in memory loss and headaches in addition to injuries to his shoulder, knee, and lower back. During the course of the trial we were able to demonstrate that Plaintiff’s medical treatment and testimony from his own physicians failed to show that Plaintiff complained of the numerous injuries. During the cross-examination of the Plaintiff we were able to obtain testimony that showed Plaintiff had continued living his life as he was prior to the accident. A thorough examination of Plaintiff’s ability to continue in school and obtain several occupations following the accident demonstrated that Plaintiff was not entitled to damages. The trial lasted for three days and on May 23, 2018, the jury returned a verdict of no cause of action after a very short deliberation finding that Plaintiff did not sustain a serious impairment of an important body function or have a serious permanent disfigurement.
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Troy, MI 48098