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.
In addition to handling a full trial docket, Tim currently serves as the firm’s Treasurer.
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
Motion for Summary Disposition Granted
Faller v. Yamato Corporation and Kroger Co. of Michigan
Tim Connaughton and Armin Halilovic successfully defended a claim by plaintiff, Michelle Faller, filed in the Macomb County Circuit Court before Judge Jennifer Faunce. The case arose out of an incident that occurred on March 12, 2017 at a Kroger grocery store located in Roseville, Michigan. As the plaintiff pushed her grocery cart through the produce aisle of the store, her right hand came into contact with the base of a produce scale. Plaintiff alleged that she cut her right hand on the base of the scale. Plaintiff asserted a premises liability claim against Kroger and a product liability claim against our client, the manufacturer of the scale, Yamato Corporation. In our Motion for Summary Disposition, we argued that plaintiff’s claims against Yamato Corporation should be dismissed because (1) the scale was not negligently designed; (2) the scale was not unreasonably dangerous and therefore Yamato Corporation did not have a duty to warn; (3) the scale was open and obvious and therefore Yamato Corporation did not have a duty to warn; and (4) Yamato Corporation did not breach any implied or express warranties. On July 8, 2019, Judge Faunce granted our motion on the open and obvious issue and dismissed the case without deciding any of the other issues.
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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