Gary D. McConnell
Gary McConnell focuses his practice in matters involving product liability, commercial litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. He previously served as the vice president and associate general counsel of Bayer Corporation, where he played a major role in the development of defense and end game strategy of mass tort and other litigation against the company. In that role, he had significant responsibility for the defense and resolution of mass torts involving factor concentrate blood products, cough/cold products containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA), a statin cholesterol-lowering product, medicine used to manage blood loss during open heart surgery, a gadolinium based contrast agent, genetically modified rice, oral contraceptive products, and premises-based asbestos exposure.
Prior to his service at Bayer, Gary was in private practice for 16 years in St. Louis, Missouri, where he focused his practice in civil litigation. He handled product liability cases involving pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automobiles, heavy equipment, all-terrain vehicles, agricultural machinery, and consumer products. His practice also involved medical and hospital malpractice defense, personal injury defense, commercial litigation. He also has significant experience with admiralty cases involving vessel collisions, loss or damage to cargo, personal injury claims under the Jones Act, and a variety other maritime matters.
In addition to his litigation practice, Gary offers alternative dispute resolution services informed by decades of successful mediations in complex group and mass tort cases. Throughout his 35-year legal career, he has mediated hundreds of cases involving personal injury, product liability, and commercial matters and played a major role in the resolution of high-profile cases. Gary has mediation and resolution experience in mass torts, class actions, and individual cases grouped together for settlement. Supplementing his decades of hands-on mediation experience, he has completed an intensive mediator training program through the American Arbitration Association.
Prior to embarking on his legal career, Gary was a law enforcement officer in Missouri for more than six years. He served as a detective and was involved in several high profile cases, including two that resulted in the successful prosecution of corrupt public officials.
- Direct responsibility for the development and implementation of defense and settlement program for mass tort and product liability litigation involving a large number of lawsuits, government investigations, and insurance issues.
- Defense and resolution of mass torts involving factor concentrate blood products, cough/cold products containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA), a statin cholesterol-lowering product, medicine used to manage blood loss during open heart surgery, a gadolinium based contrast agent, genetically modified rice, oral contraceptive products, and premises-based asbestos exposure.
- Handled numerous marine cases involving vessel collisions, loss or damage to cargo, personal injury claims under the Jones Act and claims for maintenance and cure, ship mortgage foreclosures, maritime liens, marine insurance coverage claims, negligence, and commercial marine matters.
- Responsible for the trial of cases involving pharmaceutical products, automobile product liability, medical malpractice, false arrest, slip and fall, maritime collisions, maritime personal injury, insurance coverage, all-terrain vehicle product liability, and motor vehicle accidents.
- Mediation of consumer class action involving aspirin combination products.
- Mediation/settlement negotiations of the lost profit claims of thousands of rice growers ($750 million settlement), rice mills (claims exceeding $200 million), importers and exporters of rice, rice dryers, and rice brokers in the genetically modified rice mass tort litigation as well as individual cases.
- Participated in both settlement discussions and mediation of multiple groups of plaintiffs claiming personal injury from a cholesterol-lowering medication.
- Mediation and settlement negotiations regarding the claims for personal injury of plaintiffs in the YAZ/Yasmin mass tort litigation, including subgroups claiming venous thromboembolism (VTE) injury, gallbladder injury, and arterial thromboembolism (ATE) injuries.
- Mediation of a group of more than 120 plaintiffs who had contracted HIV/AIDS from blood products. All but three of these cases settled at or shortly following the mediation.
- Serve as mediator in pharmaceutical product liability cases.
- American Bar Association
- Illinois Bar Association
- Missouri Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- American Heart Association:
- Health Priorities Committee, Chair
- Allegheny Division, Former Member of the Board
- Audit Committee, Former Member
- Great Rivers Affiliate, Former Member and Chair of the Board
- Pennsylvania Affiliate, Former Member
Awards and Recognition:
- Attained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell
- Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Legal’s Product Liability Defense 2015
News and Insights
- “Nuts and Bolts of Recalls: A Step-by-Step Guide to Recalling a Product,” panelist, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and BioTech Litigation Regional Seminar, sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, October 2015.
- “Issues and Considerations in Alternative Dispute Resolution,” panelist, Eckert Seamans Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2015.
- “Resolution 2.0,” co-presenter, Annual Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel, July 2015.
- “Current and Emerging Trends in Ethical Resolution of Mass Tort Litigation,” panelist, National Complex Litigation Conference: A Symposium on Current & Emerging Issues, June 2014.
In his free time Gary enjoys riding his motorcycle, fly fishing for trout, and following sports.