Sean Gallagher is an accomplished trial lawyer with experience across a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters. Most of Sean's representations have been for major U.S. and international companies in cases involving intellectual property (including patent infringement and Lanham Act claims), trade secret misappropriation, product liability, accountant liability, toxic tort, and breach of contract. Notably, Sean served as lead trial counsel for Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit claiming that pelvic mesh medical devices made by a J&J subsidiary caused personal injuries. The three-week jury-trial came to a complete defense verdict in the Philadelphia court of common pleas. Sean achieved a notable victory in an environmental tort case alleging more than $1 billion in alleged personal injury and property damage arising from a claim of a “cancer cluster” near the facility of Pratt & Whitney, an aerospace manufacturer facing the lawsuit. The case went on to summary judgment for the personal injury cases. Sean has also worked on a variety of other matters ranging from Gore v. Bush, where Sean was part of the Bartlit Beck team that represented President Bush at the trial court level in Newsome v. McCabe, where Sean helped obtain compensation for a man wrongfully convicted of murder.
Sean is a nationally recognized attorney. He is Chambers ranked and listed as a "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation. Chambers and Partners noted his "expertise handling large class actions, including those with product liability and breach of fiduciary aspects" and quoted sources calling him an "effective courtroom advocate and strategist" and describing his lawyering as "measured, focused and persuasive." Sean has won numerous awards, including Notable Litigator & Trial Attorney by Crain's Chicago Business 2023, a Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America 2022, as well as being recognized by Reuters as a “Stand-out lawyer.”
Sean joined the firm in 1996 directly from a clerkship for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the Supreme Court of the United States, before which he served as law clerk to Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Sean graduated from the University of Michigan Law School magna cum laude and received his BA from the University of Michigan with Highest Distinction.
Hamilton Sundstrand Camdenton Litigation (Camden County, Missouri)
Lead Trial Counsel for Sundstrand in environmental tort cases claiming that alleged environmental contamination in and around Sundstrand’s Camdenton, Missouri facility caused plaintiffs’ personal injuries. Nearly 30 cases are currently pending.
Gray et al. v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
Lead Trial Counsel for Sundstrand in environmental tort case related to contamination of drinking water in community where Sundstrand’s former manufacturing facility was located. Won a complete defense verdict for Sundstrand on plaintiffs’ claims for negligence and punitive damages following a 3-week jury trial.
Fitzgerald v. Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
Lead Trial Counsel for Sundstrand in environmental tort case related to chemical contamination in community where Sundstrand’s former manufacturing facility was located. Case pending.
Pratt & Whitney Acreage Litigation (S.D. Fla.)
Lead trial counsel for Pratt & Whitney in environmental tort cases involving more than $1 billion in alleged property damage and personal injury claims arising out of the declaration of a "cancer cluster" in a neighborhood near Pratt & Whitney's West Palm Beach facility.
Adinolfe et al v. Pratt & Whitney
Defeated class certification (and excluded plaintiffs' main expert) after a five-day evidentiary hearing.
Cotromano et al v. Pratt & Whitney
Obtained a defense verdict after a three-week trial on plaintiffs’ property diminution claims.
Santiago v. Pratt & Whitney
Won summary judgment on personal injury claims. Affirmed on appeal to the Eleventh Circuit.
Pinares v. Pratt & Whitney
Won summary judgment for personal injury cases.
Allianz Structured Alpha Funds Litigation (S.D.N.Y. 2020-22)
Lead counsel for several major institutional investors who collectively lost billions of dollars when the Structured Alpha hedge funds managed by Allianz Global Investors U.S. collapsed in March 2020. Bartlit Beck also served as co-liaison counsel for a group of twenty plaintiffs for purposes of coordinating discovery with Allianz. The cases filed by our clients were settled on confidential terms. See Reuters article here.
Nigel John Eccles et al. v. Shamrock Capital Advisors, LLC, et al. (State Court, New York)
Trial counsel for FanDuel founders and more than 120 former employees and angel investors in lawsuit against late-stage private equity investors and six of the seven former members of the board of directors of FanDuel. The suit alleges that the private equity investors and former board members wiped out the founders', former employees', and angel investors' interests in the company by breaching their fiduciary duties and unjustly enriching themselves in the wake of a 2018 merger between FanDuel and European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair. Read the Complaint here. Coverage in the Wall Street Journal here and Reuters here.
Trinity ET Plus Litigation (Texas, Missouri, various other states)
Lead trial counsel for defendants, Trinity Industries and Trinity Highway Products, in various cases alleging personal injuries from Trinity's ET Plus guardrail end terminal system. The cases have included products liability cases pending in multiple state and federal jurisdictions, class actions, and state qui tam actions.
Pelvic Mesh Product Liability Litigation
Trial counsel for Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson in defense of lawsuits alleging personal injuries caused by pelvic mesh medical devices. Designated trial counsel in a number of matters set for trial, both in state court and in federal cases remanded by the MDL court for trials around the country. In this capacity, served as lead trial counsel and secured a complete defense verdict after a three-week jury trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Click here and here to learn more about the case.
Confidential Arbitration (Chicago, New York)
Acted as lead trial counsel for an accounting firm. Obtained a complete defense verdict following a two-week arbitration.
Las Vegas Hepatitis C Litigation (District Court, Clark County Nevada, 2013-2014)
Lead counsel and trial counsel for defendants. Provided overall strategic direction and coordinated trial teams in litigation encompassing over forty individual cases, pending before approximately twenty different judges in state court in Las Vegas. Plaintiffs were individuals who claimed to have contracted Hepatitis C during endoscopy procedures performed at clinics that were on defendants' networks of approved healthcare providers. Defendants were health plans and other entities affiliated with UnitedHealthcare.
Martin v. Pacificare of Nevada
Trial counsel for PacifiCare of Nevada on claims for negligence and punitive damages. Tried case to a jury verdict. The jury found compensatory damages substantially below the amount awarded in previous trials arising out of the same events, and denied plaintiffs' claim for punitive damages.
Lynam v. Health Plan of Nevada
Lead trial counsel for Health Plan of Nevada on claims of negligence and punitive damages. Case settled shortly before trial.
Paul v. Health Plan of Nevada
Trial counsel for Health Plan of Nevada on claims for negligence and punitive damages. Case settled during trial.
Confidential AAA Arbitration (Dallas, Tex. 2011-2012; New York, N.Y. 2012-2013)
Trial counsel for "Big Four" accounting firm in AAA arbitrations against principals of multibillion-dollar investment firm and former executives of Fortune 100 company. Plaintiffs alleged our client's tax shelter advice led to hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Cases resolved on confidential terms.
In re Teflon® Product Liability Litigation
Counsel for DuPont in more than twenty alleged intrastate class actions brought on behalf of consumers who purchased Teflon®-coated cookware. The cases were consolidated for pretrial proceedings pursuant to an order of the panel on multidistrict litigation. The cases were dismissed after the district court denied class certification.
Gore v. Bush, et al.
Represented President George W. Bush in election contest filed by former Vice President Al Gore in Leon County, Florida, contesting the results of the 2000 Presidential election in Florida. Trial judge held that no recount should take place. Florida Supreme Court reversed and ordered recount. The United States Supreme Court stayed the recount, ruling that it was unconstitutional. Members of the Bush and Gore legal teams were named "Lawyers of the Year" by The National Law Journal.
Schindler Elevator v. Otis Elevator
Lead trial counsel for Otis in patent infringement lawsuit concerning elevator controls. Adverse result in jury trial, reversed on appeal. Judgment in favor of client.
Federal Signal Hearing Loss Litigation
Trial counsel for Federal Signal Corporation in product liability cases brought by firefighters and emergency response personnel in multiple jurisdictions alleging hearing loss due to exposure to sound from Federal Signal sirens.
Friel v. Federal Signal
Trial counsel representing Federal Signal at trial of product liability claims made by firefighters who allege that they have noise-induced hearing loss from exposure to sirens. Obtained jury verdict in favor of Federal Signal.
Rago v. Federal Signal
Co-lead trial counsel representing Federal Signal at trial of product liability claims made by firefighters who allege that they have noise-induced hearing loss from exposure to sirens. Jury verdict for plaintiffs.
Perrine v. DuPont
Represented DuPont in seven-week state court jury trial of toxic tort claims brought by class of West Virginia residents. Class claims related to alleged smelter emissions over a century-long period. Jury verdict for plaintiffs; settled before retrial after appeal.
Cases Tried or Otherwise Taken to Judgment
CytoLogix v. Ventana Medical Systems
Defended Ventana Medical Systems at trial against claims of patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation relating to technology for automating "slide staining" procedures used in pathology laboratories for the diagnosis of disease.
Lectrolarm v. Sensormatic, et al.
Lead counsel for Sensormatic in patent infringement case involving patents in the design of electronic video surveillance equipment. Secured summary judgment of invalidity that was affirmed on appeal.
Newsome v. McCabe
Trial counsel in this civil rights case for James Newsome. Mr. Newsome claimed that two Chicago police detectives framed him for murder, forcing him to spend fifteen years in state prison for a crime that he did not commit. Obtained a jury verdict of $15 million for Newsome.
Perry v. Bodman
Lead trial counsel serving pro bono for individual plaintiff in age and gender discrimination jury trial against the Department of Energy. Defense verdict.
Avery Dennison v. FLEXcon Company
Defended FLEXcon, a leading manufacturer of converted plastic roll and sheet products, against claims of patent infringement brought by Avery Dennison relating to methods of making multilayer plastic film facestocks for pressure sensitive applications. Won summary judgment of non-infringement, which was affirmed on appeal.
Other Representative Cases
RealNetworks, Inc. v. Microsoft
Represented RealNetworks in an antitrust suit against Microsoft that resulted in RealNetwork's obtaining a $761 million settlement after two years of litigation. Relevant experience included presenting RealNetworks' claims to representatives of the Fair Trade Commission of South Korea.
Represented AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in mass tort litigation regarding Seroquel® (atypical antipsychotic). Prepared several cases for trial that were dismissed on the eve of trial after rulings excluding expert testimony.
Adelphia Communications Corp. v. Deloitte & Touche LLP v. John Rigas, et al.
Represented Deloitte & Touche LLP as trial counsel in multibillion-dollar accounting malpractice case brought by Adelphia, with third-party claims against the Rigas family. Case resolved on confidential terms.
Edge Capture v. Citadel
Counsel for Citadel defending against claims for patent infringement on patent related to automated trading technologies. Case settled.
CardioNet v. LifeWatch
Counsel for LifeWatch defending against claims for misappropriation of trade secrets. Case settled.
U.S. Pipeline v. Horizon Gas Pipeline Co.
Lead counsel for Horizon in action for breach of contract relating to cost overruns in U.S. Pipeline's construction of a gas pipeline for Horizon in Illinois. Case settled.
Kimberly-Clark v. Paragon Trade Brands, Tyco Healthcare Retail Group et al.
Lead counsel for Tyco in an arbitration with Kimberly-Clark over Paragon's license to Kimberly Clark's "Enloe" patents relating to the design of diapers. Case settled.
Field Hybrids v. Toyota
Represented Field Hybrids in patent infringement suit brought against Toyota relating to the design of the hybrid electric drive train in the Toyota Prius. Case settled.
Ventana Medical Systems v. Abbott Laboratories
Represented Ventana in its dispute with Abbott Laboratories over Abbott's infringement of Ventana patents relating to BCR-ABL and dual and tri-color probe technology. Case settled.
A&E Products Group LP v. Spotless Enterprises Inc.
Represented A&E Products in patent infringement action relating to the design of garment hangers. Case settled.
A&E Products Group LP v. Mainetti
Represented A&E Products in patent infringement action relating to the design of garment hangers. Case settled.
Florists' Transworld Delivery, Inc. v. American Floral Services & Teleflora
Represented FTD in arbitration of contract dispute with American Floral Services and Teleflora over failure to pay minimum order fees under their agreements for access to FTD's Mercury Network.
Commonwealth Edison v. Midwest Generation
Represented Midwest Generation in disputes with Commonwealth Edison and its parent company Exelon over outages at power generation facilities and other matters.
FTD.com v. IBM Network Services
Represented FTD.com in contract dispute with IBM Network Services over design of website.
Bayer Corp. v. Schein Pharmaceutical, et al.
Represented Bayer in its suit for patent infringement to enjoin generic drug manufacturers from obtaining FDA approval to market and sell a generic version of Bayer's antibiotic Cipro®.
Real3D, Inc. (Intel) v. ATI Technologies, Inc.
Represented ATI Technologies, Inc., a leading maker of graphics accelerator chips and products for personal computers, in dispute with Real3D over patents on algorithms for computer image generation.
Real3D, Inc. (Intel) v. 3Dfx Interactive, Inc.
Represented 3Dfx Interactive, a leading maker of graphics accelerator boards for personal computers, in dispute with Real3D over patents on algorithms for computer image generation.
Barr Laboratories v. DuPont Pharmaceuticals
Defended DuPont in an antitrust case brought by generic drug manufacturer in New York Federal Court for alleged monopolization of the market for blood thinning medicine.
Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Defended Silicon Graphics, a leading producer of computer graphics equipment, against claims of patent infringement relating to various methods for computer generation of video images in three dimensional space.
Fred Meyer Inc. v. Hurley State Bank
Defended Sears Payment Systems in breach of contract litigation concerning proprietary credit card processing.
Wolens v. American Airlines
Represented objector in contested hearing on class action settlement involving changes to American Airlines' Aadvantage program.
E-Victor v. Bio Technologies for Horticulture, Inc.
Represented Bio Technologies for Horticulture, Inc. in an international arbitration involving an alleged breach of a development and distribution agreement. Case settled during mediation.
Hoover Co. v. BISSELL, Inc.
Represented BISSELL in patent infringement and trade dress matter involving Hoover patents on upright deep cleaning extractors, commonly referred to as steam cleaners. BISSELL brought an antitrust counterclaim. Hoover settled during trial after BISSELL rested its case.
Bankers Trust v. FTD, Inc.
Represented FTD in breach of fiduciary duty case filed by FTD against Bankers Trust arising out of acquisition financing provided by Bankers Trust.
Professional Activities and Community Service
Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law: Taught "High-Tech Trial Techniques" class on the use of technology in the practice of law at trial and in preparation for trial
Elected Fellow of the American Bar Association
- Bartlit Beck's General Commercial Litigation Practice Listed as Band 1 by Chambers for 15 Consecutive Years06.02.2022
- Bartlit Beck Files a Lawsuit Against KKR, Shamrock Capital, and Former Members of FanDuel Board of Directors02.25.2020
- Bartlit Beck team, led by Sean Gallagher, helps Pratt & Whitney defeat class certification in an environmental lawsuit brought by Florida property owners05.04.2018
Education & Honors
University of Michigan Law School, 1994, J.D., magna cum laude
Articles Editor, Michigan Law Review
University of Michigan, 1990, B.A., with Highest Distinction
- Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor, Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court, 1995-1996
- Honorable Alex Kozinski, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1994-1995
Awards & Recognition
Ranked by Chambers USA as one of the leading litigators in Illinois.
Recognized as a "National Litigation Star" (Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Firms & Attorneys)
Named to the "BTI Client Service All-Stars 2020,” a selective guide to “attorneys delivering the absolute best client service.”
Recognized by Thomson Reuters as a "Stand-out Lawyer"
Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America 2022
Recognized as a Notable Litigator & Trial Attorney by Crain's Chicago Business 2023