Hill, Betts & Nash LLP
Mr. O'Neill has conducted over 100 jury trials. He is one of New York's top marine lawyers. Certified in mediation, he has also been an advocate at numerous mediations. Among his clients have been associations, municipalities, marine operators and their insurers. He has defended his clients against claims involving injury, death, as well as class actions for disease outbreak, product liability, fraud and wage disputes.
A number of Mr. O'Neill's trials have been high profile. As trial counsel for the County of Suffolk which sued an electric utility for rate fraud, his efforts resulted in a jury award that was the highest state wide for that year and the post-verdict settlement was valued at $400 million. He has defended cruise lines faced with passenger class actions. In one such case, a class whose vessel met with a hurricane demanded $70 million. The jury found for the cruise line. In another, a class sought damages from an outbreak of legionnaires disease aboard a cruise ship. The cruise line shifted 90% of the liability to the manufacturer of a spa filter in which the disease originated. IN a subsequent action by the cruise line against the filter manufacturer for loss of reputation, a federal jury awarded $193 million. Again, the highest award in the State of New York for that year. The award, deemed excessive was set aside and ultimately settled under a confidentiality agreement.