S. Christopher Collier
Chris Collier is a Senior Partner with Hawkins Parnell Thackston & Young LLP. Chris represents individuals as well as businesses, ranging from family-owned businesses to Fortune 250 national and multinational corporations. Chris concentrates his practice in the areas of Premises Liability, Product Liability, Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation, Transportation, and General Negligence.
Chris focuses his practice in federal and state courts in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and West Virginia but has represented clients in numerous jurisdictions throughout the United States. In addition, Chris manages and coordinates litigation in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
Chris believes in being readily available to his clients. Likewise, he understands the time demands and financial constraints faced by his clients, as he previously served in the role of Counsel-Litigation & Environmental for one of the nation’s Class I railroads.
Chris has successfully defended shopping center owners and managers and major retail, commercial, residential, food processing, and industrial companies in premises liability claims involving personal injury and wrongful death in Georgia and throughout the United States. He has also represented and advised a nationally-renowned resort in a variety of litigation ranging from slip and fall cases to injuries sustained during resort activities.
Recently, Chris obtained summary judgment in a difficult jurisdiction on behalf of an auto parts supplier. This premises liability matter involved the definition of a static condition under Georgia law. Chris also successfully defended the appeal of this matter before the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Chris also recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of a large retail shopping center. This premises liability claim focused on the issue of superior knowledge with respect to whether the condition was known prior to a patron’s slip and fall following a large snow and ice storm.
Chris has represented a number of manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in product liability actions involving a wide variety of products, including automotive parts, food services, and chemicals. He has defended against allegations of spoliation, product design defect, and failure to warn, among others. Chris recently defended and obtained several favorable resolutions for a brake remanufacturer in a number of claims involving a multi-vehicle accident due to an alleged product defect. Chris also recently favorably negotiated a dismissal of a client in a case involving contaminated food allegations.
Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation
Chris has defended toxic tort and environmental litigation claims, including a substantial number of asbestos lawsuits, throughout his legal career. He has also defended claims involving exposures to mixed chemicals, benzene, formaldehyde, methyl ethyl ketone, and mold. He has participated in all phases of the defense of these matters, from initial discovery through dispositive motions, expert discovery, settlement negotiations, and trial.
Chris serves as national counsel to a Fortune 500 commodity chemical company involved in both premises and product liability claims of alleged asbestos and chemical exposures. He also serves as national counsel for various entities that have been named as premises defendants in asbestos litigation. In these roles, Chris coordinates national defense issues. He also serves as counsel for several additional clients on a regional and state-wide basis. Chris understands the dilemmas faced by companies in toxic tort and asbestos litigation, having advised one of the nation’s Class I railroads on issues related to asbestos liability from both a legal and business standpoint.
Chris has defended and advised railroads, trucking companies, transloaders, and companies with fleets of delivery vehicles. He has represented these entities in all aspects of litigation, including claims involving personal injury and death. Most recently, Chris defended and favorably resolved the claims involving an over-the-road trucking company in a railroad grade crossing case involving a fuel tanker that was struck by a train after becoming lodged on a humped railroad crossing.
Chris has handled numerous cases and advised clients in matters involving allegations of construction defects, bridge safety, insurance issues, computer security breach protocol, and non-specific general liability claims.
- American Bar Association (1999-2016)
- Advisory Panel (2011-2013)
- Atlanta Bar Association (2001-present)
- Environmental & Toxic Tort Section - Board Member at Large (2014)
- Atlanta Council of Younger Lawyers - Board Member at Large (2008-2010)
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (2016-present)
- Secretary, Atlanta Chapter (2016-present)
- Defense Research Institute (2001-present)
- Georgia Defense Lawyers Association (2007-present)
- Lawyers Club of Atlanta (2007-present)
- Alabama State Bar
- Connecticut Bar Association
- State Bar of Georgia
- Illinois State Bar Association
- The Missouri Bar
- West Virginia State Bar
- Everybody Wins! Atlanta (weekly reading mentor to at-risk elementary school students) (2007-present)
- Peachtree Presbyterian Church (substitute Sunday school teacher) (2008-2016)
- Habitat for Humanity
- Emory University School of Law Moot Court Competition Judge (1999, 2004, 2010)
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Super Lawyer "Rising Star," Super Lawyers Magazine (2009, 2012-2013)
Presenter, "The Emergency Response to Catastrophic Accidents - Both In-House and Outside Counsel Perspective," Claims Litigation Management Alliance, Greater St. Louis Chapter (February - March 2017)
Faculty Member, Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Emory University School of Law (January - March 2017)
Presenter, "The Emergency Response to Catastrophic Accidents - Both In-House and Outside Counsel Perspective," Claims Litigation Management Alliance, Greater St. Louis Chapter (May 2016)
Faculty Member, Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Emory University School of Law (January - February 2016)
Presenter, Cardno ChemRisk Science Seminar, Las Vegas, NV (June 2015)
Faculty Member, NITA’s “Deposition Skills” Program at Emory University (November 2015)
Member/Presenter, HarrisMartin's Lung Cancer Conference, Miami, FL (October 2014)
Co-Chair, HarrisMartin's Southeast Asbestos Litigation Conference, Charleston, SC (March 2014)
Faculty Member, Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Emory University School of Law (January - March 2014)
Faculty Member, NITA's "Deposition Skills" Program at Emory University (November - December 2012)
Faculty Member, NITA’s "Deposition Skills" Program at Georgia State (December 2011)
Faculty Member, NITA’s "Deposition Skills" Program at Georgia State (December 2010)
Articles and publications
J.D., Emory University School of Law (1999)
- Deans Fellow
- Emory University School of Law Moot Court Society
B.A., cum laude, Economics and Psychology, Wake Forest University (1996)
- Alabama Supreme Court
- Alabama Court of Appeals
- Connecticut Supreme Court
- Georgia Supreme Court
- Georgia Court of Appeals
- Illinois Supreme Court
- Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
- Supreme Court of Missouri
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
- Kentucky U.S. District Court Rejects Expansion of the Discovery Rule to Real Property Damage Claims
- HPTY to Co-Chair and Speak at HarrisMartin's Southeast Asbestos Litigation Conference
- HPTY Teaching Law Students in the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University
- Chris Collier Wins Summary Judgment in Fulton County, Georgia