John P Gilfillan

John P Gilfillan

Partner Basking Ridge, United States

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • US District Court, New Jersey
  • US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

 

Education

  • Seton Hall University School of Law, JD, 1989
  • Providence College, BA, 1985

 

John is a Partner in the Basking Ridge office and was admitted to the State and Federal bars of New Jersey in 1991, along with the US District Court for the District of New Jersey and the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

He practices in a variety of complex litigation areas, including insurance defense and coverage, motor vehicle negligence, products liability, employment actions, commercial disputes, construction accidents, and professional liability.  John has extensive experience at both the trial and appellate levels in both the State and Federal courts.  He has tried dozens of cases to verdict.

John is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and is a requested speaker on a variety of practice issues at seminars and presentations at the annual bar convention and other venues around the state.  John has also presented at numerous seminars in the United Kingdom given for the firm’s European clients on the issues of jury trials in the United States, catastrophic injury litigation in the United States, opioid litigation, video game addiction liability, sports concussion litigation in the United States and other hot topics in the American legal system. 

At Kennedys, John is presently the Chair of the firm’s Global Liability/Defense Group which integrates the defense practices in each of the 27 countries where the firm has an office in order to globalize the firm’s defense capabilities.  In addition, John is on the Board of Kennedys IQ, the firm’s legal technology company that designs, develops and offers technological products that provide innovative solutions to the legal and operational challenges faced by the firm’s clients.  He also spearheads the efforts of Kennedys IQ in the United States.

John is also a former member of the Lay Board of Trustees of Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey.

Work highlights

  • Represented a manufacturer of automated storage and retrieval systems in a multi-million dollar products liability action where the plaintiff sought damages for significant personal injuries, alleging defective design, defective manufacture and failure to warn. After a three week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of our client.
  • Represented a manufacturer of port and catheter medical devices in a lawsuit where the catheter broke and travelled to the plaintiff’s heart. This complex claim sounding in defective design and manufacture was vigorously defended and settled just prior to trial on terms highly favorable to our client.
  • Represented an international manufacturer of automated guided vehicles (robot forklifts) in multi-million dollar products liability case where the plaintiff alleged that the automated system was defectively designed and installed. The case was settled just prior to trial on terms highly favorable to our client.
  • Handled thousands of motor vehicle and premises liability lawsuits in New Jersey were the plaintiffs were seeking significant damages for personal injury and other loss, and he has a well-respected reputation for achieving extremely favorable results for our clients and their insurance carriers, either through obtaining a defense verdict at trial, winning summary judgment prior to trial, or negotiating settlements far below the plaintiff’s demand.
  • Represented a bus company in a case brought by 55 plaintiffs for personal and psychological injury resulting from a fire that occurred on the bus while the bus was traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike. This complex case was vigorously defended and settled just prior to trial on terms highly favorable to our client.
  • Represents the firm’s overseas clients when they are sued in the United States, many times successfully challenging the lawsuit on personal jurisdiction and form non conveniens grounds.
  • Has tried cases in numerous practice areas, including motor vehicle liability, premises liability, products liability, employment liability and wrongful termination, construction accident, and insurance coverage.

Presentations and seminars

  • Panelist, “The future of dispute resolution webinar series: an alternative perspective - will COVID-19 act as an accelerator to online courts?” (December 2020), worldwide webinar
  • Moderator, “Autonomous Vehicles: A Future With No One Behind the Wheel?” Perrin Conferences, (November 2020)
  • “Psychological/Psychiatric injury claims: A US Perspective” London, (January 2020)
  • “The Talc Litigation in the United States” presented at the UK Liability Underwriters Group convention at Cambridge University, (September 2019)
  • "The Evolving Partnership of Data Analytics and Claims," A.M. Best webinar (May 2018) View John's webinar now