Chris Collier is deputy partner-in-charge of Hawkins Parnell & Young's Atlanta office and a member of the diversity committee. He is also the head of the COVID-19 Task Force. Chris represents individuals as well as businesses, ranging from family-owned to Fortune 250 national and multinational corporations, and concentrates his litigation practice in the areas of premises liability, product liability, toxic tort, environmental, 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, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, 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 talc, plastics, 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 has served 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 and product liability 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 complexities 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.
- Emory University School of Law (J.D., 1999)
- Deans Fellow
- Emory University School of Law Moot Court Society
- Wake Forest University (B.A., cum laude, 1996)
- West Virginia
- Supreme Court of Alabama
- Connecticut Supreme Court
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Georgia Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of Illinois
- Supreme Court of Missouri
- Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
- 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)
- International Association of Defense Counsel (2020-present)
- DRI (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
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Georgia Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2009, 2012-2013)
- Geraldine Barabin v. Scapa Dryer Fabrics, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
- Stephen R. Edwards, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Steven Redfearn Stewart v. Albany International Corp., et al., State of South Carolina, Court of Common Pleas, County of York
- Anna Sanders, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of Dansby W. Sanders v. Bill Vann Company, Inc., et al., Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama
- Jesus Payan and Francisca Payan v. CBS Corporation, et al., Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles
- Angela D. Keene, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Dennis Seay, Deceased, and Linda Seay v. 3M Company, et al., Court of Common Pleas, Spartanburg
- Henry and Geraldine Barabin v. E.J. Bartells, et al., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
- George Adams, et al v. A.W. Chesterton, et al., Circuit Court of Little River County, Arkansas
Charitable & Civic Involvement
- Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer Foundation (AVLF) Saturday Lawyer Program (2019-present)
- Everybody Wins! Atlanta (weekly reading mentor to at-risk elementary school students) (2007-2019)
- Peachtree Presbyterian Church (substitute Sunday school teacher) (2008-2016)
- Habitat for Humanity (ongoing)
- Emory University School of Law Moot Court Competition Judge (1999, 2004, 2010)
- Georgia Intrastate Moot Court Competition Judge (2019)
- Presenter, DRI Asbestos Medicine Young Lawyers Session, "Fact Witness Depositions: Interactive Session on How to Handle the Three Bs," Virtual (December 2020)
- Faculty Member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Remote Deposition Skills Program (October 2020)
- Faculty Member, Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Emory University School of Law (February 2020)
- Faculty Member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Deposition Skills Program, Emory University School of Law (November 2019)
- Presenter, The National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) 2019 Annual Conference, "BAP-1: Red Herring, Eggshell, or Silver Bullet," Chicago, IL (September 2019)
- Moderator and Presenter, ALFA International 2019 Hospitality & Retail Law Practice Group Seminar, “Who the Hack Are You? Data Breaches and Privacy Concerns Facing the Hospitality and Retail Industry,” Seattle, WA (August 2019)
- Chair, ALFA International Transportation Regional Seminar, Atlanta, GA (June 2019)
- Presenter, ALFA International Regional Seminar on Product Liability Legal Issues, “Product Hacking, Cyber Security for Products, and the Internet of Things,” Charlotte, NC (April 2019)
- Faculty Member, Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Emory University School of Law (February 2019)
- Trial Counsel Panelist, Defense Lawyers Asbestos Symposium, Austin, TX (November 2018)
- Chair, ALFA International Transportation Regional Seminar, Atlanta, GA (August 2018)
- Trial Counsel Panelist, Defense Asbestos Litigation Seminar, Nashville, TN (June 2018)
- Faculty Member, Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Emory University School of Law (February - March 2018)
- Presenter, FETTI Conference, "Practical Considerations for Communicating "State of the Art" to Younger Jurors," Chicago, IL (October 2017)
- Presenter, Cardno ChemRisk Science Seminar, Orlando, FL (June 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, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Deposition Skills Program, Emory University School of Law (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, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Deposition Skills Program, Emory University School of Law (November - December 2012)
- Faculty Member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Deposition Skills Program, Georgia State University College of Law (December 2011)
- Faculty Member, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Deposition Skills Program, Georgia State University College of Law (December 2010)