John O’Quinn, Prominent Texas Lawyer, Dead at 68
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John O’Quinn, one of the country’s most successful trial lawyers and classic car collectors, died yesterday when the SUV he was driving lost control and hit a tree. Also killed was Johnny Lee Cutliff, an employee at his firm that frequently worked as O’Quinn’s assistant.

O’Quinn was revered as a litigator and reviled by the corporations he sued. He was the lawyer behind the $17.3 billion settlement between the tobacco companies and the state of Texas and the $1 billion dollar verdict against Wyeth for the diet drug fen-phen. His philanthropic work includes causes like the Children’s Museum, Feed the Hungry, and Women’s Center, Children’s Assessment Center (to prevent child abuse) and the University of Houston, and is capped off by the The John M. O’Quinn Foundation, established in 1986, which focuses on helping children, public education and the environment.

He was also well known for his love of sports cars and classic cars, amassing a collection of over 800 vehicles. His reputation included a penchant for driving fast and was cited in the 90’s for a dui and later for evading arrest after an officer attempted to stop him for a suspected illegal U-Turn.


He was a giant man both personally and professionally and his footsteps will not easily be filled.


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