Thomas M. Sheehan

Mr. Sheehan received an Associate degree in Aircraft Mechanics from Lewis University in 1973 and holds a full FAA air frame and power plant mechanic’s license.  Mr. Sheehan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational and Technical Education with High Honors from the University of Illinois in 1978 and a Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Law School in 1984.  In addition to working as a ride mechanic and technician for five years at a major theme park, he also taught professionally for several years as an industrial arts instructor.  Mr. Sheehan has acted as the crew chief of an amateur auto road racing team from 1976 to 1991.  After graduation from law school in 1984, he was engaged in insurance defense as a trial attorney.  He is the founding partner of the Sheehan Firm. For over twenty five years Mr. Sheehan has been involved in issues pertaining to the amusement, leisure and motorsports industry.  As an outgrowth of his years of service to the manufacturers of amusement rides and devices, he was asked to become the Executive Director and General Counsel for AIMS International, Ltd., (Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers, International), a trade association of manufacturers and suppliers to the amusement industry.  As Executive Director of AIMS, a position he held through 1997, Mr. Sheehan directed the only organization dedicated to protecting the interests of the manufacturers and suppliers to the industry.  Mr. Sheehan remains AIMS’ General Counsel and serves as counsel of choice for many manufactures of amusement rides.  He has attended and participated in governmental hearings in Washington D.C. on the Americans with Disabilities act and helped to draft pro-industry legislation in several states.  He is also a founding director of IALDA (International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association).  Mr. Sheehan is a member and former officer of ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) F-24 Committee, “Standards for Amusement Rides and Devices”, the body that sets national standards for the amusement industry.  He is also a member of F-15, which is setting standards for go-karts. Mr. Sheehan has instructed at numerous industry educational seminars including: National Association of Amusement Rides Safety Officials (NAARSO), American Recreational Equipment Association (AREA), International Recreational Go-Kart Association (IRGA), International Association of Amusement Rides and Attractions (IAAPA), World Water Park Association (WWA), International Family Entertainment Center Association (IFECA), International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), the SkyCoaster Safety School, the Top Eliminator Training and Safety School and Amusement Industry Manufacturers and Suppliers, International (AIMS) Safety School.  He presently is representing the manufacturer’s interests as Chairman of the prestigious IAAPA Global Safety Committee, a position he has held since 2019 with members from Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World, Six Flags and other leading industry organizations.

Mr. Sheehan is the only attorney in the Nation to earn both Level 1 and Level 2 NAARSO Amusement Ride Safety Inspector’s Certificates.  He also has served on the NAARSO Ride Inspectors Certification test committee, to review the credentials of applicants and to help create the tests used to certify other ride inspectors.  Due to his unique background, Mr. Sheehan practices in the defense of product liability actions.  Several major equipment manufacturers, in cooperation with their insurance carriers, have designated  The Sheehan Firm as the only firm acceptable to handle claims and lawsuits on their behalf.  The firm has experience in handling Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigations into possible product hazards.   Mr. Sheehan has been listed in the CPSC’s Directory of State Enforcement and Safety Officials For Amusement Rides directory under “Additional Safety Agency & Association Contacts” for his work on behalf of manufacturers of amusement equipment.  Mr. Sheehan is the author of: How to Prepare Your Fact Witness For a Deposition, Federal Discovery News, January, 1995 and the Illinois Rider Responsibility Law which was presented to the Illinois Legislature in 1997.  Mr. Sheehan has trial and appellate experience and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Mr. Sheehan is licensed in the State of Illinois, as well as the State of Tennessee and the United States Supreme Court.