Since 1985, Tony has devoted his practice to the defense of insurance companies (and their insureds), hospitals, physicians, manufacturers and extended care facilities in civil litigation. After a successful 25-year career with prominent Pittsburgh insurance defense firm Dickie McCamey and Chilcote, Tony joined Marshall Dennehey in early 2010. As a member of the Health Care Department, he focuses his practice on the defense of physicians, hospitals and extended care facilities, while continuing his representation of insurance carriers and their insureds, and automobile and RV manufacturers and dealers.
Throughout his career, Tony has defended hundreds of medical liability claims and more than 1,000 civil claims, including product liability, breach of warranty, defamation, bad faith and traditional personal injury defense, in addition to his work in medical liability defense. He takes pride in being a trial lawyer, including his ability to try cases where there is probable liability, but an unreasonable settlement demand.
Tony's first jury trial was in 1987 and he has been steadily trying cases since that time. He has handled more than 50 jury trials, approximately 10 non-jury trials, close to 100 Common Pleas and Federal District Court arbitrations and approximately 15 UM/UIM arbitrations. While the vast majority of Tony's trials have resulted in defense verdicts (or favorable plaintiff's verdicts), perhaps his most significant victory started out as a disappointing loss. In Griffin v. UPMC-Braddock, the plaintiff suffered a severe fracture/dislocation of her shoulder while recuperating from abdominal surgery for Crohn's disease. The cause of the injury was a mystery, as it occurred in the middle of the night and plaintiff had no recollection. Plaintiff contended a hospital employee caused the injury by forcibly restraining her during a period of agitation. The defense expert testified that the injury was a classic seizure-induced fracture/dislocation. Plaintiff's expert was somewhat equivocal in his expert reports, citing forcible restraint as the cause but conceding that seizure was a possibility. Tony aggressively cross-examined plaintiff's expert on the issue of reasonable medical certainty and the expert testified that he held his opinion with 51 percent certainty. The trial court allowed the case to go to the jury, denying defendant's motion for directed verdict, and the jury returned a verdict just over $2.2M. On appeal, the Superior Court agreed with defendant that plaintiff's expert did not testify with reasonable medical certainty, overturning the verdict and granting judgment n.o.v. in favor of the defendant hospital.
In recognition of his work as a trial lawyer, Tony was inducted into the prestigious Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County in 2003, his first year of nomination. The Academy of Trial Lawyers consists of the best 125 plaintiff lawyers and the best 125 defense lawyers out of more than 8,000 lawyers in Allegheny County.
Tony received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Penn State in 1978. He was a scholarship member of the football team at Penn State, earning letters in 1976 and 1977. Tony graduated from the Duquesne University School of Law - Night Division in 1985. He was a part of the winning team and was runner-up Best Advocate at the Gourley Cup Trial Moot Court competition in 1985.
Tony resides in Mount Lebanon with his wife Dana, a Penn State grad who was at the time one of a handful of female Labor Studies majors at Penn State. Their son, Carl, is a Yale graduate and their daughters, Alex and Gabrielle, are also Penn State graduates.
Outside of work, Tony enjoys time with his family. He has been a trustee of the Parents Athletic Council of Mount Lebanon since 2008. He served as a board member at The Center for Theater Arts for approximately 10 years and was Chairman of the Board from 2003-05. Tony was also a member of the Mount Lebanon School District Strategic Planning Team in 2000.
Significant Representative Matters
•Secured dismissal of a defamation action in the Western District of Pennsylvania in Kelsch v. Ellucian Support, where the client's employee sent a blast email to approximately 3,000 people accusing a customer's VP of embezzlement, as the employee was being terminated. The District Court Judge agreed with Tony that the client was not vicariously liable for the employee's actions.
•Received jury verdicts in favor of automobile manufacturers in Flanders v. Ford Motor Co. and Iskoe v. Subaru.
•Secured a defense verdict in Lapinsky v. Goldberg, et al, a medical malpractice claim arising out of a laceration of the common iliac artery and vein during a laparoscopic procedure.
•Successfully defended a hospital in a jury trial involving an elderly patient who fell out of bed, fracturing her nose and eye orbit, in Bennett v. UPMC.
•Received a defense verdict in Casey v. Seski, a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff alleged that the surgeon failed to get proper surgical clearance and plaintiff suffered a stroke immediately prior to surgery.
•Successfully defended defamation claims in Black v. Antion and Garmong v. Myers.
•Was defense counsel in the seminal case under the Pennsylvania remittitur rule (Vogelsberger v. Magee, et al), persuading both the Trial Court and Superior Court that the verdict was excessive.
•Was trial counsel in the landmark case of Griffin v. UPMC Braddock, a case where a jury verdict of $2.2 M was overturned and judgment n.o.v was granted in favor of the defendant based on cross-examination of plaintiff's expert that revealed his testimony was not given with reasonable medical certainty.
•Successfully defended Allstate in a Bad Faith case tried before a jury in the Western District of Pennsylvania (Ward v. Allstate). Case arose out of the denial of a UIM claim resulting from a triple fatality accident.
•Secured a defense verdict in a jury trial in the Western District of Pa. (Erie Division) in Pearson v. Sears, a product liability case involving a propane torch, persuading the jury that the incident occurred because the plaintiff altered the orifice of the torch.
•Secured Summary Judgment in Pounds v. Morrow Motors, where plaintiff claimed that the defendant car dealer negligently permitted plaintiff's brother to test drive a car while drunk, resulting in an accident that left plaintiff a quadriplegic.
•Keeping Faith, Best's Review, March 2001
•Understanding O'Donnell - When Aggressive Defense Can Lead To Bad Faith, The Lawyers Journal, October 20, 2000
•The Pennsylvania Automobile Lemon Law, Pittsburgh Legal Journal, September 5, 1996
•What to Expect When You're Expecting (A Trial), Health Executive Institute, October 19, 2012
•Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy, National Business Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, June 7, 2012
•Documentation - It's Really That Important, April 24, 2011
•Mechanics of Pennsylvania Civil Procedure, April 21, 2011
•Strictly Speaking: An Overview Of Products Liability Law in Pennsylvania, November 13, 2008
•New Pennsylvania Suggested Jury Instructions in Medical Malpractice Cases, April 4, 2006
•Keys To Successful Pre-Trial Preparation, June 15, 2005
•Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Law in Pennsylvania, August 10, 2004
•The Nuts And Bolts Of The Medical Malpractice Case, April 1, 2004
•Pennsylvania Personal Injury Practice For Paralegals, May 20, 1998
•Insurance Bad Faith In Pennsylvania and West Virginia, 1993
Past Employment Positions
•Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote (25 years)
Honors & Awards
•Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, Fellow, 2003-present
•Allegheny County Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2001-present
•AV Preeminent by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
•Pennsylvania Super Lawyer , 2005, 2013-2014
Year Joined Organization: 2010