R. Thomas McLaughlin: Lawyer with Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.

R. Thomas McLaughlin

Tom's active areas of practice include representation of clients in design professional matters (architects and engineers), the representation of accountants and lawyers, construction litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, and general/products liability litigation.
Phone(610) 354-8290

Peer Rating
 5.0/5.0
AV® Preeminent

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews
 

Practice Areas

  • Accounting Malpractice
  • Construction Litigation
  • General / Products Liabilities Litigation
  • Design Professional matters - architects and engineers
  • Environmental & Toxic Tort Litigation
 
University Drexel Institute of Technology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, B.S., 1967
 
Law SchoolVillanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania, J.D., 1970
 
Admitted1970, Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania; U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania; U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
 
Memberships 

Associations & Memberships

American Bar Association

•Maritime Law Association

•Pennsylvania Bar Association

•Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel

•Philadelphia Bar Association

 
Biography

Tom's active areas of practice include representation of clients in design professional matters (architects and engineers), the representation of accountants and lawyers, construction litigation, environmental and toxic tort litigation, and general/products liability litigation.

In 1967 Tom graduated from Drexel Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science and subsequently graduated from Villanova University School of Law with a juris doctor in 1970.

Prior to joining Marshall Dennehey, Tom was an active member and founding shareholder with the law firm of Kelly, McLaughlin, Foster, Bracaglia, Daly, Trabucco & White.

Significant Representative Matters

•Representation of an architect in an action related to a construction site accident. The project involved the renovation and expansion of a large residential/commercial building. During construction, two employees of the elevator subcontractor were working in the elevator shaft on scaffolding at the fifth floor. The scaffolding lumber on which they were standing collapsed, and they fell the five stories to the elevator pit. One of the employees died, and the other had permanent traumatic brain injuries. The claim against the architect involved the elevator specifications and the construction observation responsibilities of the architect with respect to job site safety issues and dangerous conditions at the job site/in the workplace. The claims of the plaintiffs were settled for $16 million, and a token settlement payment (cost of defense) was made on behalf of the architect.

•Representation of a civil engineering firm which provided the designs and specifications for a new Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) and served as the Construction Manager for the construction of the project. Allegedly, the STP did not properly function in that it failed to meet all DEP discharge requirements of the treated water being released back into the environment via a creek that ran through the property. The owner of the STP brought a claim for the costs incurred in the failed attempts to remedy the alleged defects in the STP and for reimbursement of the design and construction costs of the STP. In addition, a family on the adjacent property asserted personal injury and nuisance claims and a claim for loss of market value of the property arising from the odors and alleged pollution onto their property caused by the alleged failure of the STP to function as intended. All claims were resolved for settlement amounts significantly less than the amounts originally claimed by the owner of the STP and the family members on the adjacent property.

•Representation of an engineering firm which provided the designs and specifications for the construction of a highway bridge over a river. The construction process also included the required design and construction of a causeway to be placed in the river as a base from which the construction would be done. Issues included hydrology and hydraulic studies, which involved the analysis of the river currents. During construction, a foreman for the General Contractor on the project was on the river in a boat and the current took the boat toward a designed opening in the causeway, and the foreman was knocked into the river and drowned. Allegations against the engineering firm involved alleged errors or omissions/negligent design of the causeway and/or with regard to the specifications for the causeway and/or with regard to the hydrology and hydraulic studies prepared and provided by the engineering firm. Our client was eventually dismissed from the action before trial pursuant to a Motion for Summary Judgment.

•Representation of a geotechnical-site civil/structural engineer which was engaged to provide the designs and specifications for the installation of two new 400,000 gallon water tanks. The land on which the tanks were to be placed was known to have limestone and/or sinkholes. Geotechnical engineer/geologist provided geotechnical engineering services for a compaction grouting process to stabilize the ground upon which the tanks were to be placed. The engineer certified that the compaction grouting was installed and completed pursuant to specifications such that the soil compaction was sufficient for the installation of the water tanks. During the initial filling of the tanks, the tanks started leaning due to alleged settling of the ground that was beyond acceptable limits. Remedial measures were taken to install micropiles under the tanks, and thereafter, a claim for the cost of the remedy was made against the geotechnical engineer based upon alleged errors or omissions in the designs and specifications for the project. Matter was settled at mediation for 50 percent of the damages originally claimed at the outset of the litigation.

•Representation of an architect on a project which involved a renovation of an existing commercial structure that was to be combined with new construction to create luxury residential condominiums. The architect prepared designs and specifications for the project and was to provide Construction Administration Services during construction. Disputes arose with regard to the architect's designs and specifications and with regard to the nature and extent of the design professional services to be provided by the architect. Allegations were raised as to specific design errors/deficiencies, a failure to correct them, and a failure to provide on-site services as required by contract. The developer and architect parted ways, with the developer claiming that the architect abandoned the project, whereas the architect claimed his services were terminated. A claim was asserted by the developer for the costs to hire a replacement architect, to correct the alleged design errors, and for delays and increased costs in the construction due to the architect's alleged errors and abandonment, including the time it took for the replacement architect to become familiar and current with the project. This matter was settled at mediation for one third of the damages claimed by the project owner.

•Representation of an engineering firm which was engaged to act as Township Engineer in an action involving the death of two construction workers during the installation of new underground sewer lines. The Township Engineer was joined on theory that it was responsible for the oversight of design and construction of the excavated areas occupied by the workers when they were asphyxiated based upon its review of the project drawings for permitting purposes. My client was dismissed from the action by way of a motion in the early stages of the litigation.

•Representation of an engineering firm in an action involving a 40-year-old man who sustained catastrophic injuries while snow tubing at a skiing facility. While going downhill, he lost control of tube, went over the course embankment, and his face collided with a metal standard that supported the snow making machine. The claim against the engineer was based on allegations of defective design of the slope and surface areas on which the snow tubing course was constructed. My client was dismissed from action before trial.

•Representation of an architect in an action involving the design and construction of renovations and additions to three existing school facilities. The claims against the architect (and its consulting engineers -site civil, mechanical, structural, and acoustical) included allegations of alleged errors or omissions in the designs and specifications for the projects as related to all design professional disciplines, as well as with regard to the construction administrative services to be provide by the design professionals on the projects. The School District's claims were for repair/replacement costs, additional construction costs, and other costs incurred by the School District because of delays in the completion of the construction of the projects. The matter was resolved by way of a settlement after an extensive mediation for an amount significantly less than the amount originally claimed by the School District.

Past Employment Positions

•Kelly, McLaughlin, Foster, Bracaglia, Daly, Trabucco & White, LLP, 1998 -2004

•Kelly, McLaughlin & Foster, 1977 -1998

•Kelly, Deasey & Scanlon, 1970 -1977

Honors & Awards

•AV Preeminent by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell

Year Joined Organization: 2004

 
ISLN904931356
 


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Office Information

R. Thomas McLaughlin

2000 Market Street, Suite 2300
PhiladelphiaPA 19103




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