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G. Jay Habas

Shareholder
Managing Attorney, Erie, PA Office
717 State Street
Suite 701
Erie, PA 16501
(814) 480-7802
(814) 455-3603 - Fax
gjhabas@mdwcg.com

Jay is the managing partner of the firm's Erie office. He practices in the Professional Liability Department, where he represents employers and insurers in employment and workers' compensation matters. Jay's experience in handling these types of cases, in addition to litigating in state and federal courts, provides him with a broad perspective and the ability to address a variety of employment-related matters for his clients.

Jay defends and counsels clients on employment disputes involving hiring, termination, discipline, discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, premises liability, workplace violence, disability, OHSA, and wage and hour investigations throughout western Pennsylvania. He has represented large manufacturers, retail establishments, family-owned businesses, health care organizations, construction companies, school districts, municipalities and non-profit agencies in all types of workplace injury cases including toxic exposure, traumatic injury and repetitive motion. Jay also defends various professional in errors and omissions cases. 

Jay is a frequent speaker on workers' compensation and employment-related topics for employers and insurance professionals throughout Pennsylvania. He previously served as co-author of the firm's monthly publication, What's Hot in Workers' Compensation, and is a contributer to the year-end summary of the Top 10 Cases in Workers' Compensation. Jay is actively involved in a number of professional organizations, including the Lake Erie Claims Association, Insurance Club of Erie County, Northwest Pennsylvania Human Resource Management Association, Pennsylvania Defense Institute, Americans Inns of Court and Erie County Bar Association – Workers Compensation Section.

An Erie native and graduate of Gannon University (where he was the recipient of the Medal of Honor), Jay received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School. He began his career in Chicago with a major Midwestern defense litigation firm and then worked for a defense firm in Pittsburgh before relocating home to Erie with Marshall Dennehey in 1997.

Significant Representative Matters

  • Successfully resolved high-damage medical malpractice lawsuit involving the death of a three-month-old child where damages exposure was seven figures, with clear liability and potential punitive exposure for low six figures prior to trial on the basis of supportive expert testimony.

  • Won appeal of toxic chemical exposure workers' compensation case where the judge found an employee died of cancer due to exposure from Benzene in workplace and awarded substantial, lifetime widow's benefits in excess of $500,000. Award reversed on appeal to Commonwealth Court on basis of the argument that widow's claim was barred by application of statute of limitations.

  • Successfully appealed denial of hearing loss claim in workers' compensation case through extensive use of after-acquired evidence to demonstrate workplace exposure to noise did not rise to level of OSHA threshold limit.

  • Use of medical experts from seven different disciplines to mitigate exposure in medical malpractice claim involving three-­month-old child.

  • Developed expert testimony from occupational medicine, toxicology, neurology, neuropsychology, industrial hygiene and psychiatry to defend alleged toxic chemical exposure in the workplace.

  • Obtained dismissal of a federal civil rights action on behalf of the County of Erie in which a grandmother asserted a constitutional right to the care and custody of a grandchild against the interests of an adoptive family with whom the child was placed by the court. Successfully argued that no court has recognized such a right on behalf of a grandparent.

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in the U.S. District Court, and upheld on appeal, of a federal civil rights claim by a father alleging that a local children and youth agency negligently filed a report of suspected child abuse against him. The court agreed that the local agency acted consistent with the Child Protective Services Law and did not cause a deprivation of the parent’s rights.

  • Persuaded plaintiffs to voluntarily withdraw a complaint, which alleged that a county agency intentionally sabotaged the plaintiffs from adopting children placed in their custody, on the basis of absolute immunity under the Pennsylvania Subdivision Political Tort Claims Act.

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • #Me Too & Times Up: The Changing Landscape of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Human Resource Management Association Northwest Pennsylvania Conference, May 18, 2018

  • Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania – Update on the Status of the Law and Its Impact on Employers, Human Resources Management Association of Northwest Pennsylvania, February 22, 2018

  • Cyber Liability, PCoRP Loss Control Workshop, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, April 10, 2015

  • Data Breach -- Fighting the Cyber War and Social Media -- Landmine or Goldmine?, AIG, November 6, 2014

  • Data Breach -- Fighting the Cyber War and Social Media -- Landmine or Goldmine?, Assurex Global Loss Control and Claims Conference, October 23, 2014

  • Hot Topics in Employment, Assurex Loss Control & Claims Conference, October 22, 2014

  • Social Media & Cyber Breaches: the Internet's Impact on Your Business, The Graham Company, co-presenter, May 2014

  • Errors and Omissions: Limiting Your Exposure," Insurance Club of Erie County, January 15, 2014

  • Hot Topics in Employment, Marshall Dennehey Employment Seminar, Philadelphia, PA, October 10, 2013

  • Workplace Violence, Pennsylvania Association for Health Care Risk Management Fall Education Forum, September 13, 2013

  • Best Practices in ADA, FMLA and Workers' Compensation, Lorman Education Services, Erie, PA, August 27, 2013

  • Workplace Violence: Liability Issues, Pennsylvania Defense Institute Annual Conference, Bedford Springs, PA, July 18, 2013

  • Cyber Data Breach: The Latest Threat to Workplace Security, Human Resource Management Association of Northwest Pennsylvania Annual Conference, Erie, PA, May 30, 2013

  • Employment Liability in the Cyber Age, Marshall Dennehey Employment Seminar, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2, 2013

  • Workplace Violence - Concerns in the Insurance Industry, Insurance Club of Erie, January 16, 2013

  • Afforadable Care Act, American Inn of Court - Erie, PA, February 19, 2013

  • Municipal Liability, Pennsylvania County Commissioners Association, March 4, 2013

  • Labor and Employment, Adjunct Faculty, Gannon University

  • Act 57 Amendments to the Workers' Compensation Act

  • Impairment Rating Evaluations to Reduce Exposure to Total Disability Benefits

  • Maximizing an Insurance Carrier's Right to Subrogation

  • Employer Liability for Workplace Violence

  • Americans With Disabilities Act and its Interplay with Workers' Compensation

  • Family and Medical Leave Act

  • Employment, Workers' Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Insurance Agent E&O

  • Workers' Compensation Affecting School Districts

  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey Workers' Compensation

Published Works

  • What's Hot in Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation, Marshall Dennehey newsletter, 2002-2013

  • "Natural Gas 'Gold Rush:' Injury and Occupational Exposure in Pennsylvania From the Marcellus Shale Gas Explosion," Energy Law Supplement, The Legal Intelligencer, July 2011

  • "Job Availability in Current Economic Crisis: Is It Time to Reconsider Funded Employment?," Workers' Compensation (PSIA Newsletter), March 2009

  • "Using Causation As A Defense To Negligence," Defense Digest, 2003

  • "Calculation of Average Weekly Wage for Employees on Leave of Absence or Unpaid Illness," Pennsylvania Self-Insurers' Association Newsletter, May 1998

Education

  • Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, IN (J.D., 1985)

    Law Journal: Journal of Legislation

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, PA (1991 Trial Advocacy Program)

  • Gannon University, Erie, PA (B.A., 1982)

    Honors: cum laude
    Honors: Medal of Honor

Pages

Law Alerts February 6, 2019
Edited by Timothy G. Ventura, Esq. A Continuing Controversy Under Pennsylvania Law: Does the Economic Loss Doctrine Preclude Negligence Claims Against an Insurance Agent or Broker?   By G. Jay Habas, Esquire Insurance errors and omissions..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a...
Law Alerts June 1, 2018
New York Court Addresses When an Insurance Broker Has a Special Duty of Advisement   By G. Jay Habas, Esquire* In New York, the duty of an insurance broker to obtain insurance coverage for a client is narrowly defined to require that a client..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a...
Law Alerts October 9, 2015
NLRB Decision on "Joint Employer" Status of Firm and its Staffing Agency May Leave Employers Vulnerable to Liabilities By G. Jay Habas, Erie, Pennsylvania Many employers use staffing agencies to fill their needs for temporary workers....,   The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a...
Law Alerts April 8, 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court determines that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires a new standard. by Candace D. Embry, Esq.* The U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., on March 25, 2015, in which the Court..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific...
What's Hot in Worker's Comp November 24, 2014
Defense Digest Article September 1, 2014
By G. Jay Habas, Esq.* Pennsylvania’s only port city on the Great Lakes, Erie is located in the northwest corner of the state and sits conveniently between Cleveland to the west, Buffalo to the east and Pittsburgh to the south. Once part of..., Defense Digest, Vol. 20, No. 3, September 2014 Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide...
Law Alerts January 11, 2013
The claimant was employed as a home health aide when she suffered work-related injuries in October of 2008. Two months later, the claimant filed a Claim Petition against the employer and a Claim Petition seeking benefits from the Uninsured Employers..., Case Law Alert - 1st Quarter 2013
Law Alerts January 11, 2013
The claimant fractured her right ankle when a public transit bus on which she was a passenger was involved in a motor vehicle accident. The injury occurred in the course and scope of her employment with the employer. She filed a workers’..., Case Law Alert - 1st Quarter 2013
Law Alerts January 11, 2013
The claimant sustained an acknowledged work injury on September 7, 2005. In May 2006, as a member of the union, the claimant attended a meeting addressing the employers' plan for attrition of the workforce. After the meeting, he accepted a..., Case Law Alert - 1st Quarter 2013

Pages

November 17, 2016
Marshall Dennehey is pleased to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Erie, Pennsylvania office, the firm announced today. According to G. Jay Habas, Managing Attorney of the office and an Erie native, the office opened in 1996 and he joined the following year. "From Erie, we handle cases...
Seminar Oct 11, 2012
Join our distinguished panel for lunch and a discussion on issues relating to employment practices.
Seminar May 2, 2013
Join us for this unique presentation on cutting edge employment issues. The seminar will feature a mock trial "Social Media on Trial - How Social Media Affects Employers" and a panel discussion "Cyber Data Breach - The Latest...
Conference May 30, 2013
This year's conference features three outstanding and highly respected speakers sharing topics from their respected areas of expertise.  Jay Habas, Esq. (Marshall Dennehey): Cyber Data Breach, The Latest Threat to Workplace Security...
Conference Jul 18, 2013
The Pennsylvania Defense Institute is hosting its 45th annual conference on July 17-19 at the Omni Bedford Springs Resort. The annual conference is an excellent opportunity to mix business with pleasure while obtaining continuing education credits....
Seminar Aug 27, 2013
Employers in Pennsylvania are faced with an ever-changing maze of laws increasing their obligations to employees who cannot, will not or should not work. This seminar will tell you what you need to know about recent ADA and FMLA...
Seminar Sep 13, 2013
The Risk Management Fall Education Forum is designed to provide participants with a review of current issues in claims management, risk financing, patient safety and loss prevention across the health care enterprise. The Pennsylvania Association for...
Seminar Nov 17, 2016
Jay Habas, a shareholder in the firm's Erie office, Dennehey, is a frequent guest speaker for the local chapter of HRMA. At the organization's November breakfast meeting, Jay will discuss how the legalization of marijuana for medical and...
Conference May 18, 2018
Jay Habas, shareholder in the firm's Workers' Compensation Department, is presenting at the 2018 HRMA Conference. In "#Me Too & Times Up: The Changing Landscape of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," Jay will discuss how the...

Education

  • Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 1985)
  • Gannon University (B.A., cum laude, 1982)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1985
  • Pennsylvania, 1989
  • New York, 2016

Associations & Memberships

  • Erie County Bar Association, Vice Chair, Workers' Compensation Section, 2014
  • Insurance Club of Erie County, President, 2005-2006 (two terms)
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association

Year Joined Organization: 1997

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