Jay is the managing attorney of the Erie office of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, where he represents clients in matters pertaining to workers' compensation, employment law and professional liability. Jay has represented small, medium and large businesses, service agencies and public entities in employment-related litigation at administrative proceedings and in state and federal courts. He is experienced in employment law matters on behalf of employers, including civil rights, discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour violations, and workers' compensation. He has also represented insurance agents and brokers, real estate professionals, attorneys, accountants and health care professionals in professional liability claims.
Jay has represented employers in litigation and employment matters in more than 300 cases, has handled more than 1,000 workers' compensation cases and has defended professional liability cases for 25 years. He has taken 10 cases to trial, all of which were tried to a jury. He obtained eight defense verdicts, and the other cases ended in a verdict or settlement favorable to his clients.
Jay speaks on employment- and litigation-related topics to various industry, professional and employer groups. He organized and led the discussion at a very successful workers’ compensation seminar in Erie for clients that included more than 75 attendees and speakers on various workers’ compensation and related employment topics. Jay is co-author of the firm’s monthly publication, What’s Hot in Workers’ Compensation, and the popular year-end summary of the Top 10 Cases in Workers’ Comp.
Jay is actively involved in a number of professional organizations in his areas of expertise, including the Lake Erie Claims Association, Insurance Club of Erie County, Human Resource Management Association, Pennsylvania Self-Insurers' Association, American Inns of Court and Erie County Bar Association.
Jay attended Gannon University in Erie, where he received the college's highest honor for a graduating senior, the Medal of Honor. In 1985, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he was on the staff of the Notre Dame Journal of Legislation. Following graduation from law school, Jay worked for national and regional defense law firms on complex personal injury litigation, including medical and professional malpractice, products liability, premises liability, catastrophic incidents and employment litigation.
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.
"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
Employment Liability in the Cyber Age, Marshall Dennehey / AIG Employment Seminar, Pittsburgh, PA, May 2, 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
Past Employment Positions
Thomson, Rhodes & Cowie, P.C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Williams & Montgomery, Chicago, Illinois
Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1985 J.D.
Law Journal: Journal of Legislation
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1991 Trial Advocacy Program
Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania 1982 B.A.
Honors: Cum Laude
Honors: Medal of Honor
- Gannon University (B.A., cum laude, 1982)
- Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 1985)
- Pennsylvania, 1989
- Illinois, 1985
Associations & Memberships
- Defense Research Institute
- Erie County Bar Association
- Insurance Club of Erie County, president, 2005-2006 (two terms)
- Pennsylvania Bar Association