Matthew P. Keris

Chair, Electronic Medical Record and Audit Trail Practice Group

    Matthew has defended health care providers, businesses and device manufacturers in civil litigation for more than two decades. He is a shareholder in the firm's Health Care Department and Chair of the Electronic Medical Record and Audit Trail Practice Group.  He had the privilege of trying the first Pennsylvania civil jury trial to verdict during the COVID-19 Pandemic in July 2020.

    Matt has provided legal commentary for a number of organizations including NBC News, Thomson Reuters, the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, The Legal Intelligencer, Law 360, ED Legal Letter, Risk Review, Litigation Management, Counterpoint and Becker’s Hospital Review. Matt also serves as an editor of the health risk management journal, Patient Safety.

    Matt has previously served as President of the DRI Foundation, Pennsylvania Defense Institute (PDI) and the Pennsylvania Association for Health Care Risk Management. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of both DRI and PDI. In 2023, he was the recipient of the DRI Foundation Community Service Award, which honors a DRI member who has demonstrated a commitment to the well-being of the general public by initiating or participating in programs which have a positive impact on the community. Matt is an active member of the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance and American Legal Connections.

    Significant Representative Matters

    Obtained a defense verdict in a long-term case that included a unique spoliation issue, allegations of cover-up regarding the cause of death and a “no show” plaintiff-son. A longtime nursing home resident died after suffering head trauma following a fall. The plaintiff was the resident’s son, who was not his mother’s guardian and, according to staff, had not visited her in the three years that she was in residence. The cause of death was “end stage dementia” and upon learning the same, the plaintiff contacted a lawyer who delivered the body across the state to a forensic pathologist for a private autopsy, and the body was subsequently cremated. No notice was provided to the nursing home administration of the impending autopsy. The forensic pathologist alluded that the cause of death was not end stage dementia, but blunt force trauma. The defense did not learn about the private autopsy until years later when the report was provided in discovery. A motion for sanctions for spoliation was filed by the defense which was followed by depositions of the funeral home staff, and a hearing involving the forensic pathologist and the attending physician. The forensic pathologist admitted that autopsy specimens were lost and photos claimed to not exist by plaintiff’s counsel, in fact were on her computer. Although the spoliation motion was denied, the court held that at trial, the defense could question the forensic pathologist on the cremation, destroyed specimens and failure to produce the autopsy photographs at trial. On the eve of trial, the judge proctored an agreement between the parties to arbitrate the case “on expert reports only.” At arbitration, plaintiff’s counsel continued to pursue a conspiracy theory about “the true cause of death” along with standard negligence criticisms about fall prevention. The plaintiff was cross-examined on a prior crimen falsi conviction and an Orphans’ Court petition initiated by the local Area Agency on Aging where the deceased resident complained that she was afraid of her son which was relevant to his “loss of society and companionship” claim. 

    Received a unanimous defense jury verdict within thirty minutes of deliberation in a five-day fire-loss subrogation trial. This case was one of the first Pennsylvania civil jury trials held during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking into account safety and social distancing protocols, jury selection took place in a local school auditorium, two witnesses presented testimony via Zoom, and everyone present in the courtroom was subject to temperature screenings and required to wear a face covering. Given the current national health situation, this trial could serve as an example of how the court system and counsel can adapt to the changing health and legal landscape. 

    Obtained entry of judgment of non pros based on the plaintiff’s failure to timely and properly file a Certificate of Merit (COM) in accordance with Pa.R.C.P. 1042.3 on behalf of a nursing home chain and its consulting company. With the Complaint, plaintiff attached an expert report from a nursing expert but did not attach a COM. Defendants filed a Notice of Intent to Enter Judgment of Non Pros, and judgment was subsequently entered. The plaintiff then filed a Petition to Strike/Open the Entry of Judgment of Non Pros, arguing that the expert report attached to the Complaint constituted a COM. The defense successfully fought the plaintiff’s attempts to open the judgment. The Court ultimately found that plaintiff’s repeated failures to comply with the applicable rules placed their case “beyond the purview of equitable relief,” and therefore reinstated the entry of judgment and dismissed plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice.

    Received a defense verdict in less than one hour in a dental malpractice case involving allegations of the use of excessive force and the failure to obtain the patient’s informed consent after a patient’s jaw was fractured during a molar extraction. It was admitted that jaw fracture was a known risk of the extraction, but that the dentist did not warn the patient of this risk. It was also conceded that the dentist caused the fracture. Lastly, the patient’s damages were not contested, which included the pain and suffering associated with the fracture and permanent numbness to the lower jaw. On cross-examination of the patient’s seasoned expert, he was confronted with prior inconsistent testimony regarding his experience in extracting molars and his opinion that all risks of a procedure need to be shared with the patient. Further, the expert agreed with the defense’s argument that the risk of jaw fracture of an erupted right lower molar was less than .0009% and the patient had a better chance of dying from complications associated with the extraction than suffering a fracture. The jury was persuaded by the defense’s arguments early in the case due to the thorough cross-examination of the patient’s expert. 

    Received defense verdict in a wrongful death and survival medical malpractice arbitration involving a single mother in her twenties from toxic shock syndrome. The plaintiff was admitted to a hospital facility with a provisional diagnosis of anaphylaxis secondary to a medication allergy. The patient deteriorated under the supervision of a nurse practitioner while on a telemetry unit and was eventually transferred to the intensive care unit. The patient succumbed to her condition several days later. There was a substantial future economic damage and pain and suffering component to the case given the plaintiff’s young age, rapid decline and extent of necrosis (face, upper and lower extremities).

    Obtained a defense verdict in a nursing negligence claim. The plaintiff alleged to have suffered a fall in a hospital bathroom three days post-operatively that re-injured his surgically repaired knees. The nurses denied the patient fell to the ground and testified, consistent with their charting, that the patient lost balance in the bathroom and sat on a commode. There was a significant economic damage claim in that the plaintiff was a young restaurant owner who suffered two distinct orthopedic injuries that required multiple surgeries and additional future care. The jury returned a defense verdict 50 minutes after deliberation began, finding that the nurses were not negligent.

    Obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice trial involving a middle-aged mother of two who was allegedly left a quadraparetic and wheelchair-bound as a result of a physician’s failure to timely diagnose and treat an infectious process of the cranial nerves and cerebellum. The plaintiff argued that as a result of the alleged negligence, she needed home health care for the rest of her life and submitted expert testimony arguing for the recovery of boardable future medical expenses totaling $4 million and past and future pain and suffering. The last settlement demand was $2 million.  No settlement offers were made prior to or during trial.

    Successfully argued for the dismissal of punitive damages and Scampone corporate negligence claim against a Pennsylvania nursing home involving a resident who was injured while undergoing physical therapy at the facility. At the conclusion of considerable discovery yielding thousands of pages of administrative documents and multiple corporate defendant witnesses and former employees of the facility, summary judgment was granted as to plaintiff’s claims that neglect, lack of appropriate staffing and the facility owner’s general desire to make a profit over patient care caused or contributed to her injuries. In light most favorable to the plaintiff, the court held that the resident did not link the allegations of neglect and understaffing to her injuries which occurred in an acute incident during physical therapy. In addition, the court rejected the possible imposition of punitive damages, citing deposition testimony from the plaintiff about her interactions with the nursing home staff that was inconsistent with conduct warranting the imposition of punitive damages and the opinions of her own experts.

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    Coming to a Case Near You: AI in Medicine, Marshall Dennehey Trends in Health Care and Health Law Seminar, May 9, 2024

    Advice for the Efficient Integration of AI Into Medicine, Co-Presenter, Hospital Insurance Forum Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ, March 18, 2024

    Voir Dire of an EMR/Audit Trail Expert, American Legal Connections webinar, March 15, 2024

    Roundtable on Social Inflation, Co-Moderator, DRI IRT Meeting, Chicago, March 13, 2024

    The New Liability Target: Forensic Patient Record Interactions, MPL Dental Workshop, Savannah, GA, February 16, 2024

    Liability Risks of AI in Healthcare, co-presenter, 1st Annual Upstate Educational Meeting, Association for Healthcare Risk Management of New York, Saratoga, NY, October 30, 2023

    Latest Developments on Healthcare AI Liability and EMR Site Inspections, co-presenter, American Legal Connections, webinar, October 26, 2023

    Evaluating the Use of AI in Obstetric Diagnostics: Understanding Enhanced Capability and Inherent Risks, Forum on Obstetric Malpractice Claims, Philadelphia, PA, October 12, 2023

    The Good, Bad, and Ugly in Defending a Hospital Security Assault Case, Moderator, ASHRM Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, October 2, 2023

    Medical Record Audit Trail Data and Inspections: What to Do When Data and Inspections are Requested in Litigation, panelist, Florida Society for Healthcare Risk Management and Patient Safety annual meeting; Orlando, FL, August 24, 2023

    Criminal Prosecutions: Dobbs and the Future of Care, American Legal Connections Healthcare Symposium, Atlanta, GA, July 27, 2023 

    Mistake or Crime?: The Criminalization of Healthcare Errors, panelist, Medical Professional Liability Association Conference, New Orleans, LA, May 18, 2023

    AI Liability: What is Brewing and What We Will See, University of Rochester webinar, April 21, 2023

    Best Practices for an Audit Trial Expert Deposition, co-presenter, American Legal Connections, webinar, April 6, 2023

    Defending Rule 30(b)(6) Corporate Designee Depositions, co-presenter, ALC Regional Meeting, Atlanta, GA, March 23, 2023

    Criminalization of Medical Errors - Will it Make Us Safer?, co-presenter, Hospital Insurance Federation, Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ, March 20, 2023

    Legal and Ethical Pitfalls in Managing Dual Civil and Criminal Investigations, DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar, Chicago, IL, March 10, 2023

    Relationships Matter: A Frank Discussion of Hot Button Issues Facing Claims Professionals and Counsel, panelist, DRI Insurance Roundtable, Chicago, IL, March 8, 2023

    Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: The Good, Bad, and Ugly, SCAHRM webinar, March 28, 2023

    Fostering a Culture of Success: How to Get Your Lawyers’ and Staff’s Mindset from Surviving to Thriving, co-presenter, Association of Legal Administrators, Philadelphia Chapter webinar, January 26, 2023

    The New Liability Issues of Artificial Intelligence in Health Care, Ethicon, a division of Johnson and Johnson, webinar, December 12, 2022

    Recent Cases Warn Defendants Not to Become Lost on the Audit Trail, American Legal Connections webinar, December 1, 2022

    It’s Not All About the Virus: Defending “Other” COVID-19 Pandemic Claims, ASHRM Annual Conference, Boston, MA, September 13, 2022

    Legal and Technical Arguments to Manage, Explain and Defend Audit Trail Information, DRI Senior Living and Long-Term Care Litigation Seminar, Nashville, TN, September 9, 2022

    "Managing Parallel Criminal and Civil Investigations," American Legal Connections Healthcare Risk and Litigation Symposium, Atlanta, GA, July 28, 2022

    "Litigation Risks Associated with AI in Healthcare," Thomson Reuters webinar, June 27, 2022

    "Artificial Intelligence and Dentistry: Protecting Yourself From Liability," client webinar, June 16, 2022

    "Risks and Legal Aspects of Artificial Intelligence in Health Care," Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting, Columbus, OH, June 14, 2022

    A New Frontier: Maintaining Transparency and Defenses Following the RaDonda Vaught Criminal Verdict, CHART Institute virtual conference, June 7, 2022

    New Risks With the Application of Artificial Intelligence to Medicine, Washington Healthcare Risk Management Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA, June 3, 2022

    RaDonda Vaught: What Happened and What Can We Learn From Her Trial, virtual lesson, Duke University School of Nursing, June 2, 2022

    A Hard Task: Balancing Transparency While Avoiding Liability Following the RaDonda Vaught Criminal Verdict, webinar, West Virginia ASHRM Chapter, May 20, 2022

    Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Revolutionary or Risky?, panelist, Medical Professional Liability Association Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, May 13, 2022 

    The New Reality - Managing the EMR and Audit Trail, panelist, New England Regional Healthcare Risk Management Conference, Groton, CT, May 2, 2022

    A Discussion on the RaDonda Vaught Criminal Trial, panelist, New England Regional Healthcare Risk Management Conference, Groton, CT, May 2, 2022

    Best Practices for Balancing Transparency While Avoiding Liability Following the RaDonda Vaught Criminal Verdict, American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, national webinar, April 15, 2022

    Liability Issues with Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Litigation, American Legal Connections, national webinar, January 27, 2022

    Anticipated Liability Risks of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, ASHRM Annual Conference, October 4 (live session) and October 26, 2021 (virtual session)

    Healthcare Acquired Infections in Nursing Homes and Hospitals: Standards of Practice, Claims, Defenses, Damages, Strafford Legal Publications National Webinar, October 19, 2021

    Coming Soon: AI Issues in Healthcare Liability Claims, Pennsylvania Association for Healthcare Risk Management, September 17, 2021

    The Risks and Legal Aspects of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, Hospital Insurance Federation webinar, May 19, 2021

    The Future is Here: AI and Healthcare Claims, South Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Healthcare Risk Management webinar, April 23, 2021

    Integrating Health Care and Technology: Apps, Medical Devices and AI, client webinar, February 18, 2021

    Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Risk Management and Litigation Issues, online continuing education conference, Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, January 12, 2021

    It’s Not All About the Medicine: The New Scrutiny on Your EMR Documentation, presented at a virtual meeting of the Luzerne/Lackawanna Medical Society, November 18, 2020

    The Return of Jury Trials: The Current State of Jury Trials in the Age of COVID-19, national teleconference for American Legal Connections (ALC), November 12, 2020

    Learn From Those Who Know: Jury Trial Tactics During the COVID-19 Pandemic, DRI National Remote CLE, September 15, 2000

    Lessons and Observations Made From a Socially-Distanced Jury Trial During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Inaugural PDI Remote CLE, September 10, 2020

    Lessons Learned in with EMR Discovery, Hospital Insurance Federation (HIF), September 9, 2020

    Managing EMR and Audit Trail Discovery, LAMMICO Defense Panel Meeting, August 20, 2020

    Preparing A Claim for Trial: How Recent Issues, Decisions and Trends Are Impacting Litigation Outcomes, client webinar, June 4, 2020

    “Warning Fatigue” Now a Matter of Criminal Liability: The Radonda Vaught Story, Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Webinar, May 24, 2020

    Telehealth and Documentation in the Time of COVID-19: Information and Best Practices to Protect Patients and Clinicians webinar, May 14, 2020 

    The Defense Strikes Back: Managing EMR and Audit Trail Discovery2019 ASHRM Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD, October 14, 2019

    Frankenstein's Monster: National Scrutiny on EMR Warning Workarounds, Pennsylvania Association for Health Care Risk Management (PAHCRM) Fall Conference, Penn State Berks Campus, Reading, PA, September 13, 2019

    Warning: Fatigue Now a Matter of Criminal Liability: The Radonda Vaught Story, co-presenter, Pennsylvania Association for Health Care Risk Management (PAHCRM), July 12, 2019, Bedford, PA

    Back to the Future: What the Proposed Venue Changes Mean for Health Care Provider Defendants, Co-Presenter, Pennsylvania Defense Institute Webinar, February 6, 2019

    Published Works

    "Litigation Landscape: Your GPS for Avoiding Legal Action," In Session with Allied World, Winter 2023

    "Sanctions Against Health System Demonstrate That It's Time to Get Serious About Audit Trail Discovery," Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, August 18, 2022

    "Evolution of the EMR: The Integration of AI in Medicine," The Legal Intelligencer, March 28, 2022

    "Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Creates Real Risk Management and Litigation Issues," Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, September 2020

    "Negligent Advice of a Class III Medical Device Sales Rep," The Legal Intelligencer, Medical Malpractice Supplement, April 11, 2017

    "A Pandora’s Box: The EMR’s Audit Trail," Counterpoint, newsletter of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute, February 2017

    "It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over: Judge Wettick Affirms Practice of Limiting Deposition Opinions of Defendant Physicians," Defense Digest, Vol. 22, No. 4, December 2016

    "Wake Me Up!! I've Had Enough!! Litigation Nightmares With the Electronic Medical Record," The Risk Management Quarterly, newsletter of the Association for Healthcare Risk Management of New York, Inc. (AHRMNY)

    "EMR's and Litigation: Issues Decided and What's Next?" The Legal Intelligencer, Medical Malpractice Supplement (page 5), April 12, 2016

    Electronic Medical Records and Litigation, published by Thomson Reuters Legal, September 2014

    "OMG?! The Impact of Social Media on the Tripartite Relationship," Co-Author, Litigation Management Magazine, Spring 2013

    "What's It Worth? Best Practices in Defending Economic Damages in the Catastrophic Accident," Co-Author, Litigation Management Magazine, Fall 2012

    "Reducing Medical Malpractice E-Discovery Issues and Costs," The Legal Intelligencer, February 14, 2012

    "A View From the Trenches: Discovery Issues With Electronic Medical Records," Risk Rx, Special Edition on the Electronic Health Record, University of Florida, Vol. 8, No. 1 January-March, 2011; and Florida Hospital Association's Risk Review, August 23, 2011

    Media Commentary

    "LPN Found Not Guilty in Gait Belt 'Abduction' Case," McKnights Long-Term Care News, September 1, 2022

    "Both Sides Claim Win After Inconclusive Med Mal Venue Study," Law360, February 4, 2020 (subscription required)

    "Hospital Sole Defendant in Some ED Malpractice Claims," ED Legal Letter, December 2019

    "Philly or Not - Victims Face Long Odds in PA Med-Mal Cases," Law360, March 1, 2019

    U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania
    New York
    U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
    Supreme Court of the United States
    Roger Williams University School of Law (J.D., 1996)
    Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (B.A., cum laude, 1993)
    Honors & awards
    AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
    The Best Lawyers in America®, Medical Malpractice Law - Defendants
    The Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation – Health Care
    Defense Research Institute Foundation Community Service Award, 2023
    DRI Leadership Award 2023
    “Service Award” by the Defense Research Institute, October 2021
    "Exceptional Performance Citation" by the Defense Research Institute, July 2015
    Associations & memberships
    American Legal Connections, Healthcare Advisory Committee Member
    American Society for Health Care Risk Management (ASHRM)
    Claim and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Co-Chair for Pennsylvania Membership Development, 2012
    Defense Research Institute (DRI), Atlantic Region Director, 2019-2021; State Membership Chairman, 2017; State Representative to DRI on behalf of Pennsylvania Defense Institute, 2017
    DRI Foundation, President, 2021-2023
    Lackawanna County Bar Association
    Pennsylvania Association for Health Care Risk Management (PAHCRM), President, 2012, 2016
    Pennsylvania Bar Association, Health Care Law Committee, Secretary, 2010-2012; Health Care Law Subcommittee on Civil Litigation, Chairman, 2011
    Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform
    Pennsylvania Defense Institute (PDI), President, 2014; Executive Board, 2009-2013; Board of Directors, 2007-2009, 2015-present; state representative to the Defense Research Institute, 2017
    Year joined