Matthew S. Schorr

Director, Casualty Department

    Matthew is a member of the firm's Board of Directors and serves as Director of the Casualty Department.  As Director of the Casualty Department, the largest of the firm’s four legal departments, he is responsible for administrative oversight and management of the more than 250 lawyers who comprise the department among the firm's 19 offices.

    An experienced litigator with a broad legal background gained from working at specialized firms in New York and New Jersey, Matthew brings the perspective of having defended individuals, insurance companies, and major corporations in complex litigations within a variety of practice areas.

    Matthew joined Marshall Dennehey as a shareholder and co-chair of the maritime litigation practice group in June of 2008. He and his litigation team routinely handle high-exposure cases in the fields of premises liability, product liability, restaurant/bar liability, marine, inland marine, construction accidents, automobile, insurance coverage, condominium/community association law, medical malpractice and subrogation.

    Based upon his experience, skill, and effectiveness at trial, Matthew has been certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, an achievement attained by less than two percent of lawyers in New Jersey. He has 10 published opinions and has argued before the Supreme Court of New Jersey on multiple occasions. Matthew was also one of the first trial attorneys to participate in the pilot program that permitted jurors to question witnesses and was asked to lecture at the ATLA Boardwalk Seminar as the defense speaker on this topic.

    In 1991, Matthew began his career at Donovan, Parry, Walsh & Repetto, a New York firm that pioneered maritime and insurance law, where he handled a variety of challenging matters involving Jones Act seaman claims, insurance coverage disputes, hull and cargo liability actions, consumer fraud, premises liability, subrogation, product liability, and various commercial cases. He also achieved the status as a Proctor in Admiralty. In 1996, Matthew joined the well-known medical malpractice defense firm of McDonough, Korn & Eichhorn, which went on to become McDonough, Korn, Eichhorn & Schorr subsequent to his ascension to partnership in 1999. During his 12 years with the firm, he managed and helped the firm develop maritime, insurance, community association law, and casualty practices. He also became a seasoned trial lawyer taking dozens of malpractice and casualty cases to trial with a success rate of approximately 95 percent.

    Matthew graduated cum laude from the State University of New York at Albany in 1988 and received his juris doctor from Fordham Law School in 1991, where he was named a Leonard F. Manning Scholar. Matthew is admitted to the bars of New York and New Jersey. 

    Significant Representative Matters

    Obtained a defense verdict following a two-week trial in Camden County.  Our insured, a stevedore company (responsible for discharging cargo ships), had offloaded telephone pole-sized pillars of solid steel, known as "blooms" from a ship at a marine terminal port and stacked them on the pier.  The plaintiff was a supervisor for the port owner, whose company was responsible for subsequently loading the blooms by forklift onto trucks for delivery to the end-user. 

    During the truck loading process , the forklift operator and our insured's “checker” (responsible for insuring that the correct inventory was being loaded and shipped) experienced difficulty loading the last of 3 blooms onto a truck.  The plaintiff, as supervisor of the forklift operator, stopped to assist.  While attempting a routine repositioning procedure, the bloom, which weighed approximately 7 tons, inadvertently rolled off the forklift blades, crushing the plaintiff's right leg and necessitating an above-the-knee amputation.

    The plaintiff alleged that the accident and injury resulted from our client’s negligence with improperly stacking the blooms after discharge, as well as the checker’s involvement during the repositioning procedure. The plaintiff’s demand was $3.5 million. Following a two week trial, and into a second day of deliberations, the jury ultimately concluded that any negligence of our client did not proximately cause the accident, but rather the accident was caused by the conduct of the forklift operator and the plaintiff himself. A defense verdict was returned.

    Obtained a defense verdict following a 1 month trial where the plaintiff, a 47 year old female periodontist, alleged that she sustained a career-ending injury, resulting in total disability, when she was struck by a deteriorated section of a wood privacy fence at the insured's condominium complex where she lived. The plaintiff underwent anterior & posterior lumbar spinal fusion surgery 3 months after the accident and then sold her practice 3 months later. She had been earning approximately $200,000 annually. The plaintiff rejected a $2 million settlement offer (which had been extended to protect an excess layer) on the last day of trial, holding firm on a $7 million demand. 

    Obtained a defense verdict following a jury trial in Federal District Court on a Maritime Jones Act Seaman claim.  The plaintiff, a commercial fisherman, suffered a crushed hand injury while lowering clam cages. The defense successfully maintained that the vessel was seaworthy and that the accident was caused by the claimant's own negligence.  

    Obtained a defense verdict following a jury trial on behalf of two surgeons in a medical malpractice case alleging negligence during a laparoscopic gall bladder removal surgery in which the common bile duct was inadvertently transected. The plaintiff required additional surgery and suffered a difficult post-operative course as well as alleged permanent liver damage. The jury accepted the defense argument that aberrant anatomy led to this accepted complication. 

    Obtained a defense verdict following a jury trial on behalf of NY Waterway. The plaintiff fell on a ramp while entering a ferry boat, suffering a fractured knee that required surgical repair. The plaintiff alleged that the ramp on which she fell was negligently designed. The defense used as its liability expert Tom Blomquist, US Coast Guard (Ret.). Capt. Blomquist had served as the Commanding Officer of the US Coast Guard Marine Inspection Office, Philadelphia, Pa., and convincingly testified that the ramp was in compliance with all applicable Coast Guard and maritime related regulations. The jury apparently liked or sympathized with the plaintiff as it returned a question during deliberations, asking if it could award monetary damages in the absence of any adverse finding against the defendant. After the judge instructed the jury that it could not, the jury returned its verdict in favor of the defense. 

    Obtained a defense verdict following a jury trial on behalf of a surgeon in a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff suffered a puncture of the aorta during a laparoscopic gall bladder surgery. The plaintiff was pregnant at the time and the fetus died. The jury accepted the defense argument that inadvertent vascular injury was a rare but recognized complication of the procedure. 

    Obtained a defense verdict following a jury trial in a premises liability action against a condominium complex.   The plaintiff claimed that she fell on ice on a sidewalk following a snow storm. She suffered a fractured shoulder that required surgical repair.  Matthew was successful not only in obtaining a defense verdict on behalf of the condominium Association as to the plaintiff, but was also successful in pursuing a cross claim for defense and indemnity against the co­defendant snow contractor. The client was awarded all legal costs incurred in having defended the suit, plus interest and fees. 

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    Autonomous Vehicles: The Rise of the Machines - Moderator, ILG Virtual Conference, March 25, 2021

    Negligent Security: Foreseeable Crime - Believable Risk - Moderator, ILG Virtual Conference, March 22, 2021

    Impact of Long Shore and New York Labor Law, the Jones Act and McBride Decision on Punitive Damages Under Maritime Law, Navigators Insurance Marine Department, April 2015

    New Jersey Contractual Indemnity and Additional Insured Issues, Zurich Insurance, April 2015

    Advanced Trial Strategies, National Business Institute, Newark, NJ, December 2014

    Know Before You Go, CLM Claims College -  Property School, Faculty, Philadelphia, PA, September 2014

    Transportation Claims and Recovery, Travelers Insurance, April 2013

    CLE Seminar: Settlements and Releases, June 5, 2009 

    New Jersey
    New York
    U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
    U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
    U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
    U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
    U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
    Fordham University School of Law (J.D., 1991)
    State University of New York at Albany (B.A., cum laude, 1988)
    Honors & awards
    Litigation Management Institute, Graduate 2013 (CLMP)
    New Jersey Super Lawyer

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    Associations & memberships
    Association of Trial Lawyers of America
    Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
    New Jersey Bar Association
    New York Bar Association
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States
    Trial Attorneys of New Jersey
    Insurance Law Global – Casualty Committee, 2020 – Present
    Insurance Law Global – Auto/Motor Committee, 2020 – Present
    Year joined

    Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, 2005 

    Certified Proctor in Admiralty, 1996