Suzanne M. Utke


    Suzanne defends physicians, nurses, and all manner of health care professionals and corporate health care facilities against medical and psychiatric malpractice claims and lawsuits. She also focuses her practice on the defense of behavioral health claims and claims involving medical devices and associated liability. In addition, she represents physicians and physician practice groups in negotiation with health care systems for employment matters and mergers. Suzanne has also handled cases involving peer and credentialing reviews and State Board investigations. 

    Prior to earning her law degree, Suzanne was a Critical Care Nurse working in clinical settings at some of Philadelphia’s most prestigious medical hospitals. She also was a Nursing Administrator for several years, tenured in area hospitals’ Intensive Care Units, Emergency Rooms and Obstetric Departments. Suzanne maintains her Nursing license in Pennsylvania and is an active volunteer for the local medical community. 

    An experienced trial attorney, Suzanne draws from her Nursing background and institutional knowledge of health care systems and operations to guide clients in managing litigation efforts. She has an intimate understanding of the unique issues involved in defending medical professional liability claims and leverages this knowledge to achieve successful results. 

    Suzanne is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for an attorney’s professional and ethical competence. Among her numerous professional affiliations, she is a member of the New Jersey Trial Attorneys Association, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, Society of Healthcare Risk Managers (Philadelphia chapter), Defense Research Institute (Medical Liability & Health Care Law, and Drug and Medical Device Committees), and the National Association of Professional Women.



    Received a defense verdict in a binding arbitration, representing a doctor and her practice group in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. This was a Wrongful Death / Survival Action alleging malpractice against the primary care physician (PCP) and her practice, as well as numerous other physicians and two hospitals. The plaintiffs' decedent was a 42-year-old female with chronic respiratory problems including asthma, sinusitis, hypertension, morbid obesity, diabetes and other issues. The doctor was the plaintiff's long-standing PCP and saw the plaintiff three days prior to her emergent admission to the Emergency Department where she was diagnosed with a PE. When the plaintiff was seen by the PCP, she showed no signs of leg swelling, which would be consistent with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). While in the hospital, the plaintiff suffered a massive event which left her pulseless. She was coded without success. The PCP and her practice group were sued for allegations of a failure to diagnose a DVT and/or evolving PE. Suzanne negotiated a transfer from the Civil Trial Attachment in January to Binding Arbitration. After a two-day arbitration, she received a defense verdict. Plaintiff's demand immediately preceding the trial attachment was $4 million, which included a $1.3 million future wage loss. No offer was ever extended. (We negotiated a high low with the low being $30,000.)


    Medical Legal Issues for Physicians Assistants, Thomas Jefferson University School of Physicians Assistants Program, East Falls, PA and Voorhees, NJ campuses, November 10, 2022  

    New Jersey
    U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
    U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania
    U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
    U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
    Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    Widener University School of Law (J.D.)
    St. Joseph's University (MHA)
    Widener University School of Nursing (BSN)
    Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing (RN)
    Honors & awards
    Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executive and Professional Women in Nursing Healthcare
    National Academy of Jurisprudence – Premier 100
    National Association of Excellence in Jurisprudence: Top 100 - Judicial Appointment – Pennsylvania
    Associations & memberships
    American Association of Critical Care Nurses
    Defense Research Institute, member, Medical Liability and Health Care Law, Drug and Medical Device Committees
    National Association of Female Professionals
    National Association of Professional Women
    New Jersey Trial Attorneys Association
    Philadelphia Area Society of Healthcare Risk Managers
    Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
    Trucking Industry Defense Association
    Year joined