Teresa Ficken Sachs
Areas of Practice
Terry serves as the co-chair of the firm’s Appellate Advocacy and Post-Trial Practice Group. In her capacity as an appellate attorney, Terry has developed significant experience representing all manner of insureds, self-insureds and insurance carriers. With 34 years of experience as a civil litigator, including 20 as a trial attorney, Terry has the understanding and the ability to work closely with trial counsel, prior to and during trial, to ensure that all potential appellate issues are preserved.
Terry has argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, regularly appears before all levels of the Pennsylvania state and federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Pennsylvania Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts, and has also argued before the Supreme Court of Ohio. Terry is experienced in product liability matters, in a broad range of issues involving the defense of health care systems and physicians (enhanced by her background as a trained pharmacist), and in insurance coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage disputes for a number of large insurance carriers.
Frequently, Terry is asked to make presentations and author articles on insurance-related topics, as well as appellate practices. She has often been asked to represent insurance industry groups, as amici curiae, before the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts. Terry has been among the top five percent of lawyers chosen by her peers in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers as published by American Lawyer Media and Philadelphia Magazine. In 2013, she chaired the Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention.
Dedicated to community service, Terry currently serves as a board member, Vice President and Registrar for the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club. As well, she is a board member of the Twin Lakes Conservancy.
Pursued successful appeal to Superior Court from trial court's grant of new trial after jury returned a defense verdict in medical malpractice case. The Superior Court found that the trial court abused its discretion in granting a new trial based upon a juror's alleged failure to disclose certain information, where the information would not have been a basis to strike the juror for cause.
Successfully defended appeal to Superior Court in legal malpractice action by principals of telecommunications company against their prior counsel.
Pursued successful appeal to Supreme Court of Ohio in wrongful death case involving application of an arbitration clause to a lawsuit by the decedent's estate.
Successfully defended appeal to Superior Court in declaratory judgment action seeking UIM benefits from carrier than had paid all applicable coverage in motor vehicle death case.
Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal, after obtaining summary judgment in favor of insurance carrier, in declaratory judgment action involving enforceability of policy exclusion regarding insureds to whom coverage would be extended.
Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in declaratory judgment action challenging coverage denial to insurance broker in claim alleging payment of more than $1 million due to fraud by broker.
Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in brain cancer death case against university and health system. The decedent was a university research scientist; the plaintiff claimed that the decedent's brain cancer was due to alleged radiation exposure in the university research facility. The issues included applicability of the federal Price-Anderson Radiation Act standards as well as claimed medical malpractice.
Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in case seeking damages in excess of $12 million arising from construction of natural gas pipeline. The plaintiff alleged negligent misrepresentation under the Bilt-Rite doctrine with respect to certain design activities; the Third Circuit affirmed that the Bilt-Rite doctrine did not apply to impose a duty on the defendants.
Successfully defended Third Circuit appeal in suit alleging deceptive conduct under multiple state and federal laws in a sale of property.
Successful defense on appeal of judgment for defendants in premises liability death case.
Represented large university in successful defense of post-trial motions following verdict in university’s favor in case involving catastrophic injury to student, and affirmance of that result on appeal.
Represented major university health system in successful defense of Superior Court appeal involving issues of first impression regarding expert witness requirements in alleged nursing malpractice case, and ongoing defense in Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Represented insurance carrier in successful appeal to Superior Court and successful defense in Supreme Court resulting in reversal of seven-figure judgment arising from shooting during armed robbery.
Represented Northeastern Pennsylvania college in successful appeal to Superior Court and successful defense in Supreme Court, resulting in reversal of $2.5 million judgment against the college and remand for entry of judgment in its favor in case arising from campus construction project and involving complex issues including college’s control over the worksite.
Personal Injury Potpourri, Faculty, The Dispute Resolution Institute, April 2018
Highlights in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law, Marshall Dennehey Health Care and Health Law Seminar, November 9, 2017
Key Developments in Pennsylvania UM/UIM Law, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Auto Law Update, Philadelphia and Mechanicsburg, PA, October 2017
2016 Most Important Recent Cases, Dispute Resolution Institute's 18th Annual Personal Injury Potpourri, April 12, 2016
Highlights in Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Law, Health Care and Health Law Seminar, Marshall Dennehey, November 5, 2015
What Can We Learn from Nancy Raynor?, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, June 2015
Appellate Watch, Dispute Resolution Institute's 17th Annual Personal Injury Potpourri, 2015
Appellate Law and Procedure Update 2012, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel, 2012
Appellate Update 2011-2012, Defense Research Institute, 2012
Guest Lecturer/Panelist, Temple University Beasley School of Law, 2011
Winning (or Not Losing) Your Case On Appeal, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2010
"The Supreme Court's Enforcement of Antidiscrimination Laws," chapter author, The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684 – 2017. Penn State University Press, January 2018
"Automobile Insurance Law - Substance and Ethics," UM/UIM Update, Philadelphia Bar Education Center, 1995
"4 Ways Kraft Shooting Case Could Reshape Punitive Damages Litigation," Delaware Law Weekly and The Legal Intelligencer, July 21, 2017