On the Pulse…Our Special Forces Unit: The Birth and Catastrophic Injury Litigation Practice Group

Defense Digest, Vol. 23, No. 1, March 2017

by T. Kevin FitzPatrick, Esquire

Defending high-exposure cases is routine throughout our Health Care Department, but separate and apart are the litigation matters being handled by the attorneys in our Birth and Catastrophic Injury Litigation Practice Group. Think of our Health Care Department as a branch of the military. Now think of our Birth and Catastrophic Ingury Practice Group as a Special Forces Unit, ready to answer any assignment on short notice. Because these type of cases involve birth injuries, infants and children, significant trauma, as well as catastrophic injuries requiring lifelong medical care with associated wage loss claims, their level of exposure often extends into eight-digit values. As a consequence, these matters require an extremely high level of defense experience and aptitude, which our firm is fortunately able to provide.

Steve Ryan, working out of our King of Prussia office, has been practicing for over 40 years and is chair of the practice group. Steve’s trial resume is extensive. He has tried numerous birth injury matters over the years, along with significant high-exposure matters in other areas of medicine. Because of his experience and accomplishments, Steve has been selected and is currently serving on both the Birth Injury Specialty Counsel and Catastrophic Injury Specialty Counsel panels for a national insurer, where he collaborates and shares information with top trial attorneys across the country. Another member of the Specialty Counsel Panel is David Krolikowski, also from the King of Prussia office. Dave is a former molecular immunologist who serves clients through his experience in biostatistics, laboratory research, clinical trials and interpretation of scientific literature, including Daubert and Frye challenges.

The Birth Injury and Catastrophic Practice Group works in these areas:

  • Defending birth injury claims, without geographical limitation.
  • Defending medical malpractice claims involving other types of catastrophic injury, in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Assisting in non-malpractice casualty litigation involving serious injuries with complex medical issues and possible alternate causation.
  • Developing robust mitigation strategies and utilizing reputable experts to attack damage projections.


Marshall Dennehey’s health care lawyers are recognized for their experience and results in the handling of these types of large-exposure cases. The Legal Intelligencer recognized our Health Care Department in 2012 as being the “Litigation Department of the Year–Medical Malpractice.” More recently, in 2016, the same publication conferred upon our firm “Litigation Department of the Year” in the “Professional Liability” and “Appellate” categories. The professional liability category included health care matters, and numerous health care litigation cases were reviewed as part of the selection process. Such recognition is achieved through the hard work and efforts of our attorneys and staff in various offices where these type of matters are handled. Significant representative cases in the last few years that have been successfully defended through trial include obstetrical malpractice cases with neurologically impaired newborns; stroke cases resulting in severe neurologic deficits; neurosurgical cases resulting in complications such as blindness, meningitis, infection and death; as well as other medically complex matters.

The fact that clients continue to look to Marshall Dennehey to handle birth injury and catastrophic injury matters is a testament to the experience, training and skill of our attorneys. Our mission as a health care litigation department is to remain vigilant and be as committed as possible to exposing our attorneys to the courtroom experience and to try cases so that carriers and clients will continue to have confidence in our abilities as we move into the future. We will strive to collaborate with our clients and, hopefully, partner with them on the importance of developing our younger attorneys with the goal to always have a team of special forces ready when the need arises.

*Kevin is a shareholder and the Director of our Health Care Department. He can be reached at 610-354-8252 or tkfitzpatrick@mdwcg.com.



Defense Digest, Vol. 23, No. 1, March 2017. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2017 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact tamontemuro@mdwcg.com.