Thomas P. Birris

Co-Chair, Hospitality and Liquor Liability Practice Group
Of Counsel

    Tom has practiced exclusively in areas relating to insurance defense since his admission to the bar. He has handled multiple matters in the areas of premises liability, liquor liability, professional liability, product liability, motor vehicle and municipal liability. Tom has extensive jury trial experience and has taken a great number of cases to verdict.

    Tom has also developed a practice in the representation of various sports facilities and teams, sports associations, ski resorts and other outdoor outfitters in sports and recreation. Additionally, he has represented national organizations in liquor liability claims.

    Tom has been selected by his peers to be included in Best Lawyers in America® (2010 - Present.)

    Tom is a 1984 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation from college, he attended the Duquesne University School of Law. There he served as a member of the Duquesne Law Review during his second year and the Executive Editorial Board during his third year. Tom received his juris doctor in 1987.

    Prior to entering college, Tom served four years of active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, being honorably discharged in 1980.

    Significant Representative Matters

    Handled a $40 million fire case. We reversed bifurcated this matter and tried the damage part of the case first for two weeks. The damages came in at less than had been evaluated; therefore, it was an excellent result. As a result, the case settled at mediation. The details of the settlement are confidential.

    Have handled cases involving large industrial facilities, such as steel mills, condo complexes, warehouses, dormitory construction, etc.

    Handled a construction case involving an amputation arising out of an accident that occurred during the construction of high end condos in Pittsburgh. Represented the general contractor. Plaintiff was an employee of the electrical subcontractor. As the result of our filing a Motion for Summary Judgment based upon statutory employer defense, we settled the case for $10,000 at mediation while the motion was pending.

    Successfully defended a number of high-exposure cases, including multi-million dollar construction and fire cases.

    Classes/Seminars Taught

    Pennsylvania Liquor Liability Claims, Hospitality Mutual Insurance Company, June 2015

    Duquesne University School of Law (J.D., 1987)
    University of Pittsburgh (B.A., magna cum laude, 1984)
    Honors & awards
    The Best Lawyers in America®, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants
    Associations & memberships
    Allegheny County Bar Association
    Pennsylvania Bar Association
    Year joined