Thomas E. Tyler, Managing Partner
(215) 732-3755 Ext. 207
Fax: (215) 732-0124
Areas of Practice: Insurance Defense; Commercial
Law School: New York Law School, J.D., 1986
Membership: The Defense Research Institute; Pennsylvania Defense Institute; The Claims & Litigation Management Alliance; Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
Admitted: Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1986); U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (1988); U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania (2011).
With his demonstrated thoroughness and persistence, and his ability to clearly and convincingly convey his clients’ defenses to juries that have returned seven consecutive defense verdicts (summarized below), as well as his numerous defense summary judgments and prevailing appellate arguments, Tom Tyler has established a remarkable & winning record in all aspects of personal injury defense, insurance law and construction law, including construction accidents, premises liability, and motor vehicle accidents, and particularly issues associated with work site litigation, interpretation of contractual defense and indemnification provisions, and comparable risk transfer issues. Tom also counsels on insurance coverage matters, bad faith defense and insurance regulatory matters.
Five of Tom’s defense verdicts were cases involving construction accidents, premises liability, or motor vehicle accidents, in notoriously plaintiff friendly Philadelphia County, of which all had at least six figure exposure and generally very sympathetic plaintiffs, and included even cases where, conceding liability for the accident, the defense proceeded on damages causation only. Most recently, in April 2016 Tom tried a UIM and Bad Faith claim in the Federal Middle District of Pennsylvania, brought by a well known and established plaintiff’s attorney in Harrisburg representing himself, in which the UIM insurance carrier was the sole defendant. Damages of $750,000 to $1,000,000 were claimed, as well as Bad Faith. The case also resulted in a complete defense verdict.
In 2013, Tom was asked to prepare an amicus brief (found at 2013 WL 7176295) for the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania’s largest trade association of commercial insurers, with over 200 members) for the appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of Patton v Worthington Associates, which addressed the precipitous and ill advised reversal of Pennsylvania’s century long Statutory Employer Doctrine. In reversing the lower courts, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed the Doctrine, relying on Tom’s amicus brief to conclude “[t]he courts cannot abide the sort of distortions which occurred here as a counterbalance to previous decisions with which some may disagree. Were we to do so, we would not quell the sorts of apprehensions about the competency of the justice system expressed by several of Worthington’s amici.” Patton v. Worthington Associates, Inc., 625 Pa. 1, 13, 89 A.3d 643, 650, 2014 WL 1236499 at 6 (2014).
Tom serves as an Elder in his church, and as President of the Board of the Abington Township Public Library. He and his wife and their three children reside in Jenkintown.
NOTABLE CASES LITIGATED BY TOM TYLER:
Angino et ux. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, No. 1:15-CV-952. In a UIM and Bad Faith claim brought by a well known and established plaintiff’s attorney in Harrisburg representing himself, damages of $750,000 to $1,000,000 were claimed, as was Bad Faith for failure to settle. By developing a thorough defense medical examination, and effectively using the plaintiff’s own medical providers against the plaintiff’s case, Tom showed at trial that the plaintiff’s claimed permanent injuries were the result of degenerative changes, and that no income loss was sustained by the plaintiff. Result: Defense Verdict
Bell v. Guang and SE Holidays, Inc., Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, October Term 2011, No. 3410. Defendant’s tourist coach turned into, and sideswiped, plaintiff’s car as both vehicles turned right off an interstate exit ramp. Defendant conceded liability for the accident but not causation for damages, while plaintiff claimed complex regional pain syndrome of the left upper extremity, and permanent wage loss and inability to work, for which $3.3 million was demanded. Tom’s medical defense discounted the CRPS claim for the absence of any objective signs of neuropathic disorder such as hair loss, immobility or guarding of the arm, atrophy, and the like, none of which was observable. Result: Defense Verdict
Dercole v Scott Building Corp.,Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, August Term 2010, No. 3272. Plaintiff fell in the street upon leaving her job at the end of her workday, approaching the parking lot where she was parked, and claims to have slipped on asphalt sealant, causing a displaced left patella fracture surgically corrected by ORIF, for which plaintiff’s settlement demand was $625,000. By effectively “proving the negative,” Tom demonstrated that the defendant never used any asphalt sealant in its construction operations, nor was it charged with removing such sealant left by previous, unrelated construction operations. Result: Defense Verdict
Berry v. C&C Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, September Term, 2009, No. 3387. Plaintiff, an electrician working in a new home construction installing an electrical line along ceiling joists, stepped down from his stepladder onto an alleged 2×4 piece of scrap wood about 6″ long, alleged to have been left by the defendant HVAC contractor, whose duct installation over three weeks earlier was the alleged source of the scrap wood. Plaintiff alleged a medial meniscal tear, chondromalacia patella and joint fluid accumulation, and demanded settlement at $2.25 million. Tom’s defense demonstrated not merely the wholly speculative basis of plaintiff’s liability claim, but also the burden of plaintiff’s own, self-evident comparative negligence; Tom also showed the knee complaints were degeneratively induced. Result: Defense Verdict
Lane v. CDC Catering, Inc., Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, January Term, 2008, No. 2003. The plaintiff, a 63-year old part-time psychiatric nurse, was attending a large (300+) Confirmation Party at the defendant banquet hall, celebrating the recent confirmation of her grandson. As she walked across the dance floor while an estimated seventy-five 11- and 12-year olds danced, one 11-year old boy slid across the floor and struck the plaintiff, causing her to fall and break her hip. Plaintiff, contending the defendant permitted the site to be overly overcrowded and congested, and that defendant had notice of the children’s behavior, demanded settlement at $750,000. Tom’s defense demonstrated that the plaintiff herself, seated next to the dance floor over the course of the party, had to have seen the behavior of which she was charging the defendant with notice. Moreover, Tom emphasized all other witnesses characterized the behavior as typical of the age group, and there was insufficient evidence of notice of the particular sliding dance move the boy engaged in to charge the defendant with actual or constructive notice. Result: Defense Verdict
Baker v. Locker Room Self Storage, Inc., Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, November Term, 2004, No. 0310. The plaintiff, a former user of the defendant’s self storage facility, claimed $100,000 to settle for left elbow radial head fracture, a right knee contusion with possible meniscal tear, and sprain and strain complaints following a fall either at the time he exited the rear of his panel truck, or a few steps later. Plaintiff claimed the condition of the ground caused his fall, for which he sued defendant. However, the plaintiff had supplied two other, differing versions of the fall (including one describing a fall simply from the back of the truck, to ER medical staff that was virtually identical to a defense version provided before the defendant knew of the ER visit). Result: Defense Verdict
Washbourne v. Schutt Manufacturing Co., Inc., Chester County Court of Common Pleas, No. 01-07767. Plaintiff, playing in a Chester County adult baseball league, was covering second base when a sliding runner contacted the plaintiff’s foot, trapping it between the runner and the anchored base, causing malleolar and left distal fibula fractures repaired by ORIF, bone grafting and fasciotomy procedures that the plaintiff alleged left him with instability, paresthesia and numbness of the foot, pes savus deformity, a left common peroneal nerve and left posterior tibial nerve neuropathy, and left foot drop. Plaintiffs sued the baseball base manufacturer in product liability, seeking $1.75 million in settlement, contending the base should have been a break-away base, and that defendant failed to adequately warn users that injuries could result to fielders whose ankles remained between advancing runners and the anchored base. Tom demonstrated that the plaintiff was a learned and knowledgeable user of the base, to whom defendant owed no duty to warn, in view of plaintiff’s “hundreds of games” played on anchored bases over high school, college and adult league play. Result: Defense Verdict
James W. Layne
(215) 732-3755 Ext. 218
Fax: (215) 732-0124
Areas of Practice: Insurance Defense, Civil Litigation, Products Liability, Consumer Protection
Law School: Widener University School of Law, J.D., 2004
Membership: Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association, Pennsylvania Defense Institute
Robert S. Davis (Retired)
Areas of Practice: Insurance Defense; Transportation
Law School: University of Virginia, LL.B., 1967
Membership: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations; The Defense Research Institute; Pennsylvania Defense Institute; Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel.
Lloyd George Parry (Of Counsel)
Areas of Practice: Commercial Law; Civil; Medical Malpractice; Civil Rights; Products Liability Defense; Criminal Defense
Law School: Georgetown University, J.D., 1969
Membership: Philadelphia Bar Association; Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association