Largest Verdict in a Personal Injury case
in Pennsylvania history
Largest-ever compensatory verdict
Then-second largest Product
Liability verdict in U.S. history
Auto Accident Verdict
Largest single-victim fatality settlement
Civil Rights verdict
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Andrew J. Stern is one of the Philadelphia area’s most accomplished trial lawyers, an advocate widely known for his ardent representation of clients and the results it produces in the courtroom, including record-setting verdicts.
A former partner with The Beasley Firm who joined Kline & Specter in 2005 as a partner, Stern in 2000 won a jury verdict that is still talked about – a $100 million award for a baby who suffered severe brain damage in a medical malpractice case. (See The Vlasny case.) The verdict is the largest-ever compensatory award in Pennsylvania. All told, Stern has obtained jury verdicts in his career which amount to approximately $175 million.
In 2004, Stern won a $38.2 million verdict in Delaware County Court in a case against the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Borough of East Lansdowne for a girl who was badly injured in an auto accident at an infamously dangerous intersection. The verdict in the Robley Case is the largest in a Pennsylvania county outside of Philadelphia. (See National Law Journal, Top 100 Verdicts of 2004)
Recently, Stern won a settlement in a cancer misdiagnosis case that resulted not only in a monetary payment but also changes in hospital policy. In that case, a woman had been incorrectly diagnosed as being cancer-free, leaving her disease untreated for two years. The hospital has agreed to now confirm cancer diagnoses by a second board-certified pathologist. "Hopefully, the demand for this change in hospital policy will help improve cancer patient outcomes and ultimately save lives," said Stern. (Read more about the case.)
Stern's accomplishments were recognized by Super Lawyers 2005 - 2013 with its selection of Stern as one of the top lawyers in Pennsylvania. He was also selected for Best Lawyers in America in 2013 and Philadelphia’s Best Lawyers, and is included among the Presidential Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers. And the The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly mentioned Stern’s record-setting legal victories in naming him to the list of Top 10 attorneys switching to new law firms in 2005. Attorneys were selected based on a number of factors, including name recognition, the opinions of local experts and because each was considered “a star” in the legal community. (Read the article.)
Stern in February 2007 won an $8 million settlement for the family of a millworker who fell into a high-temperature paper pulping machine that was not properly guarded in compliance with OSHA industry standards. As a result of the accident, the worker sustained horrific burns and ultimately died, leaving behind his wife and 12-year-old son. The settlement came at the conclusion of a lengthy trial. (See Green.)
In another case, Stern won a $15 million verdict for a woman (See Dupon) who suffered a stroke following carotid artery surgery. Before returning their verdict, the jurors in that case had one question: "Is there a maximum amount of monetary compensation that we can assign?" And in yet another medical malpractice case, Stern convinced a jury to take the unusual step of awarding punitive damages against a dentist who had altered his medical records, a fact Stern revealed during the trial in Bucks County.
In other major cases, Stern won the following:
- A $3 million verdict for a woman injured during surgery to remove a benign pituitary tumor. The medical errors left Sheila Grolimund with little sense of taste or smell, forcing her to give up her bakery business. The verdict was handed down in December 1999.
- A $2.8 million Philadelphia jury verdict in March 2004 for a man whose doctor's failure to order diagnostic testing allowed his cancer to grow for five months, resulting in painful treatments and an increased risk of recurrence. (see Denning)
- A $1.8 million verdict for a woman whose doctor failed to timely diagnose her breast cancer. The award, decided in February 1994, was a record at the time in Gloucester County, N.J. (see Brotsker)
In addition to medical malpractice, Stern has broad experience in product liability cases, where he has successfully handled suits involving aircraft accidents, defective helmets and head gear, defective machine tools and automotive design defect litigation. He also has significant experience in the field of construction and workplace accidents.
Stern is a licensed pilot since 1993 and he has litigated a number of important aviation cases. He appears regularly on news programs to provide expert commentary on aviation matters and plane crashes, including the January 2009 emergency Hudson River landing of a jetliner in New York and the crash of a Continental Airlines jet near Buffalo, N.Y. which killed 50 people. (See TV news clips.)
Stern currently is litigating a case in state court in Trenton, N.J., involving a South Carolina plane crash case which claimed the lives of six New Jersey residents, including a well-known orthodontist who practiced in Bucks County, Pa.
In one highly publicized aviation case, Stern represented the estates of two pilots killed in the April 1991 mid-air crash over Merion, Pa., that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Sen. John Heinz and several others. Stern won a substantial settlement in the case against the Sun Company, whose helicopter crew was proved to be the primary cause of the accident.
Stern also worked on a case in which a defective jet de-icing system -- one which shed chunks of ice directly into turbofan engines – caused the deaths of Federal Aviation Administration inspectors in a crash near Latrobe, Pa. That case concluded in large settlement. Stern has also litigated a number of other aviation-related cases.
Stern has also successfully argued cases in the appellate courts. In 2001, he convinced the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to allow evidence concerning patients' fear of recurring cancer in cases in which doctors fail to properly diagnose and treat the disease.
Stern has also handled pharmaceutical litigation, including the firm's nationwide case against Pfizer Inc., the maker of Bextra, a pain medication that was suspended from the market after it was linked to a greater incidence of heart attacks and strokes among patients.
In 2004, Stern was appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Procedural Rules Committee; his term expires in 2010. The panel, created in 1937, is the oldest of the high court’s committees and assists the court in the preparation, revision and administration of civil practice rules.
Stern earned his bachelor’s degree in 1983 from Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated cum laude. In 1986, he received his law degree from The Beasley School of Law of Temple University, where he won the Barrister’s Trial Award and also was one of the “Founding Fathers” of the Temple Trial Team. During law school, Stern clerked for the late Judge James Hunter 3d of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
Stern has had teaching responsibilities with Temple’s LLM program and he recently lectured on the use of experts in litigation at a LLM class. He also has been involved in teaching trial advocacy techniques to students at Drexel University Law School and plans to assist Drexel's trial team in an upcoming competition. He is a faculty member with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy's (NITA) National Mid-Atlantic Program. Stern has also worked as an adjunct professor in legal writing and trial advocacy at The Beasley School of Law. He has taught Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses for attorneys on Products Liability, Demonstrative Evidence, Trial Strategy, Advanced Deposition Strategies and Advanced Trial Skills, among others. He was moderator for the acclaimed 2003 Masters on Trial seminar.
Stern is a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.
Andy Stern On TV
- Andy Stern comments on airport control tower problems, Fox 29 4/14/11
- Andy Stern interviewed on airplane runway mishaps, Fox 29 4/12/11
- Andy Stern on SW Airlines mishap, Fox 29 4/5/11
- Andy Stern comments on duck boad accident, Fox 29 7/9/10
- Andy Stern comments of F-16 collision scare, Fox 29 4/9/10
- Andy Stern comments on airplane near collision, Fox 29 3/31/10
- Andy Stern comments on kids in airplane control towers, Fox 29 3/3/10
- Andy Stern comments on unsafe planes, Fox 29 2/2/10
- Andy Stern on the Buffalo crash pilot recordings, Good Day Philadelphia 5/13/09
- Andy Stern interviewed about Buffalo plane crash, Fox 29 5/12/09
- Andy Stern comments on Buffalo plane crash probe, Good Day Philadelphia 2/16/09
- Andy Stern interviewed on fatal Buffalo plane crash, Fox 29 2/13/09
- Andy Stern analyzes pilot action in NYC jet crash, Good Day Philadelphia 2/6/09
- Andy Stern interviewed on Hudson River plane crash, Fox 29 2/5/09
- Andy Stern comments on Hudson River Plane crash, Fox 29 1/16/09
- Andy Stern interviewed on NYC plane mishap, Fox 29 1/15/09