Dominic Guerrini’s first introduction to Kline & Specter came in a classroom at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The course was Introduction to Trial Advocacy. The teacher was Shanin Specter. Guerrini’s grade: A+
Not long afterward, Guerrini graduated with honors and, after a stint with a major Philadelphia law firm, the teacher hired his former student. "Dom attained an A+ in my course,” recalls Specter. “It was hard to avoid offering him a job after that performance.”
Guerrini, now a partner at Kline & Specter (and an adjunct professor at Penn Law), has since litigated a litany of successful cases, including back-to-back-to-back eight-figure verdicts, among them a record medical malpractice verdict. His accomplishments have resulted in his being named among the top attorneys in Pennsylvania by the independent rating service Super Lawyers, including for 2019 and 2020.
In his latest case, Guerrini in July 2019 achieved a nearly $10.6 million settlement for a truck driver whose legs were crushed when a 5,000-pound steel pipe rolled off his truck during unloading at the Dura-Bond Coating Inc. pipe yard facility in Duquesne, Pa. Guerrini told The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that terms of the settlement ensured that it could be made public to send a signal to other firms “that rigorous workplace safety policies and practices are not optional.” (Read article)
Prior to that case, Guerrini, as lead counsel, won a $47 million jury verdict for a child who suffered disfiguring injuries after a doctor wrapped her head with elastic bandages to treat swelling after her premature birth. The verdict, in U.S. District Court in Johnstown, Pa., was believed to be the largest in a medical malpractice case in federal court in Pennsylvania history. (See news coverage)
In a 2017 case, Guerrini was lead counsel in a trial that concluded in an $11 million verdict against the Devereux Foundation for a man who was shot and catastrophically injured by a resident who escaped from its juvenile behavioral rehabilitation facility in Glenmoore, Pa. (Read news articles)
Prior to that case, Guerrini was lead counsel in another Johnstown, Pa., trial that resulted in a nearly $14.5 million jury award for a child who suffers from severe cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice during delivery. The verdict at the time was record for a medical malpractice lawsuit in federal court in western Pennsylvania. (Read news article.)
Earlier in the same month, Guerrini worked with Tom Kline to negotiate a highly publicized settlement in January 2017 under which the City of Philadelphia was to pay $4.4 million to a pizza shop deliveryman who was shot and seriously wounded by plainclothes officers who mistakenly believed he was a criminal suspect. The case also resulted in the police department agreeing to revamp its regulations and training protocols for plainclothes police officers. (see news coverage)
Guerrini in 2015 was co-counsel at a trial that ended with verdicts totaling $46.5 million against a security company for the families of two women who were killed at work in a Kraft Foods plant by a gun-wielding disgruntled employee. Philadelphia juries awarded $8 million in compensatory damages and a $38.5 million punitive award.
Also in 2015, Guerrini worked on the infamous "House of Horrors" case that resulted in a $3.5 million settlement with the City of Philadelphia and other defendants responsible for a decade of torture endured by Beatrice Weston after she was placed in the custody of an abusive aunt. (See The Weston Case)
In one of the firm's largest cases, Guerrini worked with Shanin Specter in a trial that resulted in a $109 million verdict for the family of a woman who was struck and killed by a fallen power line. The personal injury award decided December 2012 by a jury in Allegheny County was the largest in Pennsylvania history. The case settled for $105 million. (See The Goretzka Case)
In addition to monetary results for clients, Guerrini’s efforts have help bring safety improvements for all citizens. After one person was killed and two others injured when a fourth-floor fire escape landing collapsed in Philadelphia, Guerrini testified before a City Council committee on the need for regular independent inspections. In June 2016, the city enacted an ordinance mandating for the first time that all fire escapes by inspected by a structural engineer. (The firm achieved confidential settlements in lawsuits resulting from the collapse.)
Among his earlier cases, Guerrini was lead counsel in a trial that resulted in a $15 million verdict for the family of a West Chester teenager who died after falling into a mine shaft during a trip to Mexico. A Philadelphia Common Pleas judge handed down the verdict in June 2011. (Read the story)
In early 2014, Guerrini, with Shanin Specter, filed suit in a highly publicized case against the owner and landlord of a Center City apartment building where a fire escape landing collapsed, killing one person and injuring two others. He later testified before a City Council committee on the need to force landlords to conduct regular fire escape inspections, currently not a mandate. (See testimony and news story)
In 2009, Guerrini was co-counsel with Shanin Specter in the case of Joseph Blumer, a 43-year-old tow truck driver who was killed when the parking brake in his Ford truck spontaneously disengaged and he was crushed beneath the vehicle. An Allegheny County jury awarded his family $8.75 million. (See Blumer)
Earlier in 2009 Guerrini won a $3 million settlement for an iron worker who fell from a steel beam at a Philadelphia construction site when his lifeline retractable device malfunctioned. The worker suffered a broken shoulder, nerve damage and brain injury. (See Twilley)
Only a few months earlier, Guerrini was co-counsel with Tom Kline in a Philadelphia trial that resulted in a $5.5 million jury verdict for the family of an 18-year-old man who was fatally shot while working as a parking lot attendant at Hahnemann University Hospital. (Palmer)
In 2007, Guerrini was co-counsel in the highly publicized civil rights case of a man who was beaten to death while in a Camden County prison. The Seidel Case settled for $4 million, one of the largest-ever settlements in a case of its kind.
Earlier, Guerrini was co-counsel in a case that resulted in an $8.3 million federal jury award for a woman who had been sexually abused by two Philadelphia police officers. (See article.)
In May 2006, Guerrini was co-counsel in a case that resulted in a $5 million judgment for a Philadelphia police officer who was severely injured when a drunken driver plowed into his police car.
Before joining Kline & Specter in 2003, Guerrini worked as an associate at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, where his practice involved a broad range of civil litigation.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Rutgers College, where he graduated with highest honors. At Penn Law School, Guerrini was a member of the Moot Court Board and graduated cum laude. He is now an adjunct professor at the law school, where he teaches a course on medical malpractice.
Guerrini is a member of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey bar associations and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.
Dom Guerrini in the news:
- Guerrini, Fitzgerald, Obtain $10.6M Settlement, KDKA 2 - 7/10/2019 Trucker Who Lost Legs in Cargo Accident Settles for $10.6M in Allegheny County, The Legal Intelligencer, 7/10/19
- $10.6M settlement awarded to truck driver who lost legs in accident at Duquesne pipe yard, Tribune-Review 7/10/19
- Release report on Catholic priest abuse allegations now, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/10/18
- Jury awards $47 million in Johnstown medical malpractice case, WJAC-TV 3/22/18 (watch video); WPXI-TV 3/22/18 (watch video); Tribune-Democrat, 3/22/18; The Legal Intelligencer, 3/22/18; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/22/18; The Washington Post, 3/22/18
- Kline, Palmer, Guerrini quoted in Trial magazine article on Holland police shooting case, May 2017
- $11 million awarded in verdict against Devereux, The Phoenix Reporter & Item, 3/21/17
- $11M Awarded to Man Shot by Escaped Devereux Patient, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/17/17
- Jury awards $11 million to W. Philly man shot by Devereux escapee, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/17/17