The case took years to bring to trial and seven months for a judge to render a verdict, but when it was over Regan Safier had won the largest-ever medical malpractice award in federal court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania -- nearly $42 million for a child who suffered a forceps injury at birth that resulted in severe brain damage. The defendant in the case, decided in 2017, was the U.S. government, which had employed the doctor who committed the egregious error. (read article)
Only a few years earlier, Safier, a partner at Kline & Specter, had helped win an almost identical verdict, this one a $42.9 million award for a child badly injured at birth at a Philadelphia hospital. That award was among the biggest medical malpractice verdicts in Pennsylvania history. (Read news coverage)
Most recently, in 2023, Safier obtained two major medical malpractice settlements. One, for $14.25 million, came in a case involving a pediatric ENT and pediatric anesthesiologist. The matter involved a child born with several anatomical congenital defects, some of which required surgery to repair. But because of an error, the patient suffered a prolonged lack of oxygen that resulted in anoxic brain damage, leaving her unable to walk or talk and requiring round-the-clock care. In the second matter, Safier negotiated a $7.5 million settlement for a woman who entered a hospital seeking help for alcohol abuse and instead suffered a medical error that resulted in severe brain damage, leaving her in a near-vegetative state.
In May 2021, Safier obtained a $2.75 million settlement with the federal government for a 53-year-old veteran who suffered a partial amputation of his left leg due to a medical error by a podiatrist at the Pittsburgh Veterans Administration Medical Center. (The Legal Intelligencer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
In 2019, Safier won a $9.2 million verdict for a Reading industrial sanitation worker who lost his leg in a screw conveyor at a meat processing factory after the device suddenly activated. The worker, Jose Natal, worked at Devault Foods which failed to provide adequate supervision or locks for lock out tag out as he power-washed the machine, manufactured by Chemetron/Infoswitch, which had no interlock switch that would prevent the conveyor from turning on during cleaning.
Safier also obtained a $13.2 million settlement in a premises liability case involving an injured worker. Additional details of the settlement were confidential.
In another major case, Safier was co-counsel in litigation that resulted in 2014 with a $16 million settlement for a 57-year-old man who suffered a brain injury after he received improper care following a heart by-pass procedure at a Philadelphia hospital.
A string of prior courtroom victories, several making front-page news in The Legal Intelligencer, has helped earn Safier recognition from the independent rating service Super Lawyers as one of the top lawyers in Pennsylvania. She was also selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for 2020.
In one case, Safier was co-counsel in litigation that resulted in a $17.5 million verdict against the Veterans Administration for a former U.S. Marine who suffered a crippling stroke after a dental procedure in which his blood pressure had dropped precipitously several times. The award was paid in full in 2012 when the government dropped its appeal. (See Ellison) A news media study also determined that the award was the largest malpractice payout by the VA over a 10-year period. (News coverage)
In late 2010, Safier helped win a $5.2 million jury verdict for the family of a Philadelphia woman who developed internal bleeding following a routine procedure and died after doctors failed to treat the condition in time. (The Sacks Case)
Safier litigated many cases that resulted in large settlements, including:
- $11 million for a young mother who suffered brain damage during eye surgery
- $16 million for a dentist who sustained brain damage after surgery
- $7 million for a teacher who suffered brain damage after going into cardiac arrest in an emergency room
- $7 million for the family of an 18-year-old college student who died during heart surgery
- $6 million for the family of a high school student who died following orthopedic surgery
- $6 million for a contractor who suffered a ruptured aneurysm, causing brain damage and blindness, after a hospital refused to accept him as a patient over insurance reasons
- $5 million for a plumber paralyzed following improper placement of an epidural
Prior to joining Kline & Specter, Safier forged an impressive record as a civil defense attorney concentrating in medical malpractice cases. Representing doctors, nurses and hospitals, she tried numerous cases in state and federal courts and also argued successfully before the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, Safier began her law as a criminal prosecutor, working two years as a Philadelphia assistant district attorney.
She later took a position with the Philadelphia office of Weber, Gallagher, Simpson, Stapleton, Fires & Newby, a legal defense firm with offices throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and London. With that firm, she gained extensive courtroom experience on many notable cases, including one in which she defended three OB/GYNs and won a jury verdict for the doctors. In another, she secured a summary judgment for a cardiologist and, in an appeal before the Pennsylvania Superior Court, also won a decision and dismissal of the case.
Safier earned her undergraduate degree from Lehigh University, where she graduated magna cum laude. While at Virginia Law School she was notes editor for The Journal of Law and Politics.
She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Safier is a member of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia bar associations.
Regan Safier In The News:
Article examines federally funded community health centers, limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits and how taxpayers foot the bills, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/26/22
Parents of boy hurt by forceps delivery get $42M, The New York Times, 4/21/17
Judge awards parents $42M in federal malpractice lawsuit, Pennlive.com, 4/21/17
Pa. Judge Awards $41.6M Over Baby Brain Injury, Law360, 4/20/17
US Government Hit With $42M Birth Injury Verdict in Pa., The Legal Intelligencer, 4/20/17
Chambersburg family awarded $42M after doctor causes birth injury, Chambersburg Public Opinion, 4/20/17