Nadeem A. Bezar, a partner at Kline & Specter, is an accomplished and skilled attorney who has won scores of million-dollar-plus verdicts and settlements while also serving as an active member of the legal and educational communities.
In his latest case, Bezar in February 2023 reached a $24 million settlement with Days Inn for eight victims of human trafficking that occurred at its Roosevelt Boulevard hotel in Philadelphia, where crimes were “open, obvious and notorious” but the hotel’s owner failed to protect the victims. Bezar noted that while the traffickers were criminally prosecuted, the hotel also needed to be held accountable. (News coverage)
Bezar joined Kline & Specter after gaining more than 20 years experience with another Philadelphia firm at which he was a name partner — Kolsby, Gordon, Robin, Shore & Bezar. His practice concentrates on medical negligence, catastrophic personal injury, and cases involving child abuse and human trafficking, sexual assault and Title IX violations on college and university campuses.
While known for his expertise in the courtroom, Bezar also has built a reputation for the genuine empathy he holds for his clients. He has won financial recoveries for hundreds of clients but also a trove of cherished keepsakes and letters of gratitude from those he has helped over the years.
In December 2021, Bezar obtained a $5.05 million settlement for a girl who was sexually assaulted by her foster father after a Philadelphia-area child welfare agency failed to ensure her safety and to follow up on its own recommendation that a mental health provider look into suspicions of abuse. (Read article)
Less than two months earlier, he obtained a $10.6 million settlement from a private child welfare agency and a youth residential care facility for three sisters who were sexually and physically abused after they were negligently reunified with their abusive father.
In another case, Bezar in early 2021 won a $2.5 million verdict for a rape victim following a trial conducted entirely over Zoom due to the COVID pandemic. The verdict by a federal judge against a Rhode Island college established new case law in that state and may be used in other federal courts in considering future cases that involve the protection of students in travel-abroad programs. (Read article)
In 2020, Bezar leveraged his years of experience in catastrophic personal injury and sexual assault litigation by filing suit against Lyft, Inc. for negligently transporting an unaccompanied minor to a Philadelphia motel where she was assaulted and tragically raped. While navigating lawsuits against rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft is complicated, Bezar is a skilled advocate who does not shy away from challenging and complex cases. In keeping, because rideshare liability is such a new and evolving area of law, Bezar has begun educating other members of the legal community on how to successfully hold rideshares accountable for accidents, injuries and cases of abuse—Bezar’s most recent article on this topic, The Road to Redemption, can be found in the Pennsylvania Association for Justice Spring 2021 Quarterly.
In November 2018, Bezar won a $4.5 million jury verdict against the Defender Association of Philadelphia, a foster care agency and the foster parents of young Philadelphia twins who were abused after being placed in a Lancaster, Pa., home. (Read article)
In 2017, Bezar won an $11 million verdict against a child placement agency and the adoptive parents of a girl who was physically and sexually abused in their home over several years. The Philadelphia jury awarded $10 million in compensatory and $1 million in punitive damages.
Also in 2017, in a highly publicized case, Bezar filed the first civil lawsuit under Pennsylvania’s 2014 human trafficking statute against a Philadelphia motel owner and operator on behalf of a teenage girl who was enslaved and forced to perform sexual acts with men over a nearly two-year period. (See coverage) His representation of a 10-year-old foster child, Ethan Okula, who died of an intestinal blockage also brought recent media attention. (Read article)
In late 2016, Bezar won a $5.35 million jury verdict against Presbyterian Children’s Village for twice placing a young girl in the home of a temporary foster family where she was sexually molested. The male foster parent pleaded guilty to criminal charges of sexually abusing the girl and to committing sex crimes against two other victims. (Read article)
In early 2017, Bezar achieved a $5.95 million settlement for a woman who suffered respiratory failure and septic shock after personnel at a Philadelphia hospital failed to recognize a post-Caesarean infection after the delivery of her first child. She was forced to undergo additional surgeries, including a hysterectomy, and sustained a disfiguring abdominal hernia.
Bezar won a $1.725 million settlement the same year for an eight-year-old boy who was sexually assaulted by a teenager at a Montgomery County residential youth facility. The victim was supposed to have been supervised at all times but was not.
Bezar's accomplishments have earned him recognition as among the best attorneys in Pennsylvania and the nation. In 2023, he was inducted as a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization that limits U.S. membership to 500 attorneys recommended by their peers and trial judges for outstanding skills and ability as well as excellent character and integrity. The independent rating service Super Lawyers* has named Bezar among Pennsylvania's top lawyers for 18 straight years (2006-2023) and he was selected for the 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2024 editions of Best Lawyers in America. In August 2020, he was honored by being recommended for a fellowship in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization that limits U.S. membership to 500 attorneys. Bezar was recommended by the group’s admissions committee, which bases its decisions on an attorney's superior trial skills, exceptional character and integrity and a dedication to promoting the best interests of the legal profession and the highest standards and techniques of advocacy.
Among Bezar's other major legal victories:
- An $18.5 million settlement in a case involving a delay in diagnosing and treating a cerebral bleed in a teenager injured in a car accident.
- A $10 million settlement for a patient who suffered brain injury as the result of an anesthesia error during an office-based colonoscopy.
- An $8.1 million settlement for a baby hurt while in a residential drug treatment facility.
- A $7.5 million settlement for a lawyer who suffered a nerve injury during shoulder surgery.
- A $6.5 million settlement in a birth injury case in which fetal monitoring strips were misinterpreted.
- A $5 million settlement for a five-year-old autistic boy who was given a protein shake by a nurse who was unaware that it was milk-based and the child had an allergy to milk products. The boy went into anaphylactic shock and suffered an anoxic brain injury.
- A $4.2 million settlement in a slip and fall injury case.
- A $2.8 million verdict for the estate of a man whose cardiologist failed to follow up on irregular cardiac complaints.
- A $2.65 million verdict for a nurse who was misdiagnosed and discharged from an emergency room with progressive spinal cord compression, resulting in additional injury.
- A $2.5 million settlement for an infant injured while at a private foster care agency.
- A $2 million verdict for a teenager whose primary care physician failed to recognize an impending stroke.
In one case, Bezar represented a man who had already spent much of his adult life as a quadriplegic, though he was able to use his wrist and hand to perform limited functions such as operating a motorized wheelchair. While undergoing a routine medical procedure, a doctor fractured the man’s arm. The injury made it impossible for him to use his wheelchair any longer or to drive a car that was being specially built for his use. Despite his client’s pre-existing physical disabilities, Bezar was able to obtain a multi-million dollar settlement in the case. He and his client also became close during the legal proceedings and remain friends to this day.
Bezar is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education (CLE) programs and at various seminars. Additionally, he has appeared on WTXF-TV’s New Jersey Journal and on CN8 with Lynn Doyle, and served as a legal correspondent on New Jersey Journal. He also is an adjunct professor at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University.
Bezar earned his undergraduate degree from Bates College, where he was on the varsity baseball team. He received a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Massachusetts and his law degree from the Temple University Beasley School of Law. Bezar is a Robert Conwell Society contributor to the law school. He is on the executive committee of the Temple Law Alumni Association and recently received the TLAA Diversity Leadership Award. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at both the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where he teaches a class on medical malpractice, and at Temple Law, where he teaches a course he created titled "Child Abuse and Sex Trafficking of Minors."
Bezar is on the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Law Center, the nation’s oldest non-profit law firm for children, and the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice and Research, which brings together the resources of the University of Pennsylvania to enhance and assure the well-being of abused and neglected children and those at risk of maltreatment. He was recently elected to the overlapping boards of directors for Community Legal Services and Philadelphia Legal Assistance, which provide legal assistance to low-income Philadelphians as well as community education and social work.
Bezar has been on the boards of directors and advisory councils of a number of other professional organizations, including the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Philadelphia South Asian Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the South Asian Bar Association of North America (past president), the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ), and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. He has served as co-chair for the Philadelphia Bar Association Medical Legal Committee. In 2016, Bezar was named by Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney to be a member of the Commission on Asian American Affairs.
An outspoken advocate for children who have been physically or sexually abused, Bezar is frequently asked to speak at public events, including his address before the American Association for Justice at a convention in Miami on the topic: “Institutional v. Individual Liability in Cases Involving Sexual Assault: Considerations and Strategies.” He also testified before Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services on the subject of foster care and child abuse. (Read the article). Recently, in 2022, Bezar appeared before a Pennsylvania House of Representatives committee to speak against legislation that proposed capping at $500,000 verdicts against non-profit agencies for physically abused children, calling the measure "a dangerous proposal that further harms children who have already been harmed or killed." (Watch clip from testimony, Read article )
Bezar is an eight-time marathon runner, including a participant in the Boston Marathon. In 2013, he finished the race only seconds before terrorists’ bombs exploded near the finish line. Bezar felt the ground shake beneath his feet but was uninjured. He returned the following year to run the race again.
Nadeem Bezar In The News:
Bezar, Marks reach $24M settlement in human trafficking suit, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/2/23; NBC 10, 2/3/23; The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/2/23; Law360, 2/2/23 The Legal Intelligencer, 2/2/23; KYW News Radio 1060, 2/2/23 (listen);NBC 10, 2/3/23; The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/2/23; Law360, 2/2/23
How a Philly lawyer’s quest to locate a former client helped solve his murder, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/3/22
Nadeem Bezar: Expanding Advocacy for Survivors of Sex Abuse and Human Trafficking, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/29/22
Bezar argues against damages caps for abused children before state lawmakers, billypenn.com, 4/6/22
Bezar comments on decision keeping hotel sex trafficking cases in state court, The Legal Intelligencer, 11/2/21
Insurer Needn't Defend Motel In Sex-Trafficking Suit, Law360, 9/10/21
Court Upholds $4.5M Child Abuse Jury Verdict Against Phila. Public Defenders, The Legal Intelligencer, 12/17/20
Sex Trafficking Awareness, A 2 part series by Max Mitchell of The Legal Intelligencer. Part 1: Sex Trafficking Awareness Is Increasing and So Are Civil Claims, 7/22/19; Part 2: Sex Trafficking Litigation Can Be Risky, for Both Attorneys and Accusers, 7/30/19
PA Supreme Court refuses appeal of $5.35M sexual abuse verdict against foster agency, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/12/19
Phila. Archdiocese's Ownership of Jersey Shore Property Means Sex Abuse Suit Stays in NJ, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/26/19
Philly priest abuse suit stays in NJ, opening door for others, Law360 3/25/19
Bezar testifies before City Council Committee on child abuse, The Legal Intelligencer, 2/12/19
Nadeem Bezar of Kline & Specter says he's 'still excited about work every day, PennRecord, February 2019
Jury awards $4.5 million to Philly twins for spankings in Lancaster foster home, Metro Philadelphia, 11/28/18
Phila. Public Defenders, Lancaster Co. Foster Parents Hit With $4.5M Judgment in Child Abuse Case, The Legal Intelligencer, 11/27/18
Philly public defenders liable in child abuse case, philly.com, 11/23/18
How Lack of Phila. Foster Care Oversight Endangers Children, The Legal Intelligencer, 10/15/18
Settlement in Ethan Okula civil case highlights the kids we need to reach, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/4/18
Foster Care Agencies Settle Lawsuit Over Child's Death for $5M, The Legal Intelligencer, 4/4/18
Teen found electrocuted on top of SEPTA train 'was just a good kid who ran', The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/29/17
Foster kid placed in West Philly 'house of horrors' wins $11M in lawsuit, Philadelphia Metro, 11/20/17
Adoption Agency Hit With $11M Verdict in Child Abuse Lawsuit, The Legal Intelligencer, 11/17/17
Nightmare at daycare, Philadelphia Metro, 10/16/2017
Bezar wins $1.16 judge’s award for client killed in bus crash, New York Law Journal, 7/7/17
Wordsworth Academy files for bankruptcy, will be acquired, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/30/17
Nadeem Bezar Comments On Investigation In Foster Care Death, NBC 10, 5/22/17
Lawyer targets foster care agency over 10-year-old's death, Metro, 5/18/17
Death, rapes, and broken bones at Philly's only residential treatment center for troubled youth, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/22/17
Judge Rejects Bid to Overturn $5M Sex Abuse Verdict, The Legal Intelligencer, 3/30/17
Nadeem Bezar Comments On Human Trafficking Case, Canada Radio, 3/24/17
Motel Turned Blind Eye To Child Sex Traffickers For Profit, Suit Claims, The Huffington Post, 3/14/17
Forced to have sex with 1,000 men, a girl is now suing the motel that she says let it happen, The Washington Post, 3/14/17
Teen ‘sex slave’ sues motel where alleged abuse took place, New York Post, 3/14/17
Sex trafficking victim sues U.S. motel in landmark case, Thomson Reuters, 3/15/17
Philly motel sued in first reported human-trafficking lawsuit under Pa. statute, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/10/17
Jury awards $5.35M to girl placed in abusive foster home, Metro, 11/4/16
Foster care agency hit with $5M verdict over sex abuse, The Legal Intelligencer, 10/27/16
A few minutes with Nadeem Bezar, Philadelphia Business Journal, 6/17/16
Kline & Specter snags rainmaking plaintiffs lawyer from rival firm, Philadelphia Business Journal, 6/8/16
Kline & Specter Grabs Kolsby Gordon Name Partner, The Legal Intelligencer, 6/8/16