Since joining Kline & Specter, Patrick J. Fitzgerald has worked on several of the firm's biggest cases -- the historic Amtrak 188 derailment settlement and litigation against a security firm in the infamous Kraft Foods factory slayings that resulted in an eight-figure dual verdict.
Most recently, Fitzgerald was co-counsel in litigation that resulted in a nearly $10.6 million settlement for a truck driver whose legs were crushed and amputated after a 5,000-pound steel pipe rolled off the trailer bed while being improperly unloaded at the Dura-Bond Coating Inc. facility in Duquesne, Pa. The case was settled in July 2019 in the midst of discovery.
A few months earlier, in April 2019, Fitzgerald was co-counsel in a trial that resulted in a $9.2 million verdict for an industrial sanitation worker whose leg was amputated in a screw conveyor at a meat processing factory after the device suddenly activated. Jose Natal, of Reading, worked at Devault Foods, which provided poor supervision and failed to supply locks for lock out tag out as he power-washed the conveyor, manufactured by Chemetron/Infoswitch, which had no interlock switch to prevent the machine from turning on during cleaning.
In May 2018, Fitzgerald worked with Shanin Specter to achieve a $30 million settlement with AT&T and others for a worker who suffered severe and permanent injuries when he fell nearly 50 feet from a cell tower in Allentown, Pa., when a ladder rung to which he was tethered dislodged. (Read article)
In the Amtrak case, Fitzgerald was co-counsel with Tom Kline in representing passengers injured and the families of those who died in the Amtrak train 188 derailment in Philadelphia. He also played a significant role in establishing a $265 million settlement program as part of the multidistrict litigation, which is believed to be the largest such settlement in railway history.
In his first trial with the firm, Fitzgerald in 2015 was co-counsel with Specter in a highly publicized case that resulted in verdicts totaling $46.5 million against a security company for the families of two women who were fatally shot by a disgruntled employee at a Kraft Foods plant in Northeast Philadelphia. A first jury handed down an $8 million compensatory award and, after it deadlocked on punitive damages, a second jury levied a $38.5 million punitive award.
Fitzgerald's accomplishments have earned him recognition by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers as a 2017, 2018 and 2019 Rising Star, placing him among the top 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state who are 40 or younger or practicing 10 years or less. He was also featured in the 2017 edition of Billy Penn as among “the most dynamic people under 40 shaping Philadelphia.” The publication’s third annual “Who's Next” series highlighted younger attorneys deemed among the city’s best legal minds and those predicted to become its “next great stars.” (Read the article)
Prior to joining Kline & Specter, PC, Fitzgerald was an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, one of the nation’s top law firms, where he represented corporate clients in high stakes cases, focusing his practice on white collar criminal investigations, employment disputes, and complex civil litigation.
Fitzgerald graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was selected as a senior editor of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law. While in law school, Fitzgerald served as a student attorney at the Employment Advocacy Project, advocating on behalf of indigent clients for unemployment benefits, and at the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. He also spent a summer as a law clerk at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the Office of General Counsel.
Fitzgerald earned his undergraduate degree from Davidson College, where he was elected captain and was a four-year starter on the football team. In addition to earning all-conference honors at cornerback, he was named as a I-AA Mid-Major All-American and a regional ESPN Academic All-American.
Fitzgerald, who hails from Pittsburgh, is admitted to the New York State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. He is a member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association.
Debunking Junk Science In Train Crash Cases, Trial, February 2017