Prosecutor. Lawyer. Editor. Harvard graduate. Venerated volunteer. Women’s issues activist. Fashion model.
Tracie L. Palmer did them all and, in 2013, she left the Philadelphia district attorney’s office to join Kline & Specter, where she uses her wide collection of experiences to litigate a variety of personal injury cases. In 2019, she was named a partner at the firm.
Palmer's experience and her legal acumen culminated recently in a $120 million jury verdict against a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary in a vaginal mesh injury trial in which Palmer served as lead counsel. The April 2019 jury award for a 68-year-old Altoona, Pa., woman, which included $100 million in punitive damages, was the largest-ever verdict in the national vaginal mesh litigation and the largest contested liability personal injury verdict in Pennsylvania history. (read article)
In another highly publicized case, Palmer was co-counsel in a trial that resulted in a $57.1 million jury verdict against Johnson & Johson's Ethicon Inc. for a central Pennsylavia woman who was left permanently injured by the company's defective vaginal mesh device. That award included $50 million in punitive damages. (read the article)
In an earlier case, Palmer was co-counsel with Tom Kline in litigation that resulted in January 2017 in a settlement in which the City of Philadelphia agreed to pay $4.4 million to a young man who was mistaken as a criminal suspect and gunned down by two plainclothes police officers as he was delivering take-out food in West Philadelphia. The settlement also required improved regulations and new training protocols for all undercover officers to prevent a similar incident from ever happening again. (see news coverage)
In 2015, Palmer worked on the "House of Horrors" case against the City of Philadelphia and other defendants for 10 years of torture endured by Beatrice Weston after she was placed in the custody of an abusive aunt. The case ended with a $3.5 million settlement.
Palmer was co-counsel in cases that brought settlements totaling $3.5 million against the manufacturer of the Toypedo swimming pool toy. In one incident, a 17-year-old Florida high school student lost an eye, while in the other a Milwaukee-area man lost an eye after he was struck by the plastic projectile.
Palmer's successes earned her recognition from the independent survey group Super Lawyers as a 2018, 2019 and 2020 Rising Star, designating her as among the top 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state who are 40 or younger.
Before joining Kline & Specter, Palmer spent two years as a city prosecutor and won jury verdicts – and lengthy sentences – against criminals in trials involving drugs and illegal weapons charges. She also prosecuted hundreds of bench trials (those decided by a judge) and negotiated pleas in cases in Municipal Court and the Court of Common Pleas involving aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, firearms and drug offenses.
Palmer earned her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was executive editor of the Journal of Law and Social Change, a progressive student-run publication that promotes a scholarly approach to challenge social injustice.
While at Penn, she won the Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year award for her work with Students Against Gender-Based Exploitation, or S.A.G.E., an organization that seeks, among other things, to create awareness of issues related to gender-based violence. Palmer worked with Philadelphia legal agencies in helping people with information and emotional assistance in dealing with matters of domestic violence.
Palmer earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, where she won high honors for her senior thesis dealing with the issue of egg donation and donor recipient mothers and families. While at Harvard, she was also an officer with The Seneca, Inc., a group that focused on women’s issues on campus and in the community. She organized member and activist events for the National Organization for Women (NOW) and drafted news releases and position comments for its president in New York.
Before attending Harvard, Palmer spent two years as a fashion model based in Milan and traveled for photo shoots throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
She is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association.
Tracie Palmer In The News:
Philly jury slams J&J with $120M award in mesh injury case, Law360, 4/24/19
Pa Woman Awarded $120 Million In Vaginal Mesh Case, WPMT, 4/26/19
Philadelphia Jury Slams J&J With $120M Pelvic Mesh Verdict, The legal Intelligencer, 4/25/19
Pa woman awarded $120 million in vaginal mesh case against J&J, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/25/19
$57.1 Million Vaginal Mesh Verdict Awarded, Victim Interviewed, CBS 3, 9/26/17
Kline & Specter Win $47.1 Million Verdict Vs. J&J In Vaginal Mesh Case, KYW Radio 9/8/17