As of a member of the Health Care Department, Steve serves as chair of the Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Practice Group and the Birth Injury Litigation Practice Group. He has more than 30 years of medical malpractice litigation experience and has tried more than 200 medical malpractice cases to verdict and participated in many arbitrations and mediations. In his first year with Marshall Dennehey, Steve picked 23 juries and tried 13 medical malpractice cases to verdict, all but one for the defense.
In 2002, The United States Supreme Court upheld Steve's victory in Pappas v. U.S. Healthcare, 724 A.2d 889 (Pa. 1998) (Pappas I) 768 A.2d 1069 (Pa. 2001) (Pappas II), a landmark case involving liability of managed care organizations for medical decisions.
Steve defends drug and medical device manufacturers and monitors these cases and all birth injury defense cases firmwide. Steve also participates in marketing activities and in-house educational seminars, writes articles and speaks on recent developments in the law.
After serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph L. McGlynn, Jr., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania following graduation, Steve joined a small defense firm where he focused on medical malpractice defense litigation. He helped grow the firm to more than 100 lawyers and, over the next 14 years, became a member of the firm's executive committee. During his tenure at that firm, he handled long-term care litigation, medical device and pharmaceutical liability litigation, professional liability insurance coverage, medical staff and peer review matters, and bio-ethical issues. His malpractice defense caseload evolved into catastrophic injury cases (obstetrical, neonatal, neurosurgical, neurological and anesthesia complications, etc.), and he handled celebrated cases involving surgical mix-ups, crossed oxygen and nitrous oxide ER lines, a baby stolen from a hospital and "Lazarus Syndrome." During this time, Steve developed his skills defending cases involving neurologically impaired infants.
In 1992, Steve established his own boutique firm in suburban Philadelphia and then brought his practice to Marshall Dennehey in 1997.
Steve has served as local and national counsel in mass tort drug litigation, including PPA (Phenylpropanolamine), hormone therapy and the Ephedra multi-district litigation. He serves as regional birth and catastrophic injury panel counsel for a major insurer. Steve has completed coursework in basic and advanced mediation techniques, was a part of the Drexel University College of Medicine's inaugural panel of mediators and serves regularly as a mediator in medical malpractice cases.
Successfully defended a hospital — Successfully defended hospital in case involving patient who coded in E.D., was resuscitated for 32 minutes with no pulse or respirations, was pronounced dead, and a half an hour later, a morgue tech found patient had come back to life and was breathing.
Defended manufacturer of Ephedra — Defended defunct manufacturer of Ephedra containing dietary supplement (whose only asset was a multi-million dollar insurance policy) in a trial in Gainesville, Florida, on a cause brought by a severely disabled young man who suffered a massive stroke, allegedly due to ingestion of our product. Primary defense was on causation, but obtained a no negligence finding as well.
Defended hospital in 17 death cases arising from the crossing of nitrous oxide and oxygen lines in a new emergency department — Defended hospital in 17 death cases arising from the crossing of nitrous oxide and oxygen lines in a new emergency department, whereby oxygen outlets delivered nitrous oxide for six months. Worked for two years to create a consensus among multiple defendants as to case values and allocation. Managed to settle all 17 without any discovery being conducted by Plaintiffs, for a total of $2 million, of which hospital paid 31 percent.
Defended hospital in a case where a child was born alive and survived with global retardation, blindness, spastic quadriplegia and seizure disorder. — Defended hospital in case involving late night vaginal delivery by a resident of a breech presentation of a presumably nonviable gestation, where attending physician did not come in to deliver baby, and child was born alive and survived with global retardation, blindness, spastic quadriplegia and seizure disorder. Parents rejected multi-million dollar offer, and jury returned defense verdict after two days of deliberations.
Defended hospital in case alleging failure to transfer to appropriate tertiary facility for rapid decompression of epidural spinal abscess. — Defended hospital in case alleging failure to transfer to appropriate tertiary facility for rapid decompression of epidural spinal abscess. HMO had refused to authorize transfer to regional spinal cord injury center and, when joined by hospital as additional defendant, invoked ERISA preemption to dismiss joinder at trial. Settled case for hospital, preserving appellate issue, and obtained reversal in Pennsylvania Superior Court. Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed and HMO petitioned for Certiorari. Met with U.S. Justice and Labor Department appellate litigators, persuaded them to file Amicus brief in support of our position, and briefed the U.S. Supreme Court in opposition to the petition. U.S. Supreme Court denied Certiorari, letting stand the first state case in the country to recognize that ERISA does not protect "benefit determinations" which amount to negligent medical care decisions.