Patrick M. Regan is the type of lawyer who focuses on the present and plans for the future. But realizing that Regan Zambri Long was approaching its 25th year representing injured victims and their families, he noted how significant the firm’s results have been.
“Our accomplishments are important because of their substantial impact on our clients’ lives. Through our hard work we have consistently secured justice on their behalves,” says Regan, firm president and senior partner. “There is a bottom-line factor, which I’m proud of, but the core of our work centers on providing comfort to individuals and families.” Regan was honored to be named Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” for Medical Malpractice Law–Plaintiffs in 2014 and 2020 and in 2022 for Mass Torts–Plaintiffs.
A look back on some of Regan Zambri Long’s vastly different cases demonstrate the impact they have made for individuals and local communities.
Fighting For Displaced Tenants and Survivors
The firm’s most recent high-profile resolution was announced in December 2019 on behalf of survivors of the Flower Branch Apartments gas explosion. In that August 2016 tragedy, a blast ripped through the residential complex in Silver Spring, Maryland, claiming seven lives, injuring more than 100 and rendering a majority of tenants homeless.
The trial for this “bellwether case” against the landlord, property owner, gas company, and other corporate defendants was scheduled for December 2019 in Montgomery County Circuit Court. A confidential settlement was reached with the defendants on the eve of trial after several delays. In hindsight, Regan was relieved by the timing, which was just months prior to the courtroom shutdowns caused by COVID-19.
“I was honored to represent these hard-working people, especially since Catholic Charities referred them to us and believed in our abilities to secure justice,” Regan notes. “In addition to the financial compensation for our clients, the complex has been rebuilt to code and this sort of tragedy cannot be repeated at Flower Branch.”
High-Profile Product Liability and Medical Malpractice Awards
In the early 2000s the firm represented a client who had been living with a congenital disease that limited his physical mobility and activity. The client was a lawyer in the prime of his career as a partner with a prestigious Washington, D.C. law firm in 2000 when his motorized wheelchair malfunctioned on the sidewalk outside his office building and violently ejected him onto the pavement.
“The combination of the devastating injury and the negligent care by hospital doctors essentially ended our client’s legal career and forced him to retire early,” Regan says. “We knew we had to correct that injustice.”
The firm initially filed suit against the wheelchair manufacturer, ultimately settling for $14 million, and then achieved another $3.5 million in the malpractice suit against the doctors, bringing the total settlement to approximately $17.5 million.
Wrongful Death Case Leads To Systemwide Change
In 2006 and 2007 the firm represented New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum in a wrongful death suit that overhauled and improved emergency services protocols in the District of Columbia. Rosenbaum, who had just retired from a 35-year tenure at the Times, was the victim of a violent robbery from which he should have made a complete recovery. But following a string of negligent acts by emergency services personnel, his treatable head injuries became fatal. Rosenbaum’s family turned to Regan Zambri Long for justice and closure.
"After filing suit against the District of Columbia, we reached a resolution with the District whereby they agreed to immediately create a task force that would involve experts from across the country to determine how to overhaul the District's provision of emergency services,” says Regan, who was a member of the task force. “The reforms enacted as a result of the task force are still in effect and have dramatically improved the emergency services in the city.”
Justin Smulison is a professional writer who regularly contributes to Best Lawyers. He was previously a reporter for the New York Law Journal and also led content and production for the Custom Projects Group at ALM Media. In addition to his various credited and uncredited writing projects, he has developed global audiences hosting and producing podcasts and audio interviews for professional organizations and music sites.