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David Barry
Co-Chair, Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Group
Co-Chair, Professional Liability Group

David A. Barry

Partner

617.227.3030
barry@sugarmanrogers.com
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David Barry
Co-Chair, Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Group
Co-Chair, Professional Liability Group
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David has achieved outstanding results for clients throughout the northeast (and in Canada) in practice areas including product-liability defense, legal-malpractice defense, and plaintiff’s medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury.

David’s extensive experience in handling complex disputes derives from his having represented manufacturers of a broad range of industrial and consumer products, including automobiles and other motor vehicles, bicycles, power tools, heavy equipment, electrical components, drugs and medical devices, and many others.

David has served as lead counsel in hundreds of cases in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and other New England states. He has successfully tried more than sixty-five cases, most of them before juries. He is attentive to each and every matter, and carefully controls the number of cases he accepts at one time to ensure he can maintain this focus.

Throughout his career David’s trial practice has included advocacy for both plaintiffs and defendants. This cross-disciplinary experience adds tremendous perspective to David’s preparation of a case for trial, or his negotiations with an opposing lawyer. Clients also appreciate David’s ability to communicate complex technical information to juries, and his marshaling of facts and evidence into a compelling narrative to support his client’s position.

David is co-author of a series of frequently cited articles on legal malpractice law in Massachusetts. He has served as an expert witness in a number of legal malpractice cases, and he has appeared as a panelist at continuing legal education programs on professional responsibility of lawyers.

David has also lectured and appeared as a panelist at seminars on product liability and trial practice. He authored the Product Liability Advisory Counsel’s amicus curiae brief to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Canavan’s Case, resulting in a key decision in which the court adopted PLAC’s position that, before admission in evidence, all expert testimony should be judicially reviewed for reliability.

More about David

Client Testimonials
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“David represented our family in the loss of our beloved son. It was a long, arduous process with a successful outcome, that was handled with kindness, compassion, patience and exemplary professionalism by David and his team. He was always available when we needed him, and was a great listener, something we dearly needed, at such a difficult time.”


“I have referred a number of cases to David over the years and found his compassion and expertise unparalleled. David has handled extremely complex legal issues with diligence and intellectual rigor that enabled his clients to obtain significant settlements in difficult cases.”


“David helped guide us through a very long and complicated process. He explained things simply, he managed our expectations honestly and gave us excellent advice along the way. He is not only intelligent and highly experienced; he is also an extremely caring and thoughtful individual.”


“Never was a decision made without David first discussing it with me. He always took the time to explain the complicated medical or legal issues and made them understandable and easier for my family to make decisions in my sister-in-laws medical malpractice case.”


“David works extremely well collaboratively and his clients benefit from his willingness to obtain input from others, and is open to discussion of all avenues that may help the client. I would not hesitate to refer a case to him and can enthusiastically recommend him to anyone with a complicated civil litigation matter.”


“Mr. Barry was terrific in handling my son’s case. He got my son a great result which we were very happy with. I would definitely recommend Mr. Barry to anyone who needs an honest, caring and compassionate attorney on their side.”

Representative Matters
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Product Liability Defense

  • Directed verdict for manufacturer of industrial fan after plaintiff’s opening statement, upheld by Massachusetts Appeals Court
  • Jury verdict in Vermont federal court for automobile manufacturer in “crashworthiness” case arising from rollover accident in which the plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic
  • Jury verdict in federal court for manufacturer and retailer of radial arm saw, affirmed by First Circuit
  • Summary judgment in federal court for manufacturer of office chair resulting from successful Daubert challenge to plaintiff’s expert in case arising from plaintiff’s fall from chair and resulting quadriplegia
  • Federal court jury verdict for manufacturer of propane cylinder in suit involving catastrophic injuries sustained by mechanic when cylinder exploded
  • Jury verdict for automobile manufacturer in claim of unintended acceleration resulting in the death of a pedestrian
  • Jury verdict in federal court for manufacturer of forklift, upheld by First Circuit, in wrongful death suit brought on behalf of forklift operator
  • Defense verdict in federal court for pharmaceutical company in suit alleging  liver cancer caused by ingestion of oral contraceptive
  • Summary judgment in federal court for retailer of tractor and snow thrower, affirmed by First Circuit, based on inadequacy of plaintiff’s expert testimony in case involving serious injury to plaintiff’s hand
  • Dismissal of $75 million property damage claim against manufacturer of light fixture arising out of a catastrophic fire in Mexico, based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens
  • First Circuit reversal of Federal Court’s award of $30 million in attorneys’ fees to class action lawyers who represented plaintiffs in litigation involving alleged defects in certain automobile engines

Professional Liability Defense

  • Federal court jury verdict for Virginia intellectual property firm and two of its lawyers, in case arising from a patent dispute with client’s competitor
  • Representation of Boston law firm and lawyer in legal malpractice action seeking significant damages in case arising from arbitration that resulted in $52 million adverse arbitration award in case brought by South American licensee of lawyer’s former client

Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice and Pharmaceutical Liability

  • $7.35 million settlement on behalf of young girl whose medical providers failed to recognize that she was the victim of child abuse by her adoptive parents
  • $1.6 million settlement in wrongful death case arising out of doctors’ negligent failure to timely diagnose and treat an anastomotic leak following colon surgery
  • $2.9 million settlement of a wrongful death claim against pharmaceutical company on behalf of the estate of a woman who died after suffering acute liver failure following her brief use of a popular antidepressant drug
  • $1.4 million recovery in a wrongful death claim involving a 5-year-old girl who died after her right atrium was perforated by a catheter inserted during the course of her hospitalization at a Boston hospital

 

 

Professional Affiliations
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  • Boston Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., lecturer on trial practice and product liability issues
Writing & Speaking
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  • Co-Author: “Massachusetts Legal Malpractice Law: A 2016 Update” Massachusetts Law Review (2018)
  • Co-Author: “Are In-Firm Communications About a Current Client Privileged?” Boston Bar Journal, Spring Issue, 2013
  • Co-Author: “Massachusetts Legal Malpractice Cases 2000-2009” 93 Massachusetts Law Review 321 (2011)
  • Co-Author: “Prevailing in Failure-To-Diagnose-Cancer Cases,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, October 15, 2001
  • Author: “Kumho Tire Update 2001,” (MCLE, 2001)
  • Co-Author: “Legal Malpractice Law in Massachusetts: Developments 1993-2000,” 85 Mass. L. Rev. 2 (2000)
  • Co-author: “Top Court Treats Professional Liability as Other Cases,” The National Law Journal, September 13, 1999
  • Author: “Fen-Phen and Redux Litigation, the Defense Perspective,” Fen-Phen and Redux Litigation (MCLE, 1998)
  • Author: “Legal Malpractice in Massachusetts: Recent Developments,” 78 Mass. L. Rev. 74 (1993)
  • Author: “Evidential Considerations in Product Liability Cases,” published in The Best of MCLE Journal, Vol II, No. 1 (1990)
  • Author: “Legal Malpractice in Massachusetts,” 63 Mass. L. Rev. 15 (1978)
Honors
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  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (Chair, Emil Gumpert Award Committee, 2015-Present; Vice-Chair, 2014-2015; Member, 2011-2014)
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • The Best Lawyers in America (Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, Medical Malpractice Law-Plaintiffs) 2007-2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year” (Product Liability Litigation-Defendants) 2015
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers (General Litigation, Personal Injury Defense: Products) Boston magazine, 2005-2016; “Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts,” 2007-2014, “Top 100 Lawyers in New England,” 2007-2013
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Benchmark Litigation “Litigation Star” (Plaintiff) Massachusetts, 2013