John J. Snyder

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John J. Snyder

Philadelphia

Tel (215) 575-4220

Fax (215) 563-2583

Bio

Jack Snyder focuses his trial practice on the defense of catastrophic losses, with particular emphasis on construction, industrial, pharmaceutical, medical malpractice and product liability matters.  Jack is a very experienced litigator, having successfully tried a large number of cases to verdict in a number of jurisdictions, including those with known high verdict potential, such as Philadelphia County.  He and his practice group are regularly retained in high exposure cases (demands commonly in $30 million - $80 million range), often weeks to several months before trial, to try a case to verdict.

Within days of the accident, Jack and his team were selected to defend Ride The Ducks International (RTDI) and Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation (HFEC) in both personal injury and maritime/admiralty litigation arising from the allision of a tug driven barge and a tourist duck boat on the Delaware River on July 7, 2010.  The allision resulted in the deaths of two Hungarian students, numerous injury claims from other passengers onboard the amphibious vessel.  Following an unsuccessful mediation, in a condensed court ordered case management schedule, the team conducted months of intense discovery which included more than 50 depositions, review of nearly half a million pages of documents, and consultation with more than a dozen expert witnesses and consultants.  Ultimately, the case favorably resolved for RTDI and HFEC during the third day of trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania before the Honorable Thomas O’Neill. U.S.

Jack and his team were also selected as lead trial counsel to defend the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in the wrongful death and personal injury actions arising out of the collapse of a parking garage during construction.  The Catastrophic Loss Group was retained almost a year after the litigation commenced.  Almost immediately after being retained, the team began aggressively defending the client.  In a condensed timeframe, the team monitored several OSHA trials involving the various contractors on the project, reviewed and analyzed nearly 2 million pages of documents, retained a dozen expert consultants, took and defended more than 250 party, fact witness and expert witness depositions, prepared scores of motions and legal briefs, and prepared for trial which was expected to last more than a year.  Despite a $140 million settlement demand, it was ultimately determined that Tropicana’s role in the accident was minimal and the cases successfully resolved for Tropicana.      

Jack is a native of Philadelphia and was a Scholar-Athlete at St. Joseph’s University and the captain of the basketball team in 1971.  He graduated from Temple University Law School in 1975.

Jack’s extensive litigation experience began as a Deputy City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia.  While retaining his own case load and trying a significant number of cases to verdict, he also supervised 27 other trial attorneys, managing an active case load of over 3000 files.  He soon succeeded to the position of special Deputy to the Solicitor where he was responsible for defending high exposure cases on behalf of the City.  Those cases involved general liability, premises liability, auto accidents and the defense of the Police Department in Civil Rights cases.  Since 1984, he has been in private practice primarily defending catastrophic loss claims.

Jack is a past president of the St. Joseph’s University Law Alumni Association and a member of the Defense Research Institute.  He is also a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates. For six years he was a Hearing Committee member of the Disciplinary Board of the  Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  He was also liaison counsel to the Medical Care Availability & Reduction of Error Fund (M-Care), formerly CAT Fund, on behalf of physicians in the Philadelphia Phen-Fen litigation.

Jack has been rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and has been continuously selected, by his peers, as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer since 2004, the year of its inception. It is an honor reserved for the top 5% of all Pennsylvania lawyers. He was selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Construction by Martindale-Hubbell.

Selected Representative Matters:

Prescription drug, pharmaceutical liability, birth defects (Philadelphia County, PA) - Jack and his team were retained only six weeks prior to trial to defend a national pharmacy chain in a case where the infant plaintiff had allegedly suffered brain damage and birth malformations and boarded $92 million in past, present and future damages.  Plaintiff alleged that the pharmacist’s failure to counsel and identify the contraindicated drug caused his mother to ingest heart medication which caused injury to her unborn child.  After a 2 ½ week trial, a Philadelphia jury returned a defense verdict. 

Aerosol cleaner, electric shock, severe burns (Philadelphia County, PA) – Retained only four weeks before the trial, Jack and his team defended an aerosol cleaner manufacturer in a products liability action with a demand of $12 million.  Plaintiff claimed he had been shocked with 7,620 volts of electricity and severely burned because of the aerosol product.  After eleven days of trial and one and a half hours of deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of defendant.  The case was featured as Verdict of the Month in the October 2009 issue of “VerdictSearch Pennsylvania.”

Trash truck, products liability, wrongful death (Philadelphia County, PA) - Lead counsel in the defense of an international trash truck manufacturer in a jury trial where a 42-year-old man jumped off the back of an allegedly defective truck and sustained head injuries resulting in death.  Retained less than 90 days before trial with a demand of $7.5 million.  After an 8-day trial, a Philadelphia jury returned a defense verdict.

Automobile accident, bicyclist, paraplegia (Philadelphia County, PA) - A 53-year-old bicyclist was rendered a paraplegic when struck by a truck during a left turn collision allegedly caused by client's employee.  Plaintiff demanded $22.5 million and on the 10th trial day before a Philadelphia jury, settled for $6 million.

Explosion, phosphorous, hazardous materials, severe burns (Middlesex County, NJ) - Lead counsel in trial involving a 43-year-old man who was severely burned while unloading a railcar of phosphorus that spontaneously ignited.  Plaintiff alleged that he was injured due to his lack of training and inadequate personal protective equipment.  The trial team was retained shortly before the trial with a demand of $25 million.  On the 15th trial day, during plaintiff’s case in chief, plaintiff settled with the client for $4.4 million. 

Construction, crane, wrongful death (Philadelphia County, PA) - Lead counsel in defense of heavy equipment rental company in a case involving a truck driver that was crushed to death when a crane operator dropped his cargo on the cab of the truck in which he was seated.  Plaintiff demanded $15 million and during jury selection in Philadelphia, the case settled for $2.25 million.

Industrial machinery, wrongful death, severe burns (Philadelphia County, PA) - 32-year-old plaintiff fell into a paper mill pulper and died from second and third degree burns allegedly due to inadequate safeguards around the pulper.  Plaintiff demanded $70 million and the court allowed a jury charge for punitive damages.  After a 2 ½ week trial and while a Philadelphia jury deliberated, plaintiff accepted a $6 million settlement.

Industrial machinery, amputation (United States District Court, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania) - A 46-year-old man lost his left arm and right leg when his arm was crushed between two industrial rollers in a paper mill.  The plaintiff’s demand was $15 million and after a 3 week trial a District Court jury, in Philadelphia, returned a defense verdict.

Construction, paraplegia, total disability (Philadelphia County, PA) - 37-year-old plaintiff fell from a residential construction site and was rendered a paraplegic with chronic, unremitting pain.  Plaintiff demanded $37.5 million but, during the defendant’s case-in-chief, the case settled before a Philadelphia jury in the amount of $8 million.

Medical malpractice, wrongful death (Philadelphia County, PA) - A 51-year-old woman died from alleged complications of a kidney stone removal procedure.  After an eight day trial in which the defense team effectively used demonstrative technology, including an animated re-creation of the actual surgical kidney stone removal (see video below), a Philadelphia jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.

 


Medical malpractice, dermatologist, misdiagnosis  (Philadelphia County, PA) - The defendants, a dermatologist and dermatopathologist were accused of misdiagnosing the plaintiff’s melanoma.  A Philadelphia jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Snyder’s client, the dermatopathologist.

Medical malpractice, brain damage, ob/gyn (Philadelphia County, PA) - A minor suffered severe brain damage allegedly due to the late performance of a Cesarean section.  In Philadelphia, a jury verdict in favor of the defendant obstetrician.

Medical malpractice, ob/gyn (Philadelphia County, PA) - The defendant ob/gyn physician was accused of mismanaging plaintiff’s labor and delivery resulting in the minor-plaintiff’s brain damage.  A Philadelphia jury verdict in favor of the defendant.

Medical malpractice, nephrologist, transplant (Philadelphia County, PA) - A failed kidney transplant between a Roman Catholic nun and her brother, resulting in permanent dialysis for both.  The nephrologists were accused of not understanding the nature of the disease, wrongfully suggesting the brother as a candidate for transplant and not following his blood studies appropriately.  A jury verdict in Philadelphia for the defendant nephrologists.

Medical malpractice, ob/gyn, brain damage (Philadelphia County, PA) - The defendant ob/gyn physician was accused of mismanaging the plaintiff’s labor by delivering the child too soon, causing his brain damage, mental retardation and cerebral palsy.  A jury in verdict in Philadelphia for the defendant.

Medical malpractice, hernia (Philadelphia County, PA) - Eleven-year-old plaintiff had been on a feeding tube all his life due to complications from a hernia surgery which resulted in the loss of 90% of his small intestines. After the case was transferred to Mr. Snyder, a Philadelphia jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.

Medical malpractice, radiologist, cancer (Philadelphia County, PA) - A radiologist allegedly failed to diagnose lung cancer, resulting in the plaintiff’s death.  A Philadelphia jury verdict in favor of defendants.

Civil rights, brain injury, amputation (United States District Court, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania) - Plaintiff allegedly sustained brain damage and lost a thumb due to the wrongful use of force by the Philadelphia Police Department.  Jury verdict in favor of the defendants.

Presentations:

Medical Malpractice Defense: Correlating Clinical, Laboratory, Brain- Imaging and Placental Findings To Determine How And When Hypoxic/Ischemic Cerebral Palsy Developed; Cross Examination Of The Expert, Medical Professional Liability Catastrophe Loss Fund, Harrisburg, PA, November, 1997.

Defensive Posturing Through The Legal Process: Cross-Examination Of The Defendant Obstetrician In A Brain-Damaged Baby Case, The New Jersey Obstetrical & Gynecological Society, Atlantic City, NJ, June, 1998.

The Cross-Examination Of The Obstetrician Defendant: A Case Study, Zurich-American Insurance Co., The New Jersey Society For Medical Assistants, Piscataway, NJ, November, 1998.

Medical Malpractice: How To Defend A Brain-Damaged Baby Case, AIG Insurance Co., New York, NY, March, 1999.

Medical Malpractice: How To Successfully Build A Winning Defense; Cross Examination Of The Defendant Orthopedic Surgeon, The Academy of Medicine of New Jersey, New Jersey Orthopedic Society/The New York State Of Orthopedic Surgeons, Nevis, West Indies, April, 1999.

Medical Malpractice: The Use Of The Doubling Time Theory In The Defense Of Breast Cancer Cases; Cross-Examination Of The Expert, The Medical Professional Liability Catastrophe Loss Fund, Harrisburg, PA, November, 1999.

General Jurisdiction/Civil Procedure, The National Judicial College, American Bar Association, Reno, NV, October 2000; November, 2001.

The Psychologist As An Expert Witness: The Construction Of An Effective Presentation of Testimony, The Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Lancaster, PA., June, 2002.

Practice Areas

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • New Jersey

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals, for the Third Circuit
U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania
New York State Supreme Court, Third Judicial Department
Supreme Court of New Jersey

Education

Temple University School of Law (J.D., 1975)
St. Joseph’s University (B.A., 1971)

Professional Associations

American Board of Trial Advocates
Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association
Defense Research Institute
Aviation Insurance Association

Seminars, Speeches & Publications