Sharon L. Caffrey is co-chair of Duane Morris' Trial Practice Group. Ms. Caffrey concentrates her practice in the areas of mass tort, products liability and toxic tort litigation. Ms. Caffrey's experience ranges from serving as the national coordinating counsel for Pliva, Inc., in its PPA litigation, to serving as one of two science defense coordinators and one of a handful of national trial counsel for Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation in their asbestos litigation, to handling major asbestos trials around the country for Ford Motor Company and CSX Transportation, Inc. Ms. Caffrey has significant trial experience, including extensive experience as MDL counsel in both asbestos and PPA litigation. She has worked on a trial team for a medical device manufacturer involving hip implant litigation, including the development of experts for use in dozens of cases. Ms. Caffrey also represents a CSX Transportation, Inc. in its Pennsylvania area litigation, ranging from FELA matters, complex preemption issues, and the defense of significant third party personal injury claims.
Ms. Caffrey's extensive trial experience also includes trying dozens of product liability, mass tort, health effects and medical negligence cases to verdict, the vast majority to defense verdicts. She was presented with an "Excellence in Trial Advocacy" award by CSX Transportation, Inc. and is listed in Chambers USA in the category of Product Liability and Mass Torts – Nationwide.
Ms. Caffrey is a frequent speaker on issues related to Daubert and Frye, and has handled numerous Daubert and Frye hearings, challenging the admissibility of the opposing parties’ expert witnesses.
Ms. Caffrey is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has spoken at the Mealey's Asbestos Litigation Seminar and the American Conference Institute Asbestos Litigation Seminar. Ms. Caffrey is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and has served as a vice chair of the Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee of the American Bar Association. She served as co-chair of the Women's Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association for two years and also served as a member of the association's Committee on Women in the Profession and Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention, as well as the board of the Public Interest Section. Ms. Caffrey founded and chaired Duane Morris' Women's Impact Network for Success for seven years and co-chaired the first Lexis-Nexis conference on Advancing Women in the Profession. In addition, Ms. Caffrey is a member of Duane Morris' Partners Board and served for several years on its Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
A former judicial clerk to the Honorable Dominick J. Ferrelli, JSC and the Honorable Anthony P. Tunney, JSC of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Ms. Caffrey is a 1987 graduate of Widener University School of Law and a graduate of American University.
- Obtained a defense verdict in a case for an interstate railroad in which plaintiff attempted to impose a duty on the railroad to provide barriers to railroad tracks abutting roadways.
- Obtained a defense verdict for an automobile manufacturer in a mesothelioma death case, in which plaintiff claimed that the warnings on the company’s asbestos-containing products were inadequate.
- Won an appeal for Ford Motor Company in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, affirming summary judgment in a product liability case in which the plaintiff contended that Ford was liable for its English subsidiary's products under the "apparent manufacturer" doctrine and the "piercing the corporate veil" theory.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a defendant where plaintiff claimed asbestos attributable to the client caused a decedent's mesothelioma and subsequent death. Plaintiff's claims included an attempt to pierce the corporate veil to hold the client liable for its wholly owned subsidiary.
- Obtained on behalf of an automobile manufacturer, in a significant asbestos-related appeal before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, a reversal of an order granting a mistrial and the reinstatement of a judgment following a defense verdict after a jury trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
- Obtained a favorable result for a premises client sued in the State of West Virginia for alleged injury and death resulting from exposure to an alleged hazardous substance at the client’s facility.
- Obtained a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah precluding the "every breath" opinion under Daubert in Smith v. Ford Motor Co., et al., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7861 (D. Utah Jan. 18, 2013).
- Obtained decision from Pennsylvania Supreme Court that the “each and every breath” theory of causation lacks general acceptance under Frye in Betz v. Pneumo Abex.
- Obtained a defense verdict for a major automotive manufacturer following a five-and-a-half week trial involving a peritoneal mesothelioma claim brought by a 44-year-old gentleman. The matter involved a unique claim for design defect of company’s braking system.
- Obtained a defense verdict for an auto manufacturer following a two-and-a-half week asbestos trial. The jury found that the plaintiff had been exposed to asbestos, but that during the period of exposure, the auto manufacturer had not been negligent in placing asbestos-containing brakes into the market without a warning.
- Participated in and cross-examined experts and prepared post-trial brief in Frye hearing before the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The court ruled in favor of our client, a major automotive manufacturer, and found that the plaintiffs' experts lacked any methodology in arriving at their causation opinions.
- Handled multiple products and premises liability actions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey related to hazardous gases, including acetylene and propane.
- Consultant on Medicare Section 111 reporting requirements for several companies.
- National science defense coordinator for two Fortune 100 companies in toxic-tort litigation. Involves expert development and oversight, trial preparation, coordination and strategy. Includes strategic oversight of numerous matters in 2007 and 2008.
- Handled Frye hearing for two Fortune 100 companies challenging the admissibility of plaintiffs' experts' methodology in toxic-tort litigation in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in February 2008.
- Tried medical negligence matter for individual in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in 2008; resulted in one of the largest verdicts in Montgomery County for a plaintiff in a medical negligence matter.
- Served as national coordinating counsel for a pharmaceutical company in its PPA diet and pharmaceutical products liability litigation. Representation includes responsibility for over 250 direct claims and approximately 540 contractual indemnity claims, oversight of local counsel in 18 states, oversight of federal Multi-District Litigation, and the development of corporate and expert witnesses.
- Member of the national asbestos defense team for Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation and a member of their national trial team. Included trying significant case to verdict in the Superior Court of Delaware in 2007.
- Served as national counsel for Borinquen Insulation in its asbestos litigation in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Representation involved approximately 500 cases spanning a period of about eight years.
Areas of Practice
- Products Liability
- Premises Liability
- Mass Torts
- Health Effects Litigation
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of New Jersey
- Widener University School of Law, J.D., 1987
Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2000-Present
- Co-Chair, Trial Practice Group
- Chair, Products Liability and Toxic Torts Practice Group, 2008-2017
- Associate, 1997-1999
- Partner, 2000-Present
Dunn, Haase, Sullivan, Mallon, Cherner & Broadt, Media, PA and Westmont, NJ
- Associate, 1994-1997
Countess and Shelley, Moorestown, New Jersey
- Associate, 1993-1994
Horn, Goldberg, Gorny, Daniels, Paarz, Plackert & Weiss, Voorhees, NJ
- Associate, 1991-1993
McCarter & English, Cherry Hill, NJ
- Associate, 1989-1991
Parker, McCay and Criscuolo, Marlton, NJ
- Associate, 1988-1989
Superior Court of New Jersey,
- Judicial Clerk, Honorable Dominick J. Ferrelli, JSC, and Honorable Anthony P. Tunney, JSC, 1987-1988
Co-Chair, Trial Practice Group
International Association of Defense Counsel
American Bar Association
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
- Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
- Vice-Chair, 2005-2007
- Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
- New Jersey State Bar Association
Philadelphia Bar Association
- Co-Chair, Women's Rights Committee
- Committee on Women in the Profession
- Board of Public Interest Section
- Member, Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention
- Camden County Bar Association
Chair, Duane Morris Women's Impact Network for Success
National Association of Women Lawyers
- Program Committee, 2007
- Survey Committee, 2007
- Leadership Summit, 2007
National Association of Women Judges
- Friends Committee, 2007
Camden Inn of the American Inns of Court
- Barrister, 1995-1997
Law360 Editorial Advisory Board
- Products Liability Section, 2010
Honors and Awards
- Listed in U.S. News/Best Lawyers "The Best Lawyers in America," Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants Category, 2016-2018
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2016 and 2017
- Listed in Best Lawyers Greater Philadelphia, 2016
- Named one of The Legal Intelligencer's Women of the Year, 2012
Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers for Class Actions and Mass Tort Litigation, 2004, 2006 and 2009-2018
- Rising Star Award, YMCA, Central Branch, Wilmington, Delaware
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- Executive Board, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training 2008, Nation's Triathlon
- North Brandywine Swim League Stroke and Turn Judge, 2007, 2008
YMCA, Central Branch, Wilmington, Delaware
- Board of Governors, 1997-2000
- Rising Star Award, 1997
- Executive Committee, 1998-1999
- Vice President, Fund Raising, 1997-1999
St. Stephen's Lutheran Church Building Renovation Committee, Wilmington, Delaware
- Chairperson, 1995-1997
Children's House Montessori School
- Advisory Board, 1993-1996
- Silent Auction Chairperson, 1994-1996
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Burlington County
- Board of Directors, 1989-1990
- Chairperson Personnel Committee of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church
- Co-author, "A New Paradigm For Prescription Drug Labeling?," Law360, November 30, 2015
- Co-author, "Eastern District Predicts "Bare Metal Defense" Available Under Pennsylvania Law," Duane Morris Alert, June 9, 2015
- Co-author, "Pa. Justices Adopt New Standards for Strict Liability Claims," The Legal Intelligencer, February 10, 2015
- Co-author, "FACT Act Promises Transparency in Bankruptcy Trust Claims and Payments for Asbestos Exposure," Duane Morris Alert, November 18, 2013
- Co-author, "'Every Breath' Theory: On Its Last Breaths? Duane Morris Alert, January 22, 2013
- Co-author, "Third Circuit Ruling Affords Defendants Protection from Amended Complaints After Statute of Limitations Runs Out," Duane Morris Alert, September 10, 2012
- Co-author, "'Every Breath' of Asbestos Is Not a Substantial Factor in Pennsylvania," Duane Morris Alert, May 25, 2012; republished in Law360, June 20, 2012
- Co-author, "The Circuit Split On 'Fraud On The FDA' Continues," Guest Column in Products Liability Law360, March 13, 2012
- Co-author, "Fifth Circuit Concludes That U.S. Supreme Court's "Fraud-on-the-FDA" Federal Preemption Precedent Has Broad Application," Duane Morris Alert, March 2, 2012
- Co-author, "Two-disease Rule No More: Pennsylvania Allows Multiple Malignancy Claims," Duane Morris Alert, February 24, 2012
- Co-author, "Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Issues General Court Regulation on Mass Tort and Asbestos Programs," Duane Morris Alert, February 23, 2012
- Co-author, "Supreme Court Orders Ninth Circuit to Revisit Preemption Ruling Against Generic OTC Ibuprofen Manufacturer," Duane Morris Alert, November 2, 2011; republished by Linex Systems, November 3, 2011; republished in Product Liability Law360, November 8, 2011
- Co-author, "Mensing and Its Impact on State-Law-Based Claims Against Generic Drug Manufacturers," Update Magazine, The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), September 2011
- Co-author, "Preemption of State Court Motor Vehicle Products Liability Claims After Williamson: Is Preemption Over?" CorporateLiveWire, August 2, 2011
- Co-author, "New Pennsylvania Law Limits Joint and Several Liability," Duane Morris Alert, June 29, 2011
- Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Holds That State-Law-Based Failure-to-Warn Claims Are Federally Preempted Against Generic Drug Manufacturers," Duane Morris Alert, June 23, 2011
- Co-author, "In Drug Products Liability, Pa. Supreme Court Denies Attempt to Introduce "Failure-to-Warn" Theories of First Impression," Duane Morris Alert, May 12, 2011
- Co-author, "Significant Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Will Protect Drafts of Expert Reports from Discovery," published in Current Developments in Federal Civil Practice 2011, Practising Law Institute, New York, NY, February 8, 2011
- Co-author, "In Stricker Case, District Court to Dismiss Medicare's Suit Seeking Reimbursement from Defendants, Insurers and Attorneys," Duane Morris Alert, September 22, 2010
- Co-author, "Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Medicare's Recovery Practices Under the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute," Duane Morris Alert, September 21, 2010
- Co-author, "Significant Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Will Protect Drafts of Expert Reports from Discovery," Duane Morris Alert, July 15, 2010
- Co-author, "Making Your Business Development Plan Recession-Proof," Marketing the Law Firm, July 2010
- Co-author, "The Issue of Expertise: Modern Jurisdictional Trends in the Daubert v. Frye Debate," National Association of Women Judges Counterbalance, Volume 30, Issue 1 (Winter 2010)
- Co-author, "Generic Drug Manufacturers Post-ANDA Approval Duties With Reference To Labeling Changes: Viability of Federal Preemption Defense Post-Levine," Bloomberg Law Reports - Health Law, May 2010
- Co-author, "Medicare Secondary Payer Reporting and Repayment Obligations: Is Relief on the Way?" Duane Morris Alert, April 22, 2010
- Co-author, "Medicare Secondary Payer Statute: Reporting Obligations Delayed, but Uncertainty Remains," Duane Morris Alert, March 12, 2010
- Co-author, "Medicare Secondary Payer Statute: New Reporting Requirements for Products Liability and Toxic Tort Clients," New Jersey Law Journal, Product Liability & Toxic Torts Special Report, December 8, 2009
- Co-author, "Federal Rule Changes to Impact Timing Requirements, Indicative Rulings, Summary Judgments and Amending of Pleadings," Duane Morris Alert, November 9, 2009
- Co-author, "Exception to Pennsylvania's One-Disease Rule: Pre-1992 Asbestos Plaintiffs May File New Claims," Duane Morris Alert, October 26, 2009
- Co-author, "Have You Registered Under MMSEA? New Reporting Obligations and Penalties for Medicare Secondary Payers," Duane Morris Alert, October 15, 2009
- Co-author, "New Jersey Supreme Court Proposes Rule of Court Requiring Mandatory Continuing Legal Education," Duane Morris Alert, October 13, 2009
- Co-author, "Viability of the Federal Preemption Defense Post-Levine," Drug and Medical Device: For the Defense, July 2009
- Profiled by Law 360, June 30, 2009
- "Split Vote by CPSC Signals That Tracking Labels Must Be Placed on Children's Products by August 14, 2009," Duane Morris Alert, May 27, 2009
- Co-author, "Can Failure-to-Warn Claims Against Generic Drug Manufacturers Be Preempted?," LJN's Product Liability Law & Strategy newsletter, June 2009
- Co-author, "Illinois Supreme Court Overturns Lipke Exclusionary Rule in Nolan v. Weil-McLain," Duane Morris Alert, April 17, 2009
- Co-author, "What the Future Holds," The National Law Journal, March 30, 2009
- Co-author, "Wyeth v. Levine: An Attorney's Perspective," PharmExec.com, March 11, 2009
- Co-author, "Courts Are Divided on Whether Failure-to-Warn Claims Against Generic Drug Manufacturers Can Be Preempted," Genericsweb.com INNSIGHT Industry Newsletter, March 4, 2009
- Co-author, "Courts Are Divided on Whether Failure-to-Warn Claims Against Generic Drug Manufacturers Can Be Preempted," Strictly Speaking, the newsletter of the DRI Product Liability Committee, Volume 3, Issue 2, February 25, 2009
- Co-author, "Third Circuit Weighs In on Limits of Punitive Damages Awards," Duane Morris Alert, January 5, 2009
- Co-author, "New Final Rule Clarifies FDA's View On Preemption," Product Liability Law 360 and Health Law 360, August 29, 2008
- Co-author, "N.J. Packagers Are Link in Acutrim Liability Chain," Product Liability Law 360 and Health Law 360, July 16, 2008
- "Creative Exit Strategy: Limiting Damages When Co-Defendant Files for Bankruptcy," The Legal Intelligencer, June 27, 2007
- Co-author, "MD Charged with Fraud for Failing to Disclose Drug Use Before Operating," Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, December 1998
- Co-author, "No Duty to Nonpatient Family Members of Therapist's Treatment of Patient," Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, March 1999
- Co-author, Monthly Column for Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy
Selected Speaking Engagements
"Collaboration Between Trial and Appellate Counsel: A Path to Litigation Success," Duane Morris Alumni CLE, October 26, 2017
- Speaker, "Daubert and Frye Challenges to Causation Experts," 1st Annual Asbestos Litigation Strategies ExecuSummit, Uncasville, CT, December 2, 2014
- Speaker, "The Single Fiber/Any Exposure Theory of Causation in Asbestos," ABA's 7th Annual Chemical Products and Toxic Torts Regional Seminar, New York City, October 29, 2012
- Panelist, "The Impact of the New Rules on the Future of Asbestos Litigation," HarrisMartin's Philadelphia Complex Litigation Conference: Examining the Court's New Mass Tort and Asbestos Protocols, June 5, 2012
- Panelist, "Product Liability Preemption: Analyzing the Supreme Court's New Decisions," Strafford Publications Webinar, August 16, 2011
- Moderator, "New Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," Law Seminars International TeleBriefing, April 28, 2011
- Speaker, "The Practical Impact of the 2010 Rule 26 Amendments on Expert Witnessing," SEAK, Inc.'s 20th Anniversary National Expert Witness Conference, Naples, Florida, April 15, 2011
- Speaker, "Preemption Fundamentals," American Conference Institute's FDA Boot Camp, Boston, Massachusetts, September 28, 2010
- Speaker, "Medicare Secondary Payer Update—What Asbestos Plaintiffs and Defendants Need to Know," HB Litigation Conferences' Emerging Trends in Asbestos Litigation, Marina del Ray, California, March 5, 2010
- Speaker, "Women in Business Breakfast Roundtable" and "Understanding Evidentiary Standards: Daubert/Frye Update," Perrin's Asbestos Litigation Conference, San Francisco, California, September 15, 2009
- Co-chair, "LexisNexis® Women in the Legal Profession Summit: Rainmaking, Negotiating, and Collaborative Development," Philadelphia, September 25, 2007
- "Advanced Litigation Issues in E-Discovery," Web cast for FIOS, May 30, 2007
- Speaker, "Managing Discovery in the Digital Age," Counsel to Counsel program, September 27, 2006
- Panelist, "Unconventional Wisdom on Products Liability Defense," Insurance Society of Philadelphia CLE Seminar, August 11, 2006
- Chair, Mealey's E-mail Discovery & Retention Policies Conference, San Francisco, California, May 18, 2006
- Speaker, "Emails Run Amok," FIOS Electronic Discovery webcast, January 11, 2006
- Speaker, "Sales Coaching," ABA Law Practice Management Section Fall Meeting on Marketing and Technology, October 21, 2005
- "Allocating and Shifting Liability," Mealey's Asbestos Premises Liability Conference, December 2004
- Speaker, "Forum Shopping: Getting In and Out," American Conference Institute," Asbestos Litigation the Next Generation," October 22, 2001
- Speaker, "The New Face of the Litigation: Beyond the Thermal Insulation Manufacturers," Mealey's National Asbestos Litigation Conference, October 8, 2001
- Presenter, "Legal Implications of Medical Care," Pennsylvania Association of Medical Assistants, continuing education program, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, November 12, 2000
- "Malpractice Issues," Minimizing Regulatory Finds and Litigation in Long-Term Care and Assisted-Living Facilities, New Jersey Center for Health Care Education, Seminar sponsored by Duane, Morris & Heckscher LLP, September 28, 2000
- Speaker, "Trial Theme," Pennsylvania Bar Institute Product Liability Litigation Seminar, December 19, 2001