Sharon L. Caffrey


  • Sharon L. Caffrey
  • Phone: +1 215 979 1180

    Sharon L. Caffrey - LinkedIn Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    30 South 17th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103-4196

Sharon Caffrey is a products liability trial lawyer who is sought after to try large exposure cases in the most difficult jurisdictions, often referred to as “judicial hellholes.” Ms. Caffrey has a distinguished record of success at trial; of the past ten cases she has tried, she obtained eight defense verdicts and two low-value verdicts. She has tried dozens of mass tort, toxic tort, health effects and medical negligence cases, the vast majority to defense verdicts. Ms. Caffrey is also able to leverage her deep experience to serve as national coordinating counsel for clients looking to guide the management of voluminous litigation consistent with their legal and business priorities.

Ms. Caffrey's background includes defending pharmaceutical, medical device and biologics products liability claims, as well as toxic tort claims involving diesel exhaust, PHAs, pesticides, asbestos, talc, microsilica, silica and benzene. She has also represented several clients in MDL proceedings and clients in a variety of industries in product defect claims. As a result, Ms. Caffrey has a deep understanding of these claims across a wide array of machinery, tools, equipment and related applications.

Her automotive experience includes investigating failures of electric powered vehicles and other equipment, such as gantries and forklifts. Ms. Caffrey also represents two Class I railroads in their Pennsylvania-area litigation, ranging from complex preemption issues and the defense of significant third party personal injury claims. A testament to her tenacity and results, Ms. Caffrey was twice presented with an "Excellence in Trial Advocacy" award by CSX Transportation, Inc. and has been twice listed in Chambers USA in the category of Product Liability and Mass Torts – Nationwide.

In addition to serving as co-chair of Duane Morris’  Trial Practice Group and a member of the Executive Committee and Partners Board, Ms. Caffrey spearheaded the firm’s COVID-19 Strategy Group, and counseled clients on issues related to COVID-19 liability prevention.

Thought Leader

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 opposing parties’ expert witnesses.

She served as a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Liability Reform Group. She has spoken at the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) regarding autonomous vehicles, the Mealey's Asbestos Litigation Seminar and the American Conference Institute Asbestos Litigation Seminar. Ms. Caffrey is a member of the IADC and has served as a vice chair of the Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee of the American Bar Association.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Champion

Ms. Caffrey founded and chaired Duane Morris' Women's Impact Network for Success for seven years and served on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee for several years. In 2021, she received the firm's Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award, which recognizes significant contributions, including professional development, leadership and mentoring, made by a lawyer to women in the legal profession.

Ms. Caffrey co-chaired the first LexisNexis conference on Advancing Women in the Profession and the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Women's Rights Committee for two years. She also was a member of the association's Women in the Profession Committee.

Representative Matters

  • Prevailed in a trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against a Plaintiff who claimed to have developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (“CLL”) from his work at CSX Transportation, Inc. Plaintiff claimed his CLL was the result of exposure to diesel exhaust on a daily basis.

  • 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. Plaintiff was represented by arguably the most preeminent Plaintiffs’ law firm.

  • Secured summary judgment for Baxter International, a healthcare company focused on chronic illnesses, in a products liability matter involving a biologic patch used to repair a hernia that plaintiffs alleged was defective and caused pain, scarring and required a major revision.

  • Five defense verdicts for Class I railroad in Philadelphia County in a variety of cancer and serious personal injury claims.

  • Secured a complete victory in favor of Consolidated Rail Corporation and CSX Transportation, Inc. following a seven-day jury trial in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The complaint was filed by a former Conrail and CSX employee who claimed that he developed kidney cancer as a result of alleged workplace exposures to asbestos and diesel exhaust during his thirty-two year railroad career. At trial, the team demonstrated that the plaintiff was never exposed to unsafe levels of either, and that his alleged exposures did not cause his cancer. After over three years of hard-fought litigation, the team secured a finding of zero liability.

  • Secured the complete dismissal of a putative class action complaint on behalf of the Scranton School District and 15 individual School Board Members. The Complaint had brought constitutional civil rights claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 alleging that the Defendants had failed to take appropriate actions to remediate asbestos and lead pipes throughout various schools in the district. Successfully asserted that the Plaintiffs’ novel theory of liability did not amount to a cognizable constitutional claim, and that the individual Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. 

  • Represented a producer of microsilica, used in the manufacture of strong and lightweight concrete products, in a case involving alleged exposures to toxic chemicals.

  • Represented an industrial pump manufacturer in drafting warning labels for its pumps.

  • Represents one of the most well-respected manufacturers of electric forklifts in products liability litigation.

  • Resolved a significant product liability matter for a specialty rigging company which had purchased a gantry which failed, resulting in injury to the company’s employees.
  • Represents a manufacturer and producer of polypropylene and polyethylene compounds in a case involving alleged toxic exposures to talc in the manufacturing process.

  • Defended Baxter International in a products liability matter that involved a claim of product defect in their flagship dialysis products and a botched kidney transplant and was successful in having Plaintiff agree to dismiss Baxter.

  • Prevailed on a motion to dismiss pursuant to forum non conveniens; Plaintiff appealed, but had defects in his appeal therefore, winning a motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s appeal.

  • 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.

  • 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 that 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 pills 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 multidistrict 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
  • Mass Torts
  • Pharmaceutical and Biologics Litigation 
  • Health Effects Litigation
  • Premises Liability


  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • 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, Delaware, J.D., 1987
    - Notes and Comments Editor on Law Review
    - Member of the Moot Court Honor Society (Moot Court Winner)
  • American University, B.A., 1983


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Executive Committee, 2022-Present 
    - Co-Chair, Trial Practice Group, 2018-Present 
    - Partners Board, 2007-Present 
    - Chair, Products Liability and Toxic Torts Practice Group, 2008-2017
    - Partner, 2000-Present
    - Associate, 1997-1999

  • 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

Professional Activities

  • Co-Chair, Trial Practice Group

  • Chair, Duane Morris Women's Impact Network for Success

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    - COVID-19 Task Force
    - Liability Reform Litigation Advisory Committee
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
    - Product Liability Committee
    -- Vice-Chair, Communications, 2020-2021
    -- Vice-Chair, Webinars, 2021-2022

  • American Bar Association
    - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
    -- Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
    --- Vice Chair, 2005-2007

  • 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

  • Corporate Leadership Award Dinner Committee, 2019

  • Camden County Bar Association
  • 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

  • Recipient of the Cheryl Bryson Leadership Award from Duane Morris' Women's Impact Network for Success (WINS), 2021. The award recognizes significant contributions to women in the profession, including professional development of women lawyers and the advancement of women lawyers in the profession.
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America 
  • Recipient of the Above and Beyond Award from City & State Pennsylvania, 2024
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2016-2024

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America, 2022-2024
  • Named to the Philadelphia Business Journal's "Best of the Bar" for Pro Bono, 2021
  • Named to The Legal Intelligencer's 2020 list of Pennsylvania Trailblazers
  • Named one of Philadelphia Business Journal's "Best of the Bar" for Business Litigation, 2020
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Products Liability, 2016 and 2017
  • Listed in Best Lawyers Greater Philadelphia, 2016
  • Named one of The Legal Intelligencer's Women of the Year, 2012
  • Rising Star Award, YMCA, Central Branch, Wilmington, Delaware
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®

Board Memberships

  • Executive Board, Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • St. Michael Lutheran Church, Church Council, 2013-2018
  • 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

Selected Publications

Media Hits

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Status of the Preemption Defense in Pharmaceutical Products Liability Cases," IADC 2022 Midyear Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona, February 20, 2022
  • Faculty, "Litigating Civil Cases in Pennsylvania From Start to Finish," NBI Webinar, November 2021
  • Speaker, "Forever Chemicals: Chemical Persistence as a Litigation Risk," IADC Annual Meeting, August 15, 2021
  • Speaker, "Protecting Your Business Against Product Liability Claims," Lorman Webinar, April 26, 2021
  • Speaker, "From Pillars of Society to Scourge: How Perceptions of Corporations Have Changed in the Courtroom and How to Address Negative Perceptions," IADC Mid-Year Meeting, Webinar, February 17, 2021
  • Presenter, "COVID-19: From Sea to Shining Sea: A Quick Update of U.S. and International COVID-Related Restrictions," Duane Morris LLP, Webinar, December 11, 2020
  • Panelist, "Nuclear Verdicts: Countering Social Influence, Corporate Mistrust, Humanizing Corporate Defendant," Strafford Webinar, June 10, 2020
  • Panelist, "How Will COVID-19 Affect Business Liability?" Best Lawyers Discussion Panel, May 8, 2020
  • Panelist, "Ethical Considerations for Autonomous Vehicles," IADC Annual Meeting, Asheville, North Carolina, July 11, 2019

  • "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