Anthony J. Sbarra, Jr. Shareholder
- State Bar Admissions
- Rhode Island
- United States District Court
- Rhode Island
Tony Sbarra is a Shareholder at Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing, P.C. Mr. Sbarra concentrates his practice in civil litigation with an emphasis on products liability and toxic torts. He defends manufacturers of automobiles, light, medium and heavy trucks, construction equipment, farm/agricultural equipment, electrical equipment, wire and cable and other products in products liability cases. He also defends toxic tort actions, particularly those involving asbestos. He has served as lead examining counsel in multiple lay and expert depositions throughout the country and has experience in the direct and cross-examination of epidemiologists, industrial hygienists, pathologists, naval historians and practitioners of occupational medicine, among others. He has been a member of asbestos trial teams for major motor vehicle and other product manufacturers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and has tried asbestos cases to verdict in New York.
Mr. Sbarra began his litigation career at a midsized suburban firm where he focused his practice on the preparation and trial of cases involving personal injury and wrongful death, premises liability, products liability, construction, automobile liability, intellectual property and insurance related matters. He then became a Shareholder at a major Boston trial firm, defending products liability and toxic tort cases. He has over twenty years of experience litigating cases and has tried to verdict more than 30 Superior Court and 60 District Court actions and arbitrated or mediated several hundred cases. He has also served as an arbitrator in civil actions involving personal injury and has been appointed as guardian ad litem for injured persons in such cases.
Mr. Sbarra has represented insureds, insurers and plaintiffs in these cases and has developed a sensitivity to the nuances involved with each of these relationships. Over the years, he has established a reputation for accurate and timely reporting to clients. He is known for focusing on the real issues in a dispute and for foregoing the waste of limited resources on peripheral matters. Most importantly, he practices with civility with all those he encounters and treats his colleagues, clients and opponents with respect and integrity.
Mr. Sbarra has served on the faculty for numerous continuing legal education programs sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association and for the insurance industry. He has also lectured at national programs for the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute and the American Conference Institute.
Mr. Sbarra is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and has been admitted pro hac vice in the States of Delaware and New York. He has received the Preeminent AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and has been elected by his fellow trial lawyers as an Associate Member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He is a Past President of the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MassDLA) and is a member of its Board of Directors. He was also named a Super Lawyer by the publishers of Law & Politics and Boston Magazine in from 2011 through 2016. Additionally, he is the Chair of the Products Liability Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section and sits on the TIPS Continuing Legal Education Board. He also belongs to the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Rhode Island Bar Association, the Defense Counsel of Rhode Island and in 2014 was elected as the Massachusetts State Representative to the Defense Research Institute. In 2012, Mr. Sbarra was selected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honor limited to one third of one percent of the lawyers in America.
Tony and his wife and children were affiliated with the Chernobyl Children’s Project, having served as a host family for five years. Tony is also a sustaining member of the Minutemen Club and an avid supporter of UMass/Amherst football and basketball.
Baptiste v. Briggs
Defense verdict obtained in Plymouth Superior Court where plaintiff, who sustained permanent injuries in motor vehicle accident, alleged that adult defendant negligently supervised operator who was intoxicated at time of accident.
Pola v. Huck
Summary judgment obtained in Barnstable Superior Court in paraplegia case where plaintiff alleged that professional tree cutting was “inherently dangerous” activity.
Argemma v. DeLuca
Defense verdict obtained in Worcester Superior Court where plaintiff alleged that lack of handrail on attic stairs proximately caused fall resulting in permanent back injuries.
Pelligrino v. Marchant
Defense verdict obtained in Lowell Superior Court where plaintiff alleged that defendant was liable for tree falling on car causing permanent head injuries.
Lazaro v. Ferreira
Defense verdict obtained in Fall River Superior Court where plaintiff alleged that he was permanently injured when struck from the rear by defendant’s vehicle.
Wright v. Chisholm
Defense verdict obtained in Somerville District Court (jury of six) where plaintiff alleged permanent scarring from dog bite.
Howard v. Scrannel
Defense verdict obtained in Lowell Superior Court on causation after court directed verdict for plaintiff on issue of liability.
Courtemanch v. AT&T
Defense verdict obtained in Lawrence Superior Court where plaintiff alleged defendant construction company negligently maintained scaffolding system.
Fitchburg v. Juliano
Declaratory judgment action defeated at summary judgment stage in Norfolk Superior Court where homeowner’s carrier declined coverage for social host claim.
Medeiros v. Chrysler
Summary judgment obtained in Plymouth Superior Court in favor of automobile manufacturer in asbestos/mesothelioma case after Special Master recommended denial of motion.
Petty v. General Motors
Summary judgment obtained in Bridgeport Superior Court in favor of naval engine manufacturer due to lack of sufficient expert product identification testimony.
Kroskob v. Detroit Diesel Corporation
Dismissal of claims obtained in Providence Superior Court in asbestos/mesothelioma case just before jury selection.
Owens v. MacMillen
Defense verdict obtained in Plymouth Superior Court where plaintiff sustained permanent facial/eye injuries while constructing a deck at defendant’s home.
Zdanowicz v. Zides
Defense verdict obtained in Suffolk Superior Court where plaintiff fractured leg while delivering oil to defendant’s home.
Pactovis v. Moran
Defense verdict obtained in Norfolk Superior Court where plaintiff fractured hip when she fell at a donut shop after being bumped by the defendant.
Wagner v. Leroy
Defense verdict obtained in Plymouth Superior Court where plaintiff fractured both hips, requiring surgery, after tripping over a holiday decoration (pumpkin) while delivering packages to the defendant’s home.
Epro v. Letendre
Defense verdict obtained in Norfolk Superior Court where plaintiff sustained shoulder injuries falling while filling his car with gas at the defendant’s service station.
Watson v. Aubert
Verdict of $2,400 in dog bite case in Fall River Superior Court. Plaintiff alleges permanent scarring and nerve/leg injuries and demanded $100,000. Settlement offer prior to trial was $15,000.
Ortega v. Roman
Defense verdict obtained in Hamden Superior Court where plaintiff fractured leg falling on snow and ice on the defendant’s driveway.
Gonsalves v. Martin
Defense verdict overturning a plaintiff’s award from the District Court obtained in Fall River Superior Court in motor vehicle accident case.
Switzer v. Hamilton
Defense verdict obtained in Middlesex Superior Court where plaintiff sustained facial and head injuries with resulting vertigo after being hit by a shot-put thrown by the defendant at high school track practice.
Lewis v. Valle
Defense verdict obtained in Middlesex Superior Court where plaintiff sustained wrist injuries after an altercation with her sister-in-law at a family holiday gathering.
Scully v. McGrath
Defense verdict obtained in Suffolk Superior Court where plaintiff fractured leg when struck by wedding guest while dancing at the defendant’s premises.
Andrade v. Andrade
Defense verdict obtained in Plymouth Superior Court where plaintiff fractured both feet and legs falling from the defendant’s roof.
Keith v. Romboli
Plaintiffs’ verdict of $1,555,000 obtained in Suffolk Superior Court where plaintiffs sustained serious and permanent neck, back and leg fractures when struck by intoxicated motor vehicle operator who had been over-served alcohol by her parents on their boat. Significant percentage of verdict collected from homeowners and boat owners insurance policies after coverage dispute.
PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Chernobyl Children’s Project
American Bar Association
- Member: Tort Trial & Insurance Section
- Panelist: “Handling Friction: Update on Asbestos Litigation” - Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation, April 4, 2013
- Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect Designee: Products Liability Committee - Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
Defense Counsel of Rhode Island
Defense Research Institute
- Member: Products Liability Committee
- Member: Trial Tactics Committee
- Member: Toxic Torts Committee
- Massachusetts State Representative, 2014
Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MassDLA)
- President: 2011 - 2012
- Board of Directors: 1999 - present
- Co-Chair: Annual Meeting and Spring Seminar: May 2001 - 2012
- Panelist: “Survive and Thrive - Tips for the New Associate”: September 2011
Massachusetts Bar Association
- Past Member: Civil Litigation Section and Trial Practice & Procedure/Court Rules Practice Group
- Panelist: “Winning Closing Arguments - All-Star Panel of Top Litigators Puts Michael Jackson, Star Wars and the Boston Red Sox on Trial”: March 5, 2013
- Panelist: “Shuttle Diplomacy: Winning Your Mediation During the Private Sessions”: September 27, 2011
American Bar Foundation
Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Panelist: Annual Seminar - “ Lessons from the Defense Bar”: April 20, 2012
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
- AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Top Attorneys-Personal Injury Defense-Products Law
- Super Lawyers as named by the publishers of Law & Politics and Boston Magazine, 2011-2019
- 10.0 Superb Rating from Avvo, Inc., 2012
- Outstanding Leadership and Dedication as President-Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association, 2012
- Exceptional Performance Citation-Defense Research Institute, 2102