Eli is a civil litigator who works closely with clients to help them accomplish their immediate and long-term business and litigation goals. He has counseled and defended companies in a range of industries, including consumer products, energy, construction, finance, insurance, and real estate, and has handled cases in every stage of litigation—from pre-suit negotiations through trial—as well as on appeal. He also has experience defending government agencies in general-liability matters.
Eli appreciates the importance of understanding the needs and objectives of the companies he represents and the environments in which they operate. He constantly works to stay up-to-date on developments in clients’ industries, and shares this knowledge with clients through timely published updates and in-house trainings. As a member of the firm’s Mass-Tort and Product-Liability groups, Eli brings his familiarity with the relevant science, medicine, and regulations to assist with developing expert witnesses, and to counsel clients about opportunities to limit their litigation risk. While his practice recently has focused on guiding clients to an early resolution through strategic negotiations and motion practice, Eli has experience handling every phase of mass-tort and product-liability claims, and he continues to defend product manufacturers, raw material suppliers, contractors, employers, and property owners in complex exposure cases involving the alleged use, or presence of, asbestos, benzene, and talc.
In addition to his product and mass-tort work, Eli represents clients in a variety of business disputes, serving as a counselor and advocate both in negotiations preceding litigation and after a lawsuit has been filed. Among other areas, Eli has helped clients prosecute and defend against claims involving alleged breaches of contracts, the enforcement of non-compete provisions, and insurance audits and retractions. Eli has also helped clients respond to subpoenas, frequently resulting in the subpoena being quashed or withdrawn. In addition, Eli has represented developers, general contractors, and subcontractors in litigation arising from defective work or catastrophic worksite injuries and fatalities. He has successfully defended against tort and breach-of-contract claims, designed and executed strategies to enforce indemnification and additional-insured contract provisions, and handled related insurance-coverage disputes.
- Obtained summary judgment in an asbestos-related personal-injury action on behalf of a motorcycle manufacturer. The plaintiff contested the motion, pointing to testimony that he allegedly inhaled asbestos dust while changing the brakes on a motorcycle the client purportedly had manufactured and sold. Eli successfully convinced the court the record failed to show the client manufactured or sold the relevant component, failed to show the component contained asbestos, and even if it had, any exposure would have been de minimis.
- Obtained an early dismissal of product-liability claims against a consumer-products manufacturer by demonstrating the client was not subject to jurisdiction in Pennsylvania on the plaintiffs’ claims. The plaintiffs argued the Pennsylvania court’s assertion of jurisdiction over the nonresident defendant was appropriate because, among other reasons, the client allegedly sourced from Philadelphia raw materials used in the manufacture of its product. Combining case law controlling the burden of proof and the record developed in the case, Eli successfully convinced the court that the plaintiffs had failed to present the evidence necessary to overcome the client’s motion to dismiss, requiring the dismissal of all claims against the client.
- Successfully negotiated the dismissal of product-liability, negligence, and fraud claims against a former talc producer.
- Obtained a dismissal of product-liability claims against a consumer-products manufacturer for a lack of personal jurisdiction. The client was one of several defendants named in a lawsuit filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in which the plaintiff sought damages for cancer he allegedly developed as a result of working with products the plaintiff contended the defendants manufactured or sold. The Court permitted the plaintiff to take jurisdictional discovery, but after a hearing, the Court dismissed the claims against the firm’s client.
- Favorably resolved litigation involving the enforceability of a non-compete provision on behalf of a manufacturing company. The lawsuit, brought by a company with which the client formerly had contracted to serve as a sales representative, was complicated by the need to protect the client’s trade secrets and market share. A resolution was reached within months that protected these interests and minimized the cost and risk of continued litigation.
- Served as trial counsel on behalf of a former power plant owner in a trial involving long-tail toxic-tort claims brought by a former employee. As one of the first trials in the country involving a former employee’s tort claim for latent disease against a former employer, the trial required addressing numerous issues of first impression.
- Defended a general contractor and its principal in a lawsuit brought by a laborer who died after falling from a height during construction. The case was complicated by several factors, including the laborer’s catastrophic injuries, a lack of sufficient insurance coverage, and the plaintiff’s efforts to collect damages from the principal directly. After pursuing third-party claims against subcontractors and working with the plaintiff’s counsel to identify alternative sources from which the plaintiff might recover, the case settled without the general contractor or its principal contributing to the settlement.
- Represented a regional transportation company in an appeal challenging an adverse quarter-million-dollar jury award. The Commonwealth Court agreed the case should have been dismissed before being submitted to the jury and ordered the award be vacated, and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania denied the petition for allocatur.
- Represented a regional transportation company defending against a class of personal-injury claims. The plaintiffs attempted to introduce evidence of atypically expensive medical costs, increasing their alleged damages tenfold. After researching the medical-billing industry’s best practices and aggressively pursuing discovery from the plaintiffs’ experts, Eli convinced the court that the plaintiffs could be entitled to no more than twenty-five percent of their alleged medical costs. The pending claims subsequently settled for a favorable sum, and the client has not seen claims involving similar tactics since.
- American Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers – Rising Stars
News and Insights
- “Third Circuit Rules Maritime Negligence Claims May Survive ‘Bare Metal’ Defense,” co-author, Westlaw Journal Asbestos, February 2018.
- “An Update on Personal Jurisdiction,” co-author, Thompson Reuters Westlaw, August 2017.
- “Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds [C]overt Allegations in Underlying Complaint Sufficient to Trigger Coverage” , December 2019.
- “Pennsylvania Federal Court Declares the Exercise of Registration-Based General Jurisdiction Unconstitutional” , June 2019.
- “CALIFORNIA COURT DECLARES A MISTRIAL IN TALC POWDER CASE” , September 2018.
- “Premises Liability & Risk Transfer,” presented to attorneys and claims adjusters at Zurich American Insurance Company, November 2019.
- “Personal jurisdiction issues and defending employers against product-liability claims,” co-presenter, Allianz Resolution Management US, September 2017.
- “Personal Jurisdiction Update,” co-presenter, Resolute Management, Inc., July 2017.
- “Update on Pennsylvania Product-Liability Law,” co-presented to Resolute Management, Inc., April 2017.
- “Talc and Ovarian Cancer Litigation Overview,” Perrin Conferences Live CLE Webinar, January 2017.
- “Practical Insights into Premises Liability Cases,” Dispute Resolution Institute Personal Injury Practicum, November 2016.
- “Understanding, Defending Against, and Valuing Cosmetic-Talc Claims,” in-house presentation to Resolute Management, Inc., March 2016.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
J.D., cum laude, Rutgers University School of Law – Camden, 2013
B.A., City University of New York Queens College, 2009