Thomas J. Sweeney
Tom Sweeney has a diverse trial practice having tried approximately 100 jury trials to verdict. His practice is focused in the areas of product liability defense, commercial litigation, and business counseling on legal/technical engineering issues. He has extensive courtroom experience in both state and federal courts and has established a national trial practice, having served as lead trial counsel in more than 40 states and Puerto Rico. He currently serves as national and regional trial counsel for several firm clients.
Tom represents clients in the application of artificial intelligence systems in autonomous transportation. This practice involves the defense of advanced safety systems as well as counseling on the implementation of new autonomous transportation technologies. Tom is a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Autonomous Vehicle Policy Task Force as a stakeholder representative for the Product Liability Advisory Counsel.
His trial practice encompasses the defense of automobile, transit bus, and motorcycle manufacturers; locomotives and rail equipment manufacturers; industrial machine/equipment manufacturers; medical device manufacturers; and mass tort litigation (asbestos, benzene, etc.). He has also defended FCRA class-action claims, life insurance coverage/ERISA claims, professional liability, and aviation (fixed wing and rotor craft) cases.
In addition, Tom counsels clients in the areas of product safety, product liability prevention, and regulatory compliance. This advice is provided during product design and development, product release, and post-sale (recall, retrofit, safety improvements). It includes product risk assessment, design reviews, compliance with industry standards, advice on warnings, instructions, repair and maintenance manuals, marketing and advertising brochures, product catalogs, safety videos, and website content. Tom has spoken extensively on issues relating to Autonomous Vehicle technology (including advanced safety and crash avoidance systems), jury trial strategy and tactics, and product liability/commercial litigation.
Tom is a former member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, former Managing Partner of the Pittsburgh office, and former chair of the Litigation Division.
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
- Federal Rules of Evidence Committee, Member
- Pennsylvania State Committee, Member
- Committee on Complex Litigation, Member
- Products Liability Advisory Council
- Autonomous Vehicle Action Group, Member
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Autonomous Vehicle Policy Task Force, member and stakeholder representative for the Product Liability Advisory Counsel
- Allegheny County Bar Foundation, Fellow
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion as Best Lawyers 2019 Product Liability Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” in Pittsburgh
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation and Product Liability
- Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
- Attained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell
News and Insights
- “Autonomous Vehicle Technology & the Law: Evolution and Innovation,” Product Liability Advisory Counsel Spring Conference, April 2018.
- “Tincher and the Reformation of Products Liability Law in Pennsylvania,” co-presenter, Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2016.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Supreme Court of the United States
J.D., Duquesne University School of Law, 1981
B.A., University of Pittsburgh, 1977