New York’s 2018 Leading Lawyers
Morelli Law Firm
Personal Injury, Discrimination, Civil Litigation, Medical Malpractice
Morelli Law Firm is the preeminent firm for all civil litigation, successfully pursuing a diverse array of cases such as personal injury, sexual harassment/ employment discrimination, mass torts and medical malpractice, among others. With a consistent track record of delivering landmark, often record-setting verdicts and settlements, the firm is a formidable force, attracting some of the most high-profile and discussed cases of our time. In just the last few years, the firm represented comedian Tracy Morgan in his highly publicized lawsuit against Walmart, and tennis star Eugenie Bouchard in her suit against the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Led by its founder Benedict Morelli, the firm has secured more than a billion dollars on behalf of its clients. “There is no case we’re not prepared to pursue,” Morelli says. “While many of our cases are high-profile like Tracy’s, we represent all of our clients with the same vigor and focus.”
Recently, Morelli Law Firm was retained to represent victims of the 2015 Philadelphia Amtrak crash, including Eli Kulp, a nationally renowned chef who was rendered quadriplegic in the derailment. As part of the case, the firm played an instrumental role on the court-appointed Plaintiff’s Management Committee and led the charge in getting Congress to raise its cap on damages. The firm, along with other members of the Management Committee, negotiated an unprecedented $265 million settlement for the victims—the largest railroad accident settlement in U.S. history. Morelli Law currently represents victims of the September 2016 Hoboken, NJ, train crash, as well as the October 2016 Long Island Railroad crash.
“The safety of our railways is a growing and concerning issue,” notes Morelli, who is quickly becoming a go-to attorney for train derailments. “The technology exists to prevent these crashes and save lives—but train operators have been slow to take action. Accountability is key.”
Hard work has defined Morelli’s career since his early days as a law clerk at a personal injury law firm. After being admitted to the New York State Bar, he quickly worked his way up the ranks, becoming a partner and a senior partner.
“I’ve always been at home in the courtroom,” says Morelli, a past president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and continuous honoree by The Best Lawyers in America since 1997. “When I speak to a jury, I always do so with respect and I never lie to them. Much of my success is due to the trust I’ve been able to build with juries.”
In 1998, Morelli founded his own firm to better represent his vision and values: “I wanted to be in a position to give a voice to anyone who has been wronged, whether physically, emotionally, or financially. To do that, I knew we needed to be a client-centered and results-oriented firm, with the knowledge and experience to get the job done.”
Morelli and his team have held fast to that vision. Today, the firm is known nationwide for its tenacious approach and experience handling a variety of cases from employment discrimination, civil rights, and complex product liability matters to auto accidents, labor law, and commercial cases.
Among his most high-profile results, Morelli achieved a confidential settlement with Wal-Mart on behalf of Tracy Morgan and five other plaintiffs who were injured in an accident involving one of the company’s trucks. He’s also racked up an impressive list of record-setting verdicts, including a $95 million verdict in a 2011 sexual harassment trial, which stands as the largest single-plaintiff sexual harassment verdict in U.S. history; a $40 million medical malpractice verdict that was featured in the National Law Journal; and a $22.5 million verdict in a 2010 polio vaccine case that remains the largest vaccine verdict in U.S. history.
Even more recently, Morelli secured a $62 million verdict for a 26-year-old construction worker who was injured on the job after falling 20 feet from a roof. The result, which followed a six-month trial, is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict for a single plaintiff in the history of the Queens County Supreme Court.
Beyond individual cases, Morelli and his firm have also been involved in many large-scale pharmaceutical cases—often in a leadership capacity—involving multiple plaintiffs. These include suits against the manufacturers of Vioxx, Avandia, Bextra, Propecia, and more. He currently represents over a thousand women in cases against Johnson & Johnson, all of whom allege that the company’s talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. He also represents more than a hundred individuals who were injured by defective IVC filters.
“I’ve been fighting for victims of corporate greed, incompetence, and negligence for decades—and I have no plans on slowing down,” Morelli says. “These victims, who have suffered a great deal, often have very few options. We are proud to give them the justice they desperately deserve and need.”