Steven E. Pegalis is a medical malpractice trial lawyer and senior partner of Pegalis & Erickson, LLC. He is the founding member of his own firm since 1972. He has achieved the distinction of winning precedent-setting jury verdicts. In 1998 he won the highest medical malpractice verdict for his client, a brain injured child against New York City Health and Hospital Corp. in the amount of $116 million. At the time, it was the second highest malpractice verdict in the country. In 2004 he won a $111.7 million verdict for a brain injured child which was at the time the highest medical malpractice verdict in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. At the time, it was also the fourth highest malpractice verdict in the State and the fifth highest nationally. In 2001, he won a $35 million verdict foranother brain injured child. That verdict was the seventh highest medical malpractice jury verdict for the year.
What Mr. Pegalis is most proud of is not individual “record” verdicts but rather that he and the members of his firm have consistently over so many years won substantial verdicts and settlements for so many clients. For each client, their case is so important to them, which makes it very gratifying to have helped so many to achieve justice.
On December 13, 2007, the New York Law School honored Mr. Pegalis for his lifetime commitment of taking on the problems of his clients as his own and then effectively pursuing their rights with a passion that has been successful for so many for so many years. Mr. Pegalis was gratified that so many of his clients attended the Gala honor.
In 2003, he was honored by the Stanley Lamm Institute for Child Neurology and Occupational Medicine and received their Community Service Award. This reflected a consistent commitment to help handicapped children. Mr. Pegalis’ commitment in community service has focused on children with disabilities and patient safety.
Mr. Pegalis is the author of American Law of Medical Malpractice, Vols. I, II and III now in its 3rd edition. In addition to being an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School, he is also a member of the Board of Trustees of New York Law School.
He is an advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocacy. He is a member of the American Association for Justice, the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He is an Associate in Law of the American College of Legal Medicine and is AV rated from Martindale-Hubbell which means he has reached the height of his professional excellence. Finally, he has been voted as one of the Best Lawyers® in New York and one of New York’s Super Lawyers.
He is admitted to practice in New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. He holds a J.D. and a LLB degree from New York Law School, and is a graduate of Queens College of the City of New York.
Throughout his career, Mr. Pegalis has lectured extensively on medical/legal issues, while also contributing with other experts in the field to shed retrospective view points on the subject and in printed literature to include:
Cross Examination of Defendant’s Pediatric Neurologist. New York, New York, March 27, 2001.
Law Journal Seminar Series:, Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer: The Trial, New York, New York, April 2000.
Law Journal Seminars Series, Trial of an Obstetrical Malpractice Case. Mock Trial: Actual Demonstrations from Opening Statements to Summation, New York, New York, June, 1999: Cross-Examination of Defendant's Pediatric Neurologist -- Perinatal Brain Damage.
New York State Bar Association, Medical Malpractice Litigation, Uniondale, New York, April, 1999: Cross-Examination of a Medical Expert.
Law Journal Seminars Series - Press, Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer: The Trial, New York, New York, November, 1998: Delay in Diagnosing Breast Cancer - Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment.
FOJP Service Corporation, Program: Managed Care, Fraud and Abuse, New York, New York, October, 1998: Managed Care: The Legal Dilemma Created by the Middleman Squeezing the Doctor and the Patient.
New York State Bar Association, Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section and Trial Lawyers Section, New York, New York, January, 1998: Substantive Focus: Third Party Payor's and Medical Provider's Claims against Tort Recoveries - an Increasing Problem in search of a Solution.
New York Law Journal Seminars-Press, Trial of an Obstetrical Malpractice Case, New York, New York, September 22, 1997, Examination of the Defendant Physician by Plaintiff's Counsel.
Practising Law Institute, Program: Preparation of a Medical Malpractice Case: From Interview to Trial, New York, New York, September 10, 1997: Settling the Case.
Practising Law Institute, Program: Basic Medical Malpractice, New York, New York, July 24, 1996: How to Accomplish a good Deposition. Deposition of the Defendant.
New York County Lawyers Association, Medical Malpractice Cases - CLE, New York, New York, February 14, 1995: Trial: Plaintiff's Techniques.
Law Journal Seminars-Press, Trial of and Obstetrical Malpractice Case, New York, New York, October 7, 1994: Cross-Examination of Defendant's Pediatric Neurologist.
New York State Bar Association, Westbury, New York October 22, 1993: Power Advocacy -Achieving Maximum Jury Impact During Trial; The Art of Communication: Playing the Gallery.
Practising Law Institute, Program: Basic Medical Malpractice. New York, New York, August 4, 1993: Plaintiff's Malpractice Case Intake - The Initial Client Contact.
Law Journal Seminars-Press, Trial of and Obstetrical Malpractice Case, New York, New York, June 11, 1993: Cross-Examination of Defendant's Pediatric Neurologist.
New York State Bar Association, Persuasion in the Courtroom - CLE, Uniondale, New York November 2, 1990: The Closing Statement.
Law Journal Seminars-Press, Trial of an Obstetrical and Neonatal Malpractice Case, New York, New York, October 30, 1990: Cross-Examination of a Defendant Pediatric Neurologist.
Law Journal Seminars-Press, Medical Malpractice in Cardiac Care, New York, New York, November 10, 1987: Infections of the Heart or Carditis.
New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Inc., Summation - Sophisticated Trial Tactics, New York, New York, April 19, 1986: Arguing Damages in a Brain-Damaged Baby Case.
A member of the Nassau County Bar Association.
The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, The Profoundly Injured Child, Washington, D.C., March 30, 1984: Screening and Evaluating the Case.
He has also written extensively. A sampling of his publications include:
Potential for Punitive Damages Must Remain Part of the Medical Malpractice Tort System, Pegalis, Steven E., Medical Malpractice Law and Strategy, October 2002, Vol. XIX, No. 12, pp 2-3.
Are Frye and Daubert Swords Against Plaintiffs and Shields for Defendants in Med-Mal Cases? Pegalis, Steven E., Medical Malpractice Law and Strategy, July 2002, Vol. XIX, No. 9, pp 2-3.
‘Error in Judgment’ Doctrine Should not Apply When Radiologist has Misread Film, Pegalis, Steven E., Medical Malpractice Law and Strategy, June 2002, Vol. XIX, No. 9, p 2.
Wrongful Death Damages Should not be Different when the Decedent is a Child, Pegalis, Steven E., Medical Malpractice Law and Strategy, March 2002, Vol. XIX, No. 5, pp 2-3.
Damages for ‘Wrongful Life’ should be Recoverable by Child as Well as Parents, Pegalis, Steven E., Medical Malpractice Law and Strategy, February 2002, Vol. XIX, No. 4, pp 2-3.
The Need for a Clearer Definition Of the Liability of an HMO, Pegalis, Steven E., Leader Publications - Managed Care Law Strategist, July 2001, Vol. 2, No. 7, pp 6-7.
‘Mismanaged Care’: The Case For a New Theory of HMO Liability, Pegalis, Steven E., Leader Publications- Managed Care Law Strategist, December 2000, Vol. 1, No. 12, pp 5-6.
HMO Accountability: Do We Need More Than Traditional Tort Liability? Pegalis, Steven E., Leader Publications - Managed Care Law Strategist, July 2000, Vol. 1, No. 7, pp 3-5.
The Case for Health Maintenance Organization Liability: The Plaintiff’s Perspective, Pegalis, Steven E., Leader Publications - Managed Care Law Strategist, January 2000, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp 6-7.
Medical Malpractice: The Art of Advocacy When Engaging in the “Battle of the Experts”, Pegalis, Steven E., American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Fall 1999, Vol. 23:2.
Calling the Defendant as the Plaintiff's First Witness, Pegalis, Steven E., Medical Malpractice Law and Strategy, November 1997, Vol. XV, No. 1, pp. 1-3.
Delay in Diagnosing Hodgkin’s: Medical-Legal Implications, Pegalis, Steven E., Medical-Legal Aspects of Cancer Litigation, April 1996, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp 4-5
Consequences of Inconsistent Proof in Delayed Diagnosis Cases, Pegalis, Steven E., Medical-Legal Aspects of Cancer Litigation, September 1995, Vol. 1, No. 8, pp 4-5.
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