Thomas Scully

Partner

BIOGRAPHY

Thomas Scully has been a trial attorney for over 35 years. He concentrates his practice on toxic tort, product liability and general negligence litigation. He represents clients in high-stakes cases in state and federal court.

Before joining Foley Mansfield, Mr. Scully was a partner and trial attorney for 13 years at a defense firm specializing in toxic tort cases. Prior to that he was a partner at California’s largest medical malpractice defense firm for 16 years. He is a retired Colonel in the United States Marine Corps and spent a total of 31 years on active duty and the reserve.

Thomas has defended a former manufacturer of joint compound in a consolidated case with three different plaintiffs. They claimed asbestos-related lung disease from the client’s product. The San Francisco jury returned a complete defense verdict in 2019.

He has also represented a defendant in an admitted liability car accident case with disputed damages involving past and future medical treatment and loss of earnings. The Los Angeles jury awarded plaintiff ten percent of his final six figure demand in 2018.

Thomas served as part of a trial team that successfully defended a small Bakersfield oil producer in the case of MacPherson v Pace. The plaintiff, one of California’s largest onshore oil producers, sued for subsurface nuisance and trespass and claimed $33.5 million in damages. After an 8 week trial, the Bakersfield jury returned a defense verdict. The case was featured among the Daily Journal’s Top Defense Results in 2015.

He also obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a former manufacturer of joint compound in a wrongful death case. The decedent died from mesothelioma allegedly caused in part by exposure to the client’s product. The Los Angeles jury returned a defense verdict in 2007.


REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

Plaintiff v. Auto Insurance Company - Represented the defendant in an admitted liability case involving a car accident with disputed costs involving past and future medical treatment and loss of earnings. After trial, plaintiff was awarded 10 percent of his final 6-figure demand. Bercher v. Various Defendants - Defended an equipment manufacturer in a living mesothelioma case of a 73-year-old retired machinist who claimed exposure to asbestos while servicing auxiliary turbines. After a three-week trial, the jury voted in favor of defendants on the design defect question, but was unable to reach a verdict on plaintiff's negligence claim. The jury was not persuaded that client had breached any duty, and the case concluded in a mistrial. Client resolved favorably prior to the retrial. Buccola v. Various Defendants - Successfully secured a defense verdict by jury for a manufacturer of construction-related materials in a wrongful death case venued in Los Angeles Superior Court, involving a decedent who suffered from mesothelioma. Cummings v. Various Defendants - Non-suit granted for defendant in an asbestos-related lung cancer case of a 67-year old former smoker. Plaintiff claimed to have been present during repairs to equipment manufactured by our client. At the conclusion of the plaintiff's case in chief, the court found that the plaintiff failed to present any evidence that would satisfy his burden to show that client's product was a substantial factor in causing his alleged disease. Easter v. HMO - Obtained a defense judgment award on behalf of a health maintenance organization alleged to have negligently failed to prevent the decedent from committing suicide. Evans v. HMO - Non-suit awarded to defendant HMO in medical malpractice case alleging failure to diagnosis and treat cancer. Fuentes v. HMO - Obtained a defense award on behalf of a health maintenance organization in a medical malpractice case involving alleged negligent failure to diagnose and treat kidney problems. Kelly v. Atlas Tumer, Inc., et al. - Obtained a defense verdict for a construction-related materials manufacturer in a wrongful death case where the plaintiff alleged mesothelioma from exposure to the product. Macpherson v. Pace - After an 8 week jury trial, secured a defense verdict in favor of the client, a small Bakersfield oil producer, who was sued by one of the largest California onshore oil producers, and others, for subsurface trespass and nuisance. The plaintiffs sought more than $35 million in damages relating to an alleged decrease in oil production. The jury deliberated for less than five hours before returning a verdict in favor of the client. McCrary v. HMO - Successfully obtained a defense award on behalf of a health maintenance organization in a medical malpractice case involving alleged negligent performance of colorectal surgery. Mikul v. Various Defendants - Successfully secured a defense verdict for the manufacturer of construction-related materials in a wrongful death pleural mesothelioma case in which the plaintiffs alleged decedent worked with materials manufactured by the client. The jury found that the asbestos containing joint compound product was not defective in design (both under the consumer expectation test and the risk benefit test), and that the product was not defective due to a failure to warn, and that the defendant was not negligent. Rollin v. Various Defendants - Judgment notwithstanding verdict for the client, a manufacturer of a turbo-machinery and related equipment, in an asbestos case involving an employee of an oil refinery. The jury's plaintiff verdict was reversed based on sophisticated user defense.


AWARDS

Southern California Super Lawyer®, 2014-2021


PRESENTATIONS

Selected Issues in Environmental Litigation - An Update: Asbestos, Benzene, Pollution, Trucking/Diesel Fuel
Panel Speaker: Current Observations of Patterns of Mesothelioma in the American Populace, Perrin Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation Conference


COMMUNITY SERVICE

Cubmaster, Cub Scout Pack 227, Huntington Beach, CA.
Former board member and referee, American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) Region 55 youth soccer

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  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • District of Columbia 
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  •  U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California; U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Military Appeals
  • Toxic/Mass Tort
  • Environmental
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  •  Professional Liability
  •  Commercial Litigation
  • Duquesne University School of Law, J.D.
  • Allegheny College, B.A., cum laude
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Orange County Bar Association

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