Eric V. Skelly

Eric V. Skelly Partner

P 617 670 8536 F 617 670 8736
125 High Street
Oliver Street Tower, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
125 High Street, Oliver Street Tower, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02110
Overview

Eric Skelly is an experienced litigator who is lead counsel on many of the firm’s complex civil matters, including products liability, premises liability, and mass tort matters. Eric represents his clients in Federal and State courts throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Eric’s clients include manufacturers, premises owners and suppliers of industrial and equipment products, automotive and farm equipment manufacturers, food and beverage manufacturers and suppliers, medical device manufacturers, and consumer and adventure product manufacturers and suppliers. Eric also has extensive experience involving professional liability, including representation of attorneys, architects and surveyors.

Eric recently completed a six month Secondment during 2017/18 for a major international automotive product manufacturer and premises owner during which he served as their interim head of litigation nationally for toxic tort matters. Eric has always prided himself on working closely with his clients to develop a thorough understanding of their business philosophies and objectives and partner with them to develop a cost-effective approach to achieve the optimal outcome, in matters large or small. The Secondment experience has provided Eric with an inside perspective of both the legal in-house department and business sides of a prominent corporation and has enhanced Eric’s ability to evaluate and meet the goals and objectives of all his clients.

Bar Admissions
  • Massachusetts, 2003
  • U.S. District Court - District of Massachusetts, 2004
  • Maine, 2009
  • Illinois, 2013
  • U.S. District Court - District of Maine, 2013
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 1st Circuit, 2018
Education
  • Suffolk University Law School, J.D., 2003
  • Roger Williams University, B.S., 1999

Eric serves as Regional Counsel for a major manufacturing company and he is responsible for all phases of the client’s litigation throughout the Northeast and Midwest, including development of litigation strategy, fact investigation, taking and defending key depositions, drafting of significant motions and oppositions, preparation of expert witnesses in various disciplines, preparation of corporate witnesses, trials, appeals, and alternative dispute resolution.

Eric also serves as counsel in the Northeast for several insurers and companies, defending them in a wide array of catastrophic personal injury, premises liability, professional liability, and property loss matters. Eric’s insurance practice involves primary and excess insurance and reinsurance and he has handled claims involving complex insurance and indemnity issues and bad faith claims. 

Eric has also conducted early risk assessments for numerous clients, advising and presenting on litigation prevention strategies. For example, Eric was retained by a food manufacturer who asked him to analyze and consult on its food preparation and handling practices, employee training, customer service, and manufacturing protocols. Eric worked collaboratively with the client to improve its overall protocols. Since the implementation of these revised protocols, and several presentations by Eric to the employees, the client has seen a reduction of claims, legal fees and costs, and improved customer relationships.

In addition to his regular work schedule, Eric is a frequent contributor to MG+M’s blog, The Defense Litigation Insider, where he discusses issues relevant to companies in the food industry, among others.

Eric is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of Maine, the State of Illinois, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States District Court for the District of Maine. Eric received his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 2003, where he was a staff member and competition director for the Moot Court Honor Board. During law school, he also served as a trial clerk for the United States Trustees, Massachusetts Eastern Division. Eric received a B.S. from Roger Williams University in 1999.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of Hill House, a Beacon Hill organization dedicated to promoting a sense of urban community through service activities in Boston neighborhoods.

Originally from Connecticut, Eric now resides in South Boston with his wife, Stephanie, and their two sons.

Experience

The following is a list of Eric Skelly's “Representative Cases."

  • Prevented a $14-million subrogation claim alleging substantial business interruption and property damage after a vertical lathe manufactured by Eric’s client suffered a catastrophic failure. The claim was avoided through immediate and aggressive pre-suit investigation that resulted in the development of evidence proving culpability of subrogor’s employees and in support of several absolute legal defenses. After presenting the evidence to the opposition, they agreed not to pursue the subrogation claim despite having investing significant time and resources in pursuit of the claim.
  • Represented the interests of both the food supplier and food manufacturer in a case where a pregnant woman claimed that her unborn child contracted neonatal meningitis and cerebral palsy from her ingestion of listeria-tainted food and claimed damages in the mid-seven figures. Through extensive factual and expert discovery, Eric was able to establish that the plaintiff could not affirmatively establish that his clients’ food was the source of her listeria illness and when faced with a motion for summary judgment, plaintiff agreed to dismiss the claim for an extremely nominal nuisance value.
  • Secured a dismissal on behalf of a medical device manufacturer of a surgical warming blanket involved in a significant burn injury case after developing exculpatory evidence that confounded the plaintiff’s causation theory. After examining the product materials and consulting with medical and product experts, Eric was able to establish that the burn pattern on the victim could not have been the result of a defect with the product and was instead the result of a third-party product or the negligence of the surgeon.
  • Secured a defense verdict as trial co-counsel in Suffolk Superior Court (Purcell v. Norco) in Massachusetts. Plaintiff suffered significant injuries to his internal organs at the place of his employment after being crushed by an aircraft hangar door manufactured by Eric’s client. The plaintiff alleged that the door was defectively designed and lacked sufficient warnings. A key defense was related to the open and obvious danger doctrine, the use of which was hotly contested by the plaintiff. Eric successfully argued against a pre-trial motion to exclude the use of defense and then utilized the doctrine successfully at trial.  
  • Negotiated the tender of defense and indemnification from the insurer for Eric’s client, an industrial jack manufacturer, to third-party manufacturer of another jack that was present at a fatal construction site accident. A second plaintiff suffered significant leg injuries. Through an intensive investigation and after consultation with experts, an accident reconstruction presentation convinced the other manufacturer’s insurer to accept the tender.
Recognition

Recognition

  • Certified by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Rising Star
  • AM Best Recommended Insurance Attorney

Involvement

  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Maine Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association
  • Board of Directors, Hill House, Boston, Massachusetts

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Perrin Conferences' Product Liability Conference, "Reptile Theory in Product Liability Cases," February 26-27, 2015

Publications

News

AM Best Recommended Insurance Attorney
Super Lawyers Rising Star