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Career Biography

Bryan P. Werley, Esquire, joined the firm in 2012 after many years at his previous firm, and his practice concentrates on complex litigation primarily defending our clients in trucking, construction, mass transit, products and premises liability matters. He comes to our firm with extensive trial experience in these areas and with significant first chair trial experience in both state and federal courts. He has represented Fortune 100 companies, closely held companies, and individuals. In the past, he has also represented clients in matters dealing with wrongful arrest and detention, corporate litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes. He handles a variety of matters involving serious injury and death occurring in connection with transportation, trucking, construction, demolition, premises liability and the use or misuse of consumer products. Mr. Werley is also called upon to represent and defend professionals, including lawyers, architects and other design professionals against claims brought against them for professional liability.
 
Bryan lectures his fellow colleagues with respect to federal practice, having moderated a panel at the 2011 Federal Bench/Bar conference and presented a course, together with fellow attorneys and members of the judiciary, titled “My First Federal Jury Trial,” a primer CLE course designed to help younger lawyers prepare for their first trial. Bryan is designated as a “Rising Star,” a distinction given by Philadelphia Magazine to only the top 2.5% of lawyers under the age of forty.”
 
In his practice, he defends his clients against claims for serious injuries and catastrophic loss in a wide range of industries.   Although he values and tries to resolve cases early in their life, he is ever conscious that many cases will go to trial and prepares them accordingly.  
 

Representative Matters

Mr. Werley was lead trial counsel for Griffin Campbell in the historic civil trial arising from the tragic collapse of a four story building and destruction of the adjacent Salvation Army thrift store located in downtown Philadelphia during the summer of 2013.  Suit was filed by customers, employees and the estates of customers and employees injured or killed inside the store during the morning hours of June 5, 2013.  The trial commenced with jury selection in early September, 2016.  The liability verdict in this case, which was bifurcated between liability and damages, was rendered during the waning days of January, 2017.   It is believed this was the longest civil jury trial in the history of Philadelphia. Mr. Werley defended Campbell, the demolition contractor hired to perform the demolition of the four story structure which abutted the Salvation Army.  Campbell was tried and convicted of six counts of involuntary manslaughter, causing a catastrophe and aggravated assault prior to the commencement of the civil trial.  Also sued were the excavator operator, the building’s owners, and an architect that served as the owners’ representative on the project.  The Salvation Army was also a named Defendant.   Campbell’s liability was predetermined as a matter of law in light of the criminal convictions, but Werley defended Campbell vigorously at trial as there were still questions of whether Campbell acted extremely and outrageously and what percentage of fault should be assigned to Campbell during the apportionment phase of the jury’s deliberations.  The jury determined that Campbell’s co-defendants were primarily liable, assessing him only 1% of the negligence.  The case settled during the damages phase of trial.

 
Secured a defense verdict at trial for his client, a maintenance company which was hired to perform certain maintenance functions at a Center City high rise office building.  The building management and building owner were also named as Defendants.  Prior to trial, Plaintiff made a $6 Million dollar demand, claiming that her knee injury forced her to retire early and that she would not be able to work for the remainder of her life.  She was injured when she stepped on a cast iron walkway which cracked.   There was evidence that the crack could only have happened when a truck, dumpster or other heavy object was dropped on the cast iron. Plaintiffs argued it had existed for some time and would have been obvious to anyone performing inspections. Werley argued that the owner and management company only required his client to perform visual inspections.  Although Plaintiffs’ experts, a metallurgist, a structural engineer and a property management expert, all opined that the cast iron would have had to break long before the accident occurred; through Werley’s cross examination of the metallurgical expert, he forced the expert to admit that the physics of the accident made it possible that the load applied to the cast iron caused a crack, but not a fracture, of the cast iron, leaving the crack undetectable to a visual inspection.  He elicited testimony from Plaintiff herself on cross examination that she was looking at the cast iron walkway as she stepped on it and observed no cracking.  Werley argued to the jury that the cast iron could have been cracked, but was not yet fractured until Plaintiff stepped on it and that his client would have had no reason to observe through its visual inspections that the crack had occurred.  The jury agreed.
 
Obtained defense verdict in a 4 day jury trial for national retail store in case in which woman claimed she slipped and fell on ice, causing multiple disc herniations in her spine and a neurological disorder called reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
 
Obtained defense verdict after a 5 day jury trial for a national retail department store in federal court in a case where a wheelchair bound woman claimed a display fell upon her, knocking her to the ground, and necessitating bilateral knee replacement surgeries.
 
Obtained defense verdict following a 5 day jury trial in federal court for a national retail department store in a case in which the plaintiff claimed a table in the store’s nail salon was defective and allegedly caused her to fall, causing injury to her spine. Mr. Werley showed the jury that the injuries she alleged were actually due to a motor vehicle accident occurring several months prior.
 
Obtained defense verdict following a 4 day jury trial for national retail store in case in which a woman claims she sustained multiple injuries when she tripped over packaging which was present in the store’s parking lot.
 
Obtained defense verdict following a 4 day jury trial for a national retail store in case in which the plaintiff claimed a chair in one of the store’s departments was defective and that she sustained injuries to her lumbar spine when she fell as she tried to sit in the chair.
 
Obtained summary judgment in a case in which the plaintiff claimed 5 disc herniations were caused by a slip and fall on paint in the parking lot of the defendant retail store. Mr. Werley argued there was no evidence establishing how long the paint existed in the parking lot before the incident occurred.
 
Obtained summary judgment for a national passenger bus line in a matter where a Plaintiff alleged serious injuries resulted from negligent operation of the bus by arguing that the accident was the result of the ordinary jolt and jerking one normally expects on a bus.
 
Obtained defense verdict in federal court for the manufacturer and retailer of a ladder which the Plaintiff alleged was defective and resulted in a fall that caused catastrophic personal injury with the testimony of various experts, both as to damages and as to the manufacturing process of the subject ladder.
 
Werley has negotiated many settlements in the interests of his clients in cases where liability was disputed or admitted.  He has defended trucking companies, construction companies, retail stores, race tracks, real estate investment companies, snow and ice removal companies, landscapers, transportation companies, bus companies, product manufacturers and others.   He has tried cases to verdict in state courts and federal courts.
 

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Bryan P. Werley

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P: 267.765.7368
F: 267.765.7369
bpwerley@zarwin.com
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Office:
Philadelphia, PA
Mount Laurel, NJ

PRACTICE AREAS
Automobile Insurance Coverage & Liability
Commercial Litigation
Construction Defect
Construction Site Accident Liability
Liquor Liability
Premises and Habitational Liability
Products Liability
Professional Liability
Retail and Hospitality Liability
Trucking & Transportation
 
BAR ADMISSIONS
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
 
COURT ADMISSIONS
PA, NJ, USDC EDPA, USDC MDPA, USDC NJ
 
EDUCATION
2001, American University, BA, Law and Society
2004, Temple University School of Law, JD
 
 
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