Of Counsel


1255 Drummers Lane Suite 300 Wayne, PA 19087

267.528.0742 (direct)
610.566.8300 (mobile)
267.528.0726 (fax)

Robert F. Ferrara

Overview

With over 31 years of experience, Robert works exclusively in Ansa Assuncao's plaintiff practice and brings an impressive array of knowledge, creativity and a formidable track record of outstanding results.  Notably, Robert’s experience includes perspective from the three operative lenses within the courtroom; plaintiff counsel, defense counsel and the presiding judicial officer who has presided over 10,000 cases. 

As a civil litigator with broad experience, Robert has handled legal matters within insurance, healthcare, product liability, employment, property and premises matters, trucking litigation, liquor liability, highway design, construction litigation, automobile accidents, and more. Additionally, he has extensive experience in all stages of the litigation process, from pretrial investigation through trial and appeal.

Robert comes from a family of attorneys, and after graduating from Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, he joined his father’s firm. While Robert’s father is the one who inspired him to practice law, Robert ventured off and started his own firm for nearly 25 years in which he successively secured many multimillion-dollar results for injured victims. Coextensively, Robert also served as a Master in the Delaware Couty Court of Common Pleas for 6 years. Thereafter, and before coming to Ansa Assuncao, Robert worked for a preeminent Philadelphia firm in defending matters involving insurance coverage and bad faith, trucking, premises, and hospitality lawsuits. Thereafter, he served as trial counsel for a global insurer.

Robert believes “your fears become allies when you break through them” and built his practice on being fearless and taking chances, yet followed the advice given by his father at a young age “that the library is the great equalizer.” Influenced by this guidance, he ensures he is equipped with the utmost knowledge and familiar with every detail when approaching a case. His strong work ethic and proclivity to think outside the proverbial box has earned him the reputation of being the “go-to” person among his colleagues. 
 

Education and Admissions

J.D., The Dickinson School of Law of Pennsylvania State University, 1992
Achievements/Activities:

  • Fall, 1991, Prevailed as the final winner in the intra-school trial competition and was selected to represent The Dickinson School of Law at the national Tournament of Champions Trial Competition, an invitational United States trial competition involving nation’s best sixteen law schools as selected by the National Invitational Trial Competition on their comparative American Bar Association and American Trial Lawyers’ Association rankings.
  • Summer, 1990, studied international and comparative law the University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

B.A., Political Science, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 1989
Achievements/Activities:

  • Participated as an exchange student and studied Spanish at the Universidad De Vericruzana, Jalapa, Mexico.

Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • State Bar of Georgia (license voluntarily inactive) 
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Membership

  • Fellow, The Academy of Advocacy 1997

Other Experience

  • Solicitor, Folcroft Zoning Hearing Board, Folcroft, Pennsylvania, 2000 to December 2004
  • Solicitor, Upland Zoning Hearing Board, Upland, Pennsylvania, 2001 to December 2004
  • Faculty lecturer, Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
  • Faculty lecturer, Delaware County Bar Association
  • Nether Providence Zoning Hearing Board, Wallingford, Pennsylvania, 2000 to June 2005
  • Served as co-counsel in redistricting Thornbury Township Delaware County, 2007
  • Vice Chair, Thornbury Township Delaware County Planning Commission, 2008 – August 2023    

Litigation Experience

  • General negligence claims
  • Highway design defects
  • Architectural and engineering design defects and failures
  • Construction Litigation
  • Vehicle fuel system design defects
  • Lawnmower “false neutral” defects
  • Electrical burn claims
  • Forklift design defects
  • Industrial lift failures
  • Elevator failures
  • Ski slope design defects
  • Security negligence claims
  • Product liability claims
  • Strict Liability Claims
  • Declaratory Judgment actions
  • Industrial oil pipeline failures
  • Hydro-demolition failures
  • Claims arising from breach of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
  • Pool design defects
  • Premises liability claims
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Insurance coverage disputes
  • Dram Shop claims
  • Asbestos claims
  • Legal malpractice
  • Medical negligence claims
  • Civil rights violations
  • Employment litigation
  • Aviation accidents
  • Criminal defense
  • Internet Crimes

Representative Matters-Plaintiff

Every case has factual and legal circumstances which affect valuation. Each settlement referenced herein is not intended to create the expectation that the same result can be replicated.  Many of Robert’s largest cases have resulted in confidential settlements which prevent the disclosure of specific results and/or specific facts. Robert has participated in the following noteworthy cases:

  • Trucking accident case resulting in death of victim: $7,400,000 settlement. Unlike most motor vehicle cases, trucking cases require in-depth knowledge of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which identify the duties and rules governing commercial vehicles and the operation of the same. Knowing these duties and rules, together with the measure of damages, secured justice for the victim’s family.
  • Motorcycle accident case resulting in the death of a victim: $5,000,000 settlement with a $10,400,000 structured settlement in favor of a child who lost a parent. In a highly disputed case with conflicting witness testimony, use of GPS data disproved the Defendants’ assertions, and demonstrates that knowing how to timely secure and utilize cutting-edge technology, can make the difference between success and failure in hard-hitting litigation.
  • Pedestrian accident case involving the lack of protection surrounding a pedestrian area where there was a vehicle incursion: Confidential multi-million dollar settlement. This demonstrates that seemingly simple vehicle cases may have contributing causes other than the obvious, and may involve design and construction issues of the location of the incident.
  • Motorcycle accident case resulting in death of victim. The case was almost settled by another lawyer for $100,000, which was the primary wrongdoer’s insurance policy limits.  Recognizing that the settlement was inadequate relative to the value of the case, prior counsel was discharged by client and a lawsuit was filed against 20 defendant corporations, individuals and design professionals. A confidential multi-million dollar settlement was obtained during trial. This demonstrates that seemingly simple vehicle cases may have contributing causes other than the obvious, and may involve design and construction issues of the location of the incident.
  • Vehicle collision case causing neurological injuries causing caudia equina syndrome and neurological injuries:  $1,000,000 settlement representing a tender of the full policy limits.
  • Fire case in which it was alleged that the lack of an operational smoke detector increased the risk of harm in preventing the victim from escaping a developing fire. This case employed experts to create smoke modeling exhibits. Confidential settlement. Although the fire was started by disputed means, a remedy was found by arguing that the lack of warning contributed to the victim’s injuries.
  • Accident case resulting in ankle fusion: Settlement of $350,000 representing a tender of the insurance policy limits.
  • Accident case involving a police officer who was injured while effectuating an arrest: Settlement of $450,000 representing a tender of insurance policy limits. What was argued by the Defense as a moderate injury, was dispelled by demonstrating that the victim officer’s prognosis was guarded and the injury increased the risk of a shortened career with significant economic losses. This case demonstrates the necessity of identifying and using proper experts and advocacy to expose the full value a victim’s injuries and limited economic horizon.
  • Elevator failure case where the elevator doors improperly closed upon the victim.  Several other high-profile Philadelphia personal injury law firms rejected the case.  During the course of litigation it was proven that elevator eprom software was never properly updated and the elevator doors closed at full speed, while in failure mode, crushing the victim: Confidential settlement.
  • Commercial lawnmower “false neutral” defect causing severe foot injuries to victim. The prosecution of this case involved proving that the drive-line system of the traction control lever lock system failed to fail “safe”, thus causing the operator to believe that it would be safe to walk adjacent to the machine, while running, to remove debris in the lane of travel.  It was demonstrated that the propulsion system was defective and was permitted to vibrate from a “false neutral” to propulsion mode, thus rotating the commercial lawnmower over the victim’s foot.
  • Dram shop-liquor liability case causing a vehicle collision:  Confidential settlement representing a tender of the insurance policy limits.
  • Accident case involving a police officer who was injured while in hot pursuit: $500,000 settlement. This case demonstrates that knowing the special rules relating to first responders may make the difference between success and failure.
  • Eye injury involving a situation where unsupervised children were playing with a BB gun: $500,000 settlement representing a tender of the insurance policy limits.
  • Crane injury case where the victim-operator suffered back injuries while the overhead crane was traversing the boom. The crane violent shook the operator due to a product failure: $1,000,000 settlement.
  • Motorcycle accident case involving the death of a victim: $1,450,000 settlement.
  • Construction injury case involving improper demolition to a multi-level structure which permitted the victim to step on a portion of concrete which blew-out from under his feet, causing him to fall through the hole in the upper floors of the structure: Confidential settlement.
  • Electrocution injury resulting in the death of a victim: $4,500,000 settlement.

Representative Matters-Defense

  • Dram shop-liquor liability case involving the death of a patron at a bar. This case was a war on two-fronts; defending the bar in both the insurer’s declaratory judgment action with respect to the assault and battery exclusion and, simultaneously, defending the underlying lawsuit which settled for less than costs of defense. 
  •  Trucking litigation case involving allegations of an improperly maintained rear impact guard where plaintiff suffered catastrophic injuries in a “ride-under” collision. The client, a regional east-coast bakery, was dismissed from the case on the first day of trial against a preeminent Philadelphia law firm.
  • Trucking litigation case involving allegations that plaintiff was crushed between the rear of the commercial truck and a loading dock. Using the doctrine of offensive collateral estoppel, Robert gutted plaintiff’s trial proofs and, thereafter, settled the case under very favorable terms. 
  • A series of product liability lawsuits arising in strict liability and negligence which settled under favorable terms.