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David A. Barry

(617) 227-3030


  • LL.B., Harvard Law School, 1968
  • M.A., Columbia University (with honors), 1965
  • B.A., Yale University (magna cum laude), 1963

Practice Areas:

David Barry, a senior trial lawyer and partner at Sugarman Rogers, has achieved outstanding results on behalf of corporate and individual clients in such diverse practice areas as product liability defense, legal malpractice defense, and plaintiff’s medical malpractice cases. David has been lead trial counsel in hundreds of cases in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts and other New England states. He has tried more than 60 cases, most of them before juries, and has obtained noteworthy verdicts and judgments in favor of his clients.

Throughout his career, David has maintained a practice that includes advocacy for both plaintiffs and defendants. He believes that this cross-disciplinary experience has made him a more effective lawyer for everyone he represents. Clients particularly appreciate his ability to communicate complex, technical information to juries, and to find the compelling “story” that brings together the facts of a case.

David has successfully defended major manufacturers in complex product liability cases involving a wide range of consumer and industrial products, including automobiles, buses, cranes, fork lift trucks, pharmaceutical drugs, gas and electrical equipment, power tools, and many others. He has served as New England regional counsel and Massachusetts trial counsel for U.S. and international manufacturers that face multi-million dollar exposure in cases involving catastrophic injuries and fatalities allegedly caused by product design, warning, or manufacturing defects.

Representative Matters

Product Liability Defense

  • Directed verdict for manufacturer of industrial fan after plaintiff’s opening statement, upheld by Massachusetts Appeals Court
  • Jury verdict for manufacturer of crimping tool in federal court case involving serious crushing injury
  • Federal court jury verdict for manufacturer and retailer of table saw, after First Circuit granted defendant new trial
  • Jury verdict in Vermont federal court for automobile manufacturer in "crashworthiness" case arising from rollover accident in which the plaintiff was rendered quadriplegic
  • Defense verdict for automobile manufacturer in "crashworthiness" claim that driver’s severe brain damage was caused by lack of interior padding in the vehicle, Judgment notwithstanding the verdict on claim that infant passenger’s quadriplegia was caused by a separate defect in the vehicle, affirmed by Massachusetts Appeals Court
  • Jury verdict in federal court for manufacturer and retailer of radial arm saw, affirmed by First Circuit
  • Jury verdict in federal court for manufacturer of industrial jointer, affirmed by First Circuit
  • Summary judgment in federal court for manufacturer of office chair resulting from successful Daubert challenge to plaintiff’s expert in case arising from plaintiff’s fall from chair and resulting quadriplegia
  • Federal court jury verdict for manufacturer of propane cylinder in suit involving catastrophic injuries sustained by mechanic when cylinder exploded
  • Jury verdict for automobile manufacturer in claim of unintended acceleration resulting in the death of a pedestrian
  • Jury verdict in federal court for manufacturer of circular saw plaintiff was using when he sustained a significant hand injury, upheld by First Circuit
  • Jury verdict for manufacturer of gas range in residential fire case
  • Jury verdict in federal court for manufacturer of forklift, upheld by First Circuit, in wrongful death suit brought on behalf of forklift operator
  • Summary judgment for retailer of automatic garage door opener
  • Defense verdict in federal court for pharmaceutical company in suit alleging  liver cancer caused by ingestion of oral contraceptive
  • Federal court judgment of dismissal for manufacturer of a “pump controller” that was part of a school’s fire alarm system in suit claiming that manufacturer was liable for causing plaintiff’s automobile accident when he was struck by a police cruiser responding to a false alarm at the school
  • Summary judgment in federal court for retailer of tractor and snow thrower, affirmed by First Circuit, based on inadequacy of plaintiff’s expert testimony in case involving serious injury to plaintiff’s hand
  • Dismissal of $75 million property damage claim against manufacturer of light fixture arising out of a catastrophic fire in Mexico, based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens
  • First Circuit reversal of Federal Court’s award of $30 million in attorneys’ fees to class action lawyers who represented plaintiffs in litigation involving alleged defects in certain automobile engines 

David has successfully defended attorneys in legal malpractice cases arising out of underlying matters such as patent infringement and licensing disputes, real estate issues, and personal injury and other litigation.  He has also served as an expert in legal malpractice cases.

Professional Liability

  • Federal court jury verdict for Virginia intellectual property firm and two of its lawyers, in case arising from a patent dispute with client’s competitor
  • Representation of Boston law firm and lawyer in legal malpractice action seeking significant damages in case arising from arbitration that resulted in $52 million adverse arbitration award in case brought by South American licensee of lawyer’s former client

David has also obtained substantial recoveries for individual clients and their families in medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability and other personal injury cases. He has won substantial compensation for patients who have suffered catastrophic injuries and death as a result of negligent treatment by physicians, for people who have been harmed by defective drugs, and for other injured individuals.

Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice and Pharmaceutical Liability

  • $7.35 million settlement on behalf of young girl whose medical providers failed to recognize that she was the victim of child abuse by her adoptive parents
  • $1.6 million settlement in wrongful death case arising out of doctors’ negligent failure to timely diagnose and treat an anastomotic leak following colon surgery
  • $2.9 million settlement of a wrongful death claim against pharmaceutical company on behalf of the estate of a woman who died after suffering acute liver failure following her brief use of a popular antidepressant drug
  • Substantial jury verdict in wrongful death action against utility company and its contractor arising out of accident when decedent drove his automobile into a construction hole, affirmed by First Circuit
  • Significant settlement for 17 year old boy who suffered a below-the-knee amputation of his leg following a delayed diagnosis and treatment of an infected wound
  • $1.5 million jury verdict in medical malpractice claim by a 48-year-old plaintiff against a surgeon after the plaintiff developed a post-operative abdominal abscess that was not properly treated, resulting in permanent loss of bowel function and a colostomy
  • $1.4 million recovery in a wrongful death claim involving a 5-year-old girl who died after her right atrium was perforated by a catheter inserted during the course of her hospitalization at a Boston hospital
  • $975,000 settlement of medical malpractice claim involving 18-year-old man whose orthopedic surgeon failed to timely diagnose and treat compartment syndrome
  • $900,000 settlement of wrongful death claim involving 26-year-old man whose physicians failed to properly diagnose and treat a rare, but potentially fatal, reaction to his antipsychotic medication
  • $700,000 settlement for an 88-year-old woman who became blind as a result of her physician’s failure to promptly diagnose and treat her temporal arteritis, a blood-vessel inflammation that can lead to loss of vision if not promptly diagnosed and treated with steroids

David has written and co-authored numerous frequently cited articles on legal malpractice law in Massachusetts and has appeared as a panelist at continuing legal education programs on professional responsibility of lawyers. He has lectured and been a panelist at seminars on product liability and trial practice. He authored the Product Liability Advisory Counsel’s amicus curiae brief to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Canavan’s Case, resulting in a key decision in which the Court adopted PLAC’s position that, before admission in evidence, all expert testimony should be judicially reviewed for reliability. He has also written and spoken to Massachusetts lawyers on litigating pharmaceutical cases, and to practicing physicians on how to avoid being sued for medical malpractice.


  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (Chair, Emil Gumpert Award Committee, 2015-; Vice-Chair, 2014-15; Member, 2011-2014)
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • The Best Lawyers in America (Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, Medical Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs), 2007-2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America, "Lawyer of the Year" (Product Liability Litigation - Defendants), 2015
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers (General Litigation, Personal Injury Defense: Products), Boston magazine, 2005-2015; Top 100 Lawyers in Massachusetts, 2007-2014; Top 100 Lawyers in New England, 2007-2013
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Benchmark Litigation “Litigation Star” (Plaintiff), Massachusetts, 2013


  • Boston Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., lecturer on trial practice and product liability issues


  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Related News:

October 24, 2016 -
Sugarman Rogers Makes the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's "Pro Bono Honor Roll"
As we celebrate National Pro Bono Week and Massachusetts Pro Bono Month, we are pleased to announce that Sugarman Rogers has qualified for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's (SJC) 2015 "Pro Bono Honor Roll."

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October 21, 2016 -
Nineteen Sugarman Rogers Attorneys Recognized as "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars"

Nineteen lawyers from Sugarman Rogers have been included in this year’s edition of the Massachusetts "Super Lawyers" and "Rising Stars" lists. 
Sixteen attorneys have been named to the 2016 "Super Lawyers" list, an honor based on peer review and professional ...
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August 15, 2016 -
Twelve Sugarman Rogers Partners Named 2017 Best Lawyers in America
Sugarman Rogers is pleased to announce that twelve of its attorneys – over 70 percent of the firm’s partners – have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of  ...
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November 06, 2015 -
SRBC Lawyers Recognized as Massachusetts Super Lawyers

Twenty lawyers from SRBC have been included in this year’s edition of Massachusetts Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers annually publishes the results of a peer-survey and independent-research study designed to identify leading lawyers by state. In this year’s listings, SRBC ...
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September 18, 2015 -
David A. Barry appointed Chair of Emil Gumpert Award Committee

SRBC partner David Barry, has been appointed to serve as Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers’ ...
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August 21, 2015 -
Thirteen SRBC Partners Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2016 List
Thirteen partners from the Boston-based civil litigation firm Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C. received top rankings in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for their skills and expertise in their respective practice areas. 

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Related Publications:

July 28, 2016 -
Longtime Civil Rights Champion Recognized with Namesake Fund
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen held a reception at WilmerHale’s Boston office to launch the "Edward J. Barshak Fund for Justice."

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June 08, 2016 -
Patient Can Bring Claim vs. Medical-Device Maker
Partner David A. Barry was quoted in an article published by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly called "Patient can bring claim vs. medical-device maker."

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April 04, 2013 -
Are In-Firm Communications About A Current Client Privileged?
In the Boston Bar Journal's Spring 2013 issue, SRBC partners David Barry and William Boesch look at an issue that is currently the subject of a case before ...
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January 2011 -
Massachusetts Legal Malpractice Cases 2000-2009
Massachusetts Law Review has published the latest in a leading series of articles by SRBC partners David Barry and William Boesch  surveying developments in Massachusetts legal malpractice law.

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