After 38 years at SUGARMAN, Smith will step down May 30th.
SUGARMAN Partner W. Thomas Smith today announced that he is retiring from the practice of personal injury law. Smith began his career as an associate at SUGARMAN in 1977 and has been a principal of the firm since 1981. For more than 38 years, Smith has been known for his calm demeanor and unwavering determination to successfully represent his clients and their families. He served as Managing Partner at SUGARMAN for 25 years.
Throughout his career, Smith has received many professional honors. Most notably, Smith was named one of the Top 10 Lawyers of the Year in 2012 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In 2014, Smith received the MA Chapter of The American Board of Trial Attorneys’ highest honor – The James Esdaile Jr. Award for civility and professionalism. Also in 2014, Benchmark Plaintiff lauded Smith as one of their top local Litigation Stars.
Smith’s career has enabled hundreds of Massachusetts individuals and families to receive compensation and closure for injuries caused by defective consumer products, medical devices, motor vehicles, construction site accidents and medical malpractice. In 2011, Smith, along with colleague Ben Zimmermann, secured one of the largest personal injury verdicts in Massachusetts that year, and perhaps the largest ever in Essex County – $20.6 million against Toys “R” Us for a defective pool slide. The verdict was upheld by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in one of the more notable products liability decisions in recent decades.
In 2013, Smith successfully negotiated a settlement in the death of a 4-year old boy who fell through a gap between an escalator and the adjacent railing, proving that the original plans contained a panel to close the gap but the construction company failed to install deck barriers as required by the plans and the state escalator and building codes.
“I have worked with many exceptional lawyers throughout my career and Tom Smith is truly a special brand of lawyer,” noted SUGARMAN Principal Ben Zimmermann. “Our entire team has benefitted from Tom’s guidance, patience, insight, support and friendship. It is because of mentors like Tom that every SUGARMAN lawyer can provide such a high level of representation to our clients and for that, we will always be grateful. While we are happy for Tom and his family, he will be deeply missed.”
Some of Smith’s most memorable career highlights include his work with firm Co-Founder Paul Sugarman to investigate and document alleged improprieties in the Boston Municipal Court from 1989-1991; and a class action lawsuit against Depositors Trust Bank and its alarm company for a weekend break-in during which more than 700 safety deposit boxes were looted. Smith also argued a number of precedent setting cases before the Supreme Judicial Court including McStowe v. Bornstein, Karlin v. Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, Leibovitch v. Antonellis and Aleo v. TRU.
“It’s rare these days to start and end a career at the same firm,” noted Smith. “It’s been exceptionally rewarding to represent clients in our firm. The culture from the day I started to present has been to provide clients with top quality legal representation, ethically and professionally. The talent, experience, compassion and dedication of our lawyers have made this possible. I can’t imagine practicing law anywhere else.”