Tom Moore worked his way through law school employed as an insurance
adjuster. Moore graduated from the night school program at Fordham Law
School in 1972. Over the past 27 years, Moore has won 68 verdicts
of more than $1 million, and racked up more than 200 settlements in the
same range, mostly against New York hospitals, both public and private.
Moore's father, a police officer, died when Moore was a boy, leaving
his mother to rais her three young children in Ireland. Moore moved to
the U.S. when he was 17, and briefly entered the priesthood.
Some of Moore's largest verdicts were: $53.7 million for a 13-year old
boy who can't walk or talk due to brain injuries suffered during birth
at a Staten Island Hospital, $76.4 million for a 12-year old girl who developed
cerebral palsy after her mother was forced to deliver her by herself at
Harlem Hospital, and a $79.8 million for a 13-year old boy who while at
the New York City Hospital had a new shunt put in his brain to drain fluid,
but the hospital forgot to check it and caused brain damage. These jury
awards are much needed for the lifetime care of Moore's young clients.
It's just not the size of the verdicts that sets Moore apart. Even more
remarkable is the pace at which he lands them. Moore goes to trial four
or five times per year, cycling from one complex case to the next, sometimes
with only a few weeks in between. His average verdict for the 19 cases
he's tried in the past five years is $37 million. By his own account, he
wins about 90 percent of his trials.
Moore's best known case, ironically is one he considers a loss. In 1995,
Moore assumed the wrongful death case of Libby Zion, the daughter of New
York Daily News columnist Sidney Zion. He took the case a few months before
the trial- which was broadcast on CourtTV - because the Zions' first lawyer
was disbarred. Despite obvious difficulties in proving the case, Moore
wanted to highlight what he saw as a serious and widespread problem: Lax
supervision of medical residents. But the jury rejected this claim, and
found Zion 50 percent liable for her own death for not telling doctors
she'd taken cocaine and prescription drugs before they prescribed medicine
for her. The doctors paid just $375,000 to her family. In his thick Irish
brouge Moore says, "If I lose a case, it's a disaster, the losses live
with me, it's like a grieving process".
Few people outside the world of medical malpractice know Moore's name.
Even many plaintiff's lawyers have never heard of him, in large part because
he isn't much interested in blowing his own horn. Those who've known him
for years say he's a down-to-earth man unchanged by his wealth, who's driven
by something more powerful than the search for personal gain.