Egan, John Headshot

John Egan



In practice for over three decades, John Egan is an experienced trial attorney in Massachusetts. During his distinguished career, John has tried over 75 cases to verdict and briefed and argued over 30 appeals. John has litigated various cases, including product liability, toxic tort, asbestos, personal injury, property damage, fire, professional liability, housing and employment discrimination, insurance coverage and bad faith, and other claims.

Representative Experience

  • Represented public housing authority in case involving termination of federal housing benefits for engaging in violent criminal activity and for violating terms of underlying lease.  Summary judgment for housing authority affirmed on appeal. Wojcik v. Melrose Housing Authority, 97 Mass. App. Ct. 1112, 144 N.E.3d 323 (2020).
  • Represented on appeal a liability insurer in a coverage dispute between two insurers as to which carrier provided coverage in connection with a catastrophic automobile accident. Court of Appeals found in favor of our client, reversing a summary judgment that had been entered in the Court below. Specialty Nat’l Ins. Co. v. OneBeacon Ins. Co., 486 F.3d 727 (1st Cir. 2007)
  • Represented landlord in commercial leasing dispute, tried to verdict, with resulting judgment in favor of landlord on all of the tenant’s claims, and judgment on landlord’s counterclaims in the amount of almost $3 million. Affirmed on appeal, Permabit Technology Corp. v. 25 First Street LLC, 83 Mass. App. Ct. 1131, 987 N.E.2d 618 (2013)
  • Represented Lloyd’s syndicates in two cases involving construction and application of “independent contractor” exclusion in standard commercial general liability insurance policies, resulting in summary judgments of non-coverage in each case, each of which was affirmed on appeal. Certain Interested Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Stolberg, 680 F.3d 61 (1st Cir. 2012); Cable Mills, LLC v. Coakley Pierpan Dolan & Collins Ins. Agency, Inc., 82 Mass. App. Ct. 415, 974 N.E.2d 1134 (2012)
  • Represented public housing authority in connection with federal civil rights and discrimination claims arising from disbursement of funds from supplemental needs trust to participant in federal housing assistance program, and housing authority’s termination of plaintiff’s participation as a result. Judgment in favor of housing authority after trial on merits, reversed on appeal to First Circuit Court of Appeals. DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Authority, 95 F. Supp. 3d 35 (D. Mass. 2015), rev’d, 826 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2016), petition for certiorari denied.
  • Represented public housing authority in Section 1983 action arising out of termination of federal housing benefits because of participant’s involvement in drug trafficking; summary judgment entered in favor of housing authority. Nalubega v. Cambridge Housing Authority, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146194 (D. Mass. 2013)
  • Represented the world’s largest manufacturer of pacemakers in a product liability lawsuit brought by an elderly man who claimed to have been severely injured when the device was alleged to have malfunctioned while he was driving. After a week-long trial in Federal Court, a jury verdict was returned in favor of the manufacturer. Horton v. Medtronic, Inc., Docket No. 98-cv-40213-CBS (D. Mass. 2000)
  • Represented commercial issuer of D&O policy of insurance in connection with underlying class action securities fraud litigation, settled in mid-eight-figures after multiple days of mediation involving numerous other carriers, representatives of insured, and class representatives and their counsel
  • Represented manufacturer of home electrical appliance in catastrophic fire case in which client settled for less than 3% of total, multi-party settlement of approximately $15 million
  • Represented the same manufacturer in connection with multi-death fire case that settled after mock trial for less than 3% of mock trial verdict
  • Represented an installer of fire alarm system in multi-death fire case, in which client settled for approximately 4% of total, multi-party settlement in excess of $12 million
  • Litigated the only reported Massachusetts case on “bulk sales” under Article 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code, resulting in reversal on appeal of trial judge’s denial of our client’s motion for directed verdict at trial, and dismissal of entire case. Key Capital Corp. v. M&S Liquidating Corp., 27 Mass. App. Ct. 721, 542 N.E.2d 603 (1989)
  • Represented public housing authority in case affirming basis for terminating federal housing assistance for participant engaging in non-violent criminal activity in subsidized residence under federal assistance program. Costa v. Fall River Housing Authority, 71 Mass. App. Ct. 269, 861 N.E.2d 800 (2008), aff’d, 453 Mass. 614, 903 N.E.2d 1098 (2009)
  • Represented numerous public housing authorities in cases involving housing and employment discrimination, wrongful termination from public housing assistance, premises liability, mold and lead paint claims, negligent security, police misconduct, etc. See, e.g., Rodriguez v. Cambridge Housing Authority, 59 Mass. App. Ct. 127, 795 N.E.2d 1 (2003), 443 Mass. 697, 823 N.E.2d 1249 (2005); LaGrant v. Boston Housing Authority, 26 Mass. App. Ct. 905, 522 N.E.2d 1001 (1988), 403 Mass. 328, 530 N.E.2d 149 (1988)
  • Represented churches and other religious institutions in connection with various claims, including clergy misconduct, sexual abuse, wrongful employment termination, premises liability, discrimination, negligent security, financial misconduct, etc. Represented insurers in consolidated coverage actions arising from several hundred clergy sexual assault cases
  • Represented several construction products and shipyard defendants in asbestos personal injury claims litigated over 25+ years’ time in state and federal courts in Massachusetts; established track record of modest, predictable settlements; rational, cost-effective discovery; and preservation of underlying limits of available insurance

Recognition and Awards

  • Rated, Martindale Hubbell® AV Preeminent Attorney  1997-2022
  • Selected, Massachusetts Super Lawyers List, 2020-2021

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • “Essential Mediation Skills,” Certificate of Completion, American Arbitration Association, New York, NY (November 16–20, 2015)
  • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association, Arbitrator (arbitrating fee disputes between lawyers and their clients), Massachusetts Bar Association Fee Arbitration Board (2005-present)
  • Member, Boston Bar Association
  • Member, Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • “Reasonable Accommodations and Medical Marijuana,” Housing Authority Defense Attorneys Seminar, Burlington, VT (October 1, 2014)
  • “The Federal Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 and Its Applicability to Defending Tort Claims Against Religious Institutions and Their Volunteer Agents,” Comprehensive Claims Handling Workshop, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Merrill, WI (June 18, 2014)
  • “Opening Statement, Mock Trial of American Product Liability Trial,” Eagle International Associates 2013 Conference, Paris, France (October 11, 2013)
  • “Anatomy of a Coverage Dispute,” Eagle International Associates 2012 Conference (Program Chairman), Boston, MA (October 19, 2012)
  • “Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the “Ministerial Exception,” Nationwide Review of 2012 Claims Issues, Church Mutual Insurance Co., Merrill, WI (April 11, 2012)
  • “Ten Rules of Thumb: Defending Pro Se Litigation,” Housing Authority Defense Attorneys Seminar, Kansas City, MO (September 22, 2010)
  • “Fundamentals of Preemption: Lohr, Riegel, Buckman and Federal Preemption in Medical Device Cases,” American Conference Institute: Drug & Device Preemption Conference, Philadelphia, PA (July 14-15, 2009)
  • Termination of Section 8 Housing Participation for Criminal Activity – A Case Study,” Housing Authority Defense Attorneys Seminar, Milwaukee, WI (June 18, 2008)
  • Former Moderator, Clerk and Chairman of Board of Trustees, Melrose Highlands Congregational Church, Melrose, MA.

Publications and Speaking Engagements