Matt maintains a broad civil litigation practice, focusing on medical malpractice, municipal liability, and general insurance defense. He defends hospitals, private medical companies, and individual physicians and dental professionals against claims of malpractice. His municipal liability litigation practice includes defending law enforcement officers, and defending cities against a wide range of torts, including police officer bill of rights and premises liability claims. His insurance defense practice includes motor vehicle and trucking claims, premises liability claims, and subrogation defense. A skilled and tireless litigator in all phases, Matt has successfully prevented suit from being filed against clients, secured multiple voluntary dismissals, won summary judgement for his clients on a wide range of legal issues, and tried multiple cases to jury verdict.
Matt joined Phillips Parker Orberson & Arnett, PLC, in October 2009, after obtaining his Juris Doctor degree from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. While in law school, he was a published member of the University of Louisville Law Review, competed in the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition, and was a member of the distinguished Brandeis Inn of Court.
Matt was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He attended Marquette University for his undergraduate education and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While at Marquette, Matt was a four-year letter winner on the Track and Field team and two-time MVP. As a senior he was elected captain, captured the Big East Conference championship in the decathlon, set the school record in the decathlon, and competed in the NCAA National Championship meet. Matt was also awarded the Cura Personalis Award in 2006 for his commitment to excellence in academics, athletics, and leadership through service to others.
He is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and United States District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky. He is a member of the Kentucky and Louisville Bar Associations, American Bar Association, the Kentucky Defense Counsel, and the Defense Research Institute (DRI).
In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and chasing his three young children. He also enjoys running, basketball, softball, throwing the javelin, and supporting the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, and, especially, his Green Bay Packers.
Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict
Trial counsel defending a medical negligence action against hospital and hospital operative/nursing staff. The Plaintiff claimed that the negligence of the nursing staff in performing their duties, including their sponge count, caused a large piece of a surgical laparotomy sponge to be retained in the Plaintiff’s chest cavity. The Plaintiff allegedly required multiple surgeries before passing away. The Plaintiff claimed over $2.6 million in damages. Succeeded in striking over $850,000 in past medical expenses damages on directed verdict, followed by the jury returning a complete defense verdict.
Premises Liability Defense Verdict
Trial counsel defending premises liability action against hospital. The Plaintiff claimed that the hospital permitted a dangerous (slippery) condition to form on their premises and failed to adequately warn of multiple hazards, causing the Plaintiff to slip and fall, lacerate his head and suffer a concussion. The Plaintiff also alleged that the hospital failed to preserve evidence following the occurrence of the incident. The Plaintiff sought over $94,000 in damages. The jury returned a complete defense verdict.
Premises Liability Summary Judgment and Appellate Victory
Litigation and appellate counsel successfully obtaining summary judgment at the trial court and defending that summary judgment at the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The Plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell outside of the hospital. She claimed that the hospital failed to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe manner, failed to warn of dangerous conditions, and failed to have proper policies and procedures for safety, including identifying and correcting unreasonably dangerous conditions. The Plaintiff allegedly suffered a serious knee injury, developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome, and was unable to continue working. Damages of $8.95 million were sought, including $5 million in punitive damages. Depositions of the Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s witnesses, presentation of hospital personnel, and obtaining expert slip resistance testing of the subject surface set up motion for summary judgment on liability, which was granted. The Plaintiff appealed. That appeal was successfully defended and judgment for the Defendant was entered.
Favorable Motor Vehicle Accident Verdict
Trial counsel defending motor vehicle action against client in a rear-end accident. Fault was admitted. Two Plaintiffs claimed significant neck and back injuries, requiring surgery. They claimed over $540,000 in damages. The jury returned a verdict amounting to a judgment of just $16,500.
Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict for Hospital
Joe Effinger and Matt Piekarski obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a hospital in a patient fall medical negligence case tried in Jefferson Circuit Court (Louisville). The Plaintiff’s decedent was hospitalized after she fell at home and fractured her hip. Following hip replacement surgery the patient was documented as being confused and a “high fall risk,” but also had significant mobility limitations. Fall precautions were taken, but the patient unexpectedly got up in the middle of the night without assistance, fell, and fractured her arm. The Plaintiff claimed the hospital nursing staff failed to implement and/or ensure that appropriate fall precaution measures were in place. Joe and Matt established that the hospital nursing staff appropriately cared for the patient, had all necessary fall precaution measures in place, and that the patient’s fall was not reasonably foreseeable. The case was tried over four days and the jury returned defense verdict for our client hospital. No appeal was taken.
Defense Verdict in Premises Liability Case Against Restaurant
Matt Piekarski and Bobby Whitmer obtained a zero-liability defense verdict on behalf of a restaurant in a premises liability case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky at Lexington. The Plaintiff, a recently retired kindergarten teacher and customer of the restaurant, slipped on engine oil spilled in the parking lot by another customer, who hit the curb upon entry to the restaurant parking lot and did report the oil spill to restaurant management before the Plaintiff’s fall. The fall caused both a fracture and dislocation of the Plaintiff’s elbow. The Plaintiff claimed that the restaurant negligently failed to warn or remedy the oil spill, resulting in the Plaintiff’s injuries. The Plaintiff and driver (who was also sued) settled before trial, leaving only the Plaintiff’s claims against PPOA’s client-restaurant. The case was tried over three days. Matt and Bobby successfully established to the jury that the restaurant did not have sufficient time to warn or remedy of the spill following notification, and that the restaurant bore no responsibility for the Plaintiff’s injuries. A defense verdict was entered in favor of our client-restaurant, and no appeal will be taken.
Legal Honors & Awards
– Kentucky Super Lawyers Rising Star® 2016 – Present
Areas of Concentration
Bar Admissions & Organization
– Kentucky Bar Association
– U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky
– U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
– American Bar Association
– Louisville Bar Association
– Defense Research Institute
– Kentucky Defense Counsel
– University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2009
– University of Marquette, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 2006