Thomas J. Mortati
I’m Tom Mortati, and I’m the senior litigation attorney at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.
The thing I’m most proud of about the work that I do, and particularly now that I’m at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti and on the plaintiffs side, is to change people’s lives for the better. People come to us, they’ve had something bad happen to them. It’s not that necessarily we give closure in getting a compensation for them, and sometimes, and oftentimes, it’s not about the compensation or the number of dollars, but we can give them peace. And we can give them some sense of going forward in their lives and having something that helps them and protects them and provides for them for the rest of their lives. And that is the biggest reward I get out of what I do, honestly. I have a joke, though, with my clients. Oftentimes, I tell them, “Look, don’t take this personally, but I hope you never see me again.” And they get it, you know, but I actually now have a lot of friendships with people that I’ve been able to help in the little less than two years I’ve been a part of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. People say, you know, “You changed my life.” And they keep in touch, which is great.
My primary interest outside of work, honestly, is my family, my wife and kids. We have two dogs as well. You know, as far as recreational things, I like to golf, I like to exercise, and just do stuff around the yard. It’s kind of boring sometimes, but I enjoy it. And my wife and I do a lot of gardening both with our flowers and things like that. And she does quite a bit of vegetable gardening too. So, I’m the hired labor.
The fact that MHM has such a dedication to the community it serves, and that’s the greater capital region and beyond, and we do things. You know, last fall, I was doing an event up in Potsdam, New York. It certainly, for me, gives me great pride in the place that I work, the name of the firm. You know, when I go into court or anywhere, or tell people in the general public and I meet people haven’t seen me in a while or just people I’m meeting for the first time, and they ask me, “Well, Where do you work?” And I tell them Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. And I say that with great pride because of the things we do, not just the litigation work that we do.
Thomas J. Mortati – Supervising Attorney
Admitted in New York and Connecticut
Tom Mortati joined Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, LLP in the Fall of 2017 and brought with him 30 years of civil defense litigation and trial experience. He quickly made his mark when in June 2018 he obtained what was reported to be the first plaintiff jury verdict in Rensselaer County Supreme Court in over five years with the jury awarding more than three times what the insurance company offered. In August 2019 he obtained a record $7.436 million verdict in St. Lawrence County Supreme Court for a medical malpractice case involving a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal). This was also reported to be one of the largest verdicts in the nation for such a case. The jury award was nearly ten times what the insurance company offered.
Tom has had several multi-million dollar settlements in his time at MHM as follows:
- $6.75 million settlement in 2021 for a wrongful death case involving a helicopter crash;
- $1.75 million settlement in 2021 for a medical malpractice case resulting in stillbirth;
- $1.25 million settlement in 2021 for a products liability/wrongful death case involving a wood processing machine;
- $4.0 million settlement in 2020 for a medical malpractice case involving a failure to diagnose a thoracic fracture resulting in paraplegia in a 78 year old;
- $1.8 million settlement in 2019 for a products liability case involving a riding mower;
- $2.1 million settlement in 2018 for a motorcycle crash case that resulted in a leg amputation.
Tom tried 50+ cases to verdict in courts in over 20 counties in New York State from Brooklyn (Kings County) to the Canadian border and nearly all counties in between, as well as in Connecticut, before joining MHM in 2017. He has tried several cases for MHM clients since – winning each case with jury awards well in excess of what the insurance companies offered.
Tom was prominently featured on a two-hour Dateline NBC special (“The Accused”) that aired in 2016 and again in 2017 and annually on Oxygen Network that detailed his extensive work on a civil case with a companion homicide investigation. He was also featured in an episode of Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall (“Home Alone”) that aired in 2017 on Investigation Discovery Channel and many times since and was also featured in a two-part HBO documentary that aired in 2019 (“Who Killed Garrett Phillips?”). Tom was also featured on a true crime podcast with Roberta Glass True Crime Report in 2020 (“Who Killed Garrett Phillips: Solved!”) and again on a follow-up episode in June 2022. He was also interviewed in 2021 on The Lab True Crime Podcast hosted by Josh Diaz – all from his extensive work in this high profile, law enforcement/homicide case where he worked together with investigators from multiple agencies. Some of Tom’s deposition work from the case was also featured in a 20/20 episode on ABC (“Rear Window”) that aired in 2016. Tom was also featured in a November 2022 episode of The Lab True Crime Podcast hosted by Josh Diaz to discuss the Delphi Murders.
Tom graduated from Fordham University in 1988 and Albany Law School in 1991 where he served as Associate Editor on the Albany Law School Journal of Science and Technology. Tom began his legal career in New York City as an associate with a large, multinational firm before moving to the Albany area permanently in 1993. He was a founding partner at Burke, Scolamiero, Mortati & Hurd, LLP, a personal injury defense firm where he worked for over 20 years defending and trying high exposure cases in the fields of medical malpractice, law enforcement, construction and products liability, among many others, and he litigated cases in both state and federal court.
Tom is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut as well as the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York, the District of Connecticut, as well as at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Eighth Circuits and at the United States Supreme Court. He is a past President of the Capital District Trial Lawyers Association and has lectured for the New York State Bar Association, New York State Trial Lawyers Association and Capital District Trial Lawyers Association among others over the years. He achieved the top Martindale Hubbell rating of AV from his peers since 2002 and was also named in Super Lawyers for medical malpractice several years in a row. Tom is also a member of the NYS Academy of Trial Lawyers and he was also inducted into the National Trial Lawyers Civil Plaintiff top 100 in 2019.