Katherine E. Senior
Katherine “Kate” E. Senior is a Member of the firm and works in the Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre offices, where she focuses her practice on defending physicians and hospitals against professional liability claims. Ms. Senior serves as Co-Chair of the Firm’s Women’s Initiative, where she helps to promote an inclusive culture by emphasizing professional development, individualism, and open communication for women at the firm. Ms. Senior is also an active member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
A seasoned litigator serving the healthcare industry, Ms. Senior has fifteen years of experience handling medical malpractice and professional liability claims throughout Pennsylvania. Before joining Burns White, she worked at a medical malpractice defense firm in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, handling all phases of litigation and case management of complex malpractice claims against individual physicians and their practice groups.
Ms. Senior received a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law in 2006, where she was Special Projects and Business Editor of the Villanova Environmental Law Journal. She remains very active in the law school’s alumnae activities, participating on panels and mentoring students. She received a B.A. in Political Science, summa cum laude, from Rosemont College in 2003. While there, she served as Captain of the Rosemont Varsity Tennis Team and studied abroad at The London School of Economics and Political Science during her junior year.
A third-generation attorney, Ms. Senior is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Areas of Law
- Medical Malpractice Defense
- Professional Liability
- Villanova University (J.D., 2006)
- Rosemont College (B.A., summa cum laude, 2003)
- New Jersey
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Commission on Women in the Profession
- Phi Delta Phi
- Villanova Law Women’s Network, 2020 – Present
- Steering Committee, Villanova Law Women’s Network, 2019 – 2020
- Participant, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Mock Interview Program, 2017 – 2020, 2022
- Mentor, PBA Commission on Women in the Profession (WIP), 2021
- Mentor, Villanova Law School Women’s Law Caucus (WLC) Alumni Leaders Unite to Mentor Students (ALUMS) Mentoring Program, 2017 – 2020
- Mentor, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Success in Law School Mentoring Program, 2017 – 2018
- Health Law Panel Discussion Participant, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, 2017 – 2021
- “Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer: Weeding through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s Definition of Solid Waste” Villanova Environmental Law Journal, Volume XVII, Issue 1, 2006
- Obtained a dismissal of a large regional medical center pursuant to a Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff claimed vicarious liability and corporate negligence against the medical center related to the prescription, oversight, and monitoring of blood thinning medication that allegedly resulted in the Plaintiff requiring an emergency craniotomy due to a brain hemorrhage. A Motion for Summary Judgment was filed on behalf of the medical center arguing that Plaintiff’s proffered expert reports lacked the required expert opinions to establish professional negligence in a malpractice action in Pennsylvania on either Plaintiff’s vicarious or corporate theories. This motion was opposed by Plaintiff. After oral argument, the Court ruled to grant summary judgment, dismissing Plaintiff’s case against the medical center entirely.
- Obtained a dismissal of the firm’s client, an outpatient radiology center, from a lawsuit involving a delayed diagnosis of cancer. The Complaint alleged that numerous Defendants were negligent in failing to identify and diagnose cancer in the Plaintiff. Claims against the radiology center included claims for ostensible agency and vicarious liability with regard to two (2) interpreting radiologists, as well as corporate liability and loss of consortium claims. The client was dismissed prior to the undertaking of extensive discovery—saving them from potential liability, as well as a significant investment of time, effort, and cost of litigation.
- Assisted lead counsel in obtaining a defense verdict for an internal medicine physician client in Philadelphia County facing negligence allegations for not detecting abdominal cancer in a deceased patient that had been experiencing abdominal pain and a change in bowel habits.
- Assisted lead counsel in obtaining a defense verdict in Bucks County for a psychiatrist client facing allegations of negligence for failing to recognize the seriousness of a patient’s mental condition who committed suicide. Other allegations included the prescription of improper medications and inadequate follow up. More than $8 million in economic damages were claimed.
- Assisted lead counsel in obtaining a defense verdict in Bucks County for a neurologist client who treated a stroke patient with ‘clot busting’ drugs. The medication was unsuccessful and the patient was kept overnight for observation. The next day, the patient was transferred to a facility with neurosurgery capabilities but neurosurgery declined to intervene due to a low chance of neurological recovery. The patient died a day later. More than $4 million in economic damages were projected.
- Assisted lead counsel in obtaining a defense verdict in favor of a neurosurgeon client in Montgomery County for a case where a patient initiated a claim after his spine failed to fuse after surgery. Despite additional surgeries being performed, the patient alleged chronic pain and ongoing disability.
- Assisted lead counsel in obtaining a defense verdict in favor of a radiologist client in Montgomery County where a patient’s CT scan was initially misread and interpreted as appendicitis the next day. The plaintiff alleged that this delay led to patient’s appendix rupturing and a severe infection where the patient later died from a pulmonary infection. The plaintiff claimed over $1 million in economic damages.
- Assisted lead counsel in obtaining a defense verdict in Philadelphia County for an interventional cardiologist client in a case where a patient thought to be experiencing an acute heart attack was transferred to a hospital where an immediate cardiac catheterization could be performed. The intervening cardiologist decided not to perform the catheterization until the next morning but the patient died that night before the procedure could be performed..