Diane Paolicelli is a founding partner of Phillips & Paolicelli, LLP, having devoted her 30-year legal career to seeking justice for those who fall victim to the negligence and wrongful misconduct of others. She champions the rights of children born with birth defects because of their parents’ exposure to toxic chemicals; workers who get cancer and other diseases due to their employers’ lack of regard for safety; patients who suffer unnecessarily or die because medical professionals failed to meet their responsibility to treat them with due care; consumers who are hurt by dangerous drugs and products; and employees who are robbed of their dignity and livelihoods because of unlawful workplace discrimination.
Diane is an accomplished trial lawyer concentrating in medical malpractice, complex product liability, environmental torts, civil rights, construction accidents and other personal injury cases. She has achieved substantial verdicts and settlements in catastrophic injury cases, and has handled cases as diverse as the negligent administration of blood products, cancer misdiagnosis, cerebral palsy, surgical and obstetrical mistakes, and emergency room failures. Diane has represented countless people hurt by corporate malfeasance, obtaining substantial recoveries for victims of asbestos disease, Vioxx consumer fraud, and exposure to toxic chemicals in the semiconductor industry.
Over the years the health and safety of women have been Diane’s special concern. Diane has successfully handled cases involving important women’s health issues like the DES and Dalkon Shield litigations, which concerned a defective pregnancy drug and a defective birth control device, respectively, which caused innumerable women to suffer infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and cancer. She has also represented women who were victims of sexual harassment and on-the-job gender discrimination.
More recently, Diane has focused on vindicating the rights of women wrongfully exposed to mercury, arsenic, and other toxic heavy metals and chemicals, which wreak havoc with their reproductive systems, and cause them to be infertile or bear children with horrific birth defects. She has a deep interest in protecting women and children injured by American corporations who shamelessly take their dangerous products abroad. To that end she has undertaken the representation of innocent families from the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic and Argentina, who were wrongfully exposed to the harmful constituents of coal ash waste and to pesticides used in tobacco farming.
Diane has also promoted workplace safety issues by prosecuting death and injury cases under the Federal Employer Liability Act and the New York State Labor Law. She has advanced employee protection under federal, state, and city anti-discrimination legislation by representing workers who have suffered unequal treatment because of race, age, gender, or disability.
Diane has secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for her clients over the years. Some of her successes include:
- $26.8 million settlement, plus significant injunctive relief, in a high-profile discrimination class action lawsuit brought by thousands of Latino and African American officers against the New York City Police Department
- $7 million verdict for a young woman whose cancer went undiagnosed
- $3.4 million verdict for a patient infected with hepatitis C
- $2 million settlement for a worker injured in a crane accident
- $4 million settlement for a victim in a motorcycle accident
Diane graduated with honors in 1981 from the New York University School of Law. A member of the prestigious New York University School of Law Law Review, she authored a piece on disability discrimination, which was accepted for publication. At present, she is a member of several bar associations, including the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice and the National Employment Lawyers Association. She has lectured on diverse issues over the years, including sexual harassment, the development of economic loss proofs in employment discrimination cases, the presentation of expert causation testimony in toxic exposure cases, and the complexities of litigation involving coal ash waste.