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Michael L. DeBona Associate

 
Philadelphia, PA | Direct 215.864.7129Fax 215.789.7537
debonam@whiteandwilliams.com
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Michael DeBona is a litigator in the firm's Subrogation Department, where he represents major property insurers in recovering their losses caused by product and construction defects. Michael has a particular specialty in recovering on water losses arising from product design and manufacturing defects. He litigates cases throughout the United States, including in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Florida. 

As a trial lawyer, Michael has tried dozens of cases before both judges and juries. In addition to trying jury and bench trials to verdict, Michael has successfully taken dozens of cases before binding arbitration panels. Having previously defended the claims he now prosecutes, Michael is uniquely positioned to build a strong and cohesive case at each step in litigation - allowing him to weave complex expert issues into clear, creative and compelling stories for the jury. 

Michael serves as a writer for The Subrogation Strategist, White and Williams' subrogation blog, providing commentary on emerging subrogation issues. He is also a contributor to Subrogator, a publication of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals.

Michael graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers College and earned his law degree from Villanova University School of Law, where he was an Editorial Board member of the Environmental Law Journal and published his comment in Volume 22 of the Journal.

Representative Matters

  • Achieved million dollar settlement in complex product liability and construction defect case in New Jersey
  • Litigated product and construction defect claims in New York action involving a water loss occurring at the top floor of one of Manhattan's tallest skyscrapers, affecting 30 floors and causing over $20 million in damages
  • Defeated defendant's Daubert challenge resulting in tripling of settlement offer in complex product liability action
  • Convinced federal court that statute of repose did not bar million dollar product liability claim, defeating summary judgment and resulting in settlement at 70% of full damages
  • Conducted and defended expert depositions in construction defect case resulting in immediate doubling of six figure settlement offer
  • Represented global insurer in multi-million dollar water loss at historic landmark hotel in Washington, DC

  • Briefed and argued opposition to defendant's preliminary objections seeking to dismiss insurer’s strict liability cause of action, which the judge overruled on all grounds

  • Overturned arbitration award involving three issues of first impression

  • Obtained summary judgment for insurer by persuading court to narrowly apply seemingly far-reaching Supreme Court precedent

  • Prosecuted declaratory judgment action rescinding insurance policy and precluding coverage of $25 million claim

Recognition & Involvement

Michael received a 2021 Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch recognition for Insurance Law. 

Michael handles pro bono cases for the Senior Law Center, where he assists Pennsylvania seniors with their legal matters. He also serves as a volunteer attorney for the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Legal Line. 

Publications

Practice areas

Bar and Court Admissions

Pennsylvania

New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Education

Villanova University School of Law, JD, 2011

Rutgers University – New Brunswick, BA, magna cum laude, 2008

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