Frederick T. Lachat, Jr.

Frederick T. Lachat, Jr.

Office:Philadelphia, PA
Phone:(215) 931-5850
Cell:(215) 260-9374

Frederick Lachat, Jr. practiced as a Senior Trial Attorney for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority until 1978 when he joined Margolis Edelstein. He became a partner in 1982, but departed thereafter as a founding partner in the defense litigation firm of Gallagher, Reilly & Lachat. He rejoined Margolis Edelstein as a partner in 2000.

Fred has extensive experience in the handling of major defense litigation cases involving catastrophic property losses, construction accidents, railroad litigation, product liability claims, and insurance defense and coverage litigation. An integral part of his practice has involved FELA cases and the defense of rail carriers for more than 20 years.

After college and before attending law school, Fred served as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy.

Military Service:

  • U.S. Navy, Communications Officer


  • Temple University School of Law (J.D.)
  • St. Joseph's University (B.S.)


  • AV Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated

Bar Admissions:

  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions:

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Professional Affiliations:

  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Pennsylvania Defense Institute
  • Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel
  • St. Joseph's University Law Alumni (Board of Directors)

News and Verdicts:

Articles and Publications:

Representative Matters:

  • Sixberry v. Buster - Following defense verdict, attorney for plaintiffs’ application to speak to jurors denied “lest it operate to intimidate, beset and harass them”.
  • Nickel v. Pennsylvania Avenue Bar, Inc. - Defense verdict for property owner allegedly exposing trash collector to unreasonable risks on highway. Post-trial motions denied.
  • Breuninger v. Pennland Insurance Company - Summary Judgment in favor of client insurer issuing lower limits uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage policyholder upheld on appeal.
  • Conner v. Quality Coach, Inc. - Supreme Court declines to extend government contractor defense to manufacturer of van modified for use by handicapped drivers, and made to specifications of Pa. Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
  • Mathis v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review - Commonwealth Court rejects plaintiff’s claim that he was forced to resign from employment because employer required him to wear ID badge with religious-themed mission statement
  • Arnold v. Vilsmeier Auction Co., Inc. - Directed verdict in favor of client for value of wrongfully-seized hydraulic excavators based upon breach of warranty of title by auctioneer.
  • J. Kinderman, Inc. v. United National Insurance Company - Client issuing umbrella policy not required to “drop-down” below primary limits due to insolvency of underlying insurer.
  • Ward v. Lower Southampton Township - Verdict for plaintiff of $779,907 against Township awarded in Philadelphia County vacated, and case remanded to Bucks County. Supreme Court holds that action against a political subdivision may be commenced only in the County in which the Township is located, or in which a cause of action arises.
  • Wicks v. Commonwealth Department of Transportation, et al. - Defense verdict for property owner who maintained mail boxes too close to highway against catastrophically injured motorcyclist. Court precluded evidence of prior accidents in the same location, since not sufficiently similar to Plaintiff’s accident.
  • Sweeney v. Pennsylvania Insurance Guaranty Association - Property damage appraisal award in favor of client enforced by trial court.
  • Cannon v. Hilton Hotels Corp. - Wrongful death and survival action arising from electrocution death of Pennsylvania resident in New Jersey results in application of the law of New Jersey, thereby reducing Estate’s potential recovery.
  • Bell v. Brennan - Court holds that plaintiff fails to state valid claims for civil rights violations and malicious prosecution resulting in dismissal.
  • Crivellaro v. Pa. Power and Light Co. - Preliminary objections to plaintiff’s false imprisonment claims sustained.
  • Eibschitz v. Harleysville Insurance Companies - Preliminary objections sustained, and plaintiff’s petition for Pennsylvania no-fault benefits dismissed since plaintiff New Jersey resident not eligible for Pennsylvania benefits.
  • Rothfeld v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company - Client recovers benefits under accident health insurance policy despite pre-existing condition exclusion.
  • Hill v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority - Order allowing default judgment against client bus driver to be opened, upheld on appeal.
  • Babish v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation - Jury verdict in favor of client railroad against visitor on train claiming train moved while she was attempting to step from train to platform.
  • Peronteau v. Gross School Bus Service, Inc. - Summary judgment for school bus operator under contract with School District. Alleged civil rights violations dismissed.
  • Slaughter v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation - Verdict in favor of railroad on FELA and negligence claims by employee against railroad and contractor. Contractor obligated to indemnify client railroad for attorney’s fees and costs based on indemnity provision in contract.
  • Dunsmore v. Centinaro - Defense verdict in favor of client whose vehicle rear-ended plaintiff’s vehicle resulting in claimed permanent injuries and disability. Plaintiff provided false medical history relating to military service in Vietnam, when in fact he never served in Vietnam, and was discharged from the Army, receiving an undesirable discharge.
  • Garrett v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation - Plaintiff’s attorney precluded from offering evidence of statement given by railroad employee who was contacted in violation of Rule 4.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Carrigan v. Budget One Way Truck - Verdict in favor of client against plaintiff who claimed that hitch for rental truck car dolly malfunctioned causing serious injuries. The court found plaintiff’s testimony to be unworthy of belief and expert’s opinions speculative and not credible.