Joseph S. Naylor

Partner / Wilmington, DE

JOSEPH S. NAYLOR is a partner in the Wilmington, Delaware office. Mr. Naylor focuses his practice on advising and representing clients in product-liability litigation, insurance defense and appellate matters. He has more than 15 years of experience litigating before all of Delaware’s state and federal courts, helping the firm’s clients achieve a positive resolution of a wide variety of disputes.

Product-Liability Defense

Delaware is a national filing hub for asbestos litigation, and in particular mesothelioma cases. Swartz Campbell’s Wilmington office presently represents over 100 clients / defendants in asbestos-related lawsuits – more than any other Delaware firm – and has been trial counsel in six of the last eight asbestos cases that have gone to trial since the mid-2000s.

Mr. Naylor serves as trial counsel for more than a dozen asbestos clients and regularly travels throughout the country, taking and defending depositions. Mr. Naylor has served as appellate counsel in several asbestos cases that were appealed to the Supreme Court of Delaware. Mr. Naylor was recently lead Delaware counsel as part of a multi-firm appellate defense team that obtained reversal of a $2.8 million asbestos verdict. See R.T. Vanderbilt Co. Inc. v. Galliher, 98 A.3d 122 (Del. 2014). Mr. Naylor is also one of only several attorneys in Delaware history to have argued an asbestos-related appeal to a full en banc panel of the Supreme Court of Delaware. See Plummer v. R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc., 49 A.3d 1163 (Del. 2012).

Insurance Defense

Mr. Naylor has wide-ranging and diverse experience defending a variety of matters for insured parties in cases involving serious personal injuries, property damage, construction defects and corporate / securities litigation. Representative insurance-defense matters include:

  • Successfully defended the general contractor of a new hotel after the windows and stucco walls began leaking several months after completion. Mr. Naylor was able to obtain summary judgment in his client’s favor barring the plaintiff’s claim for approximately $7 million in economic losses. See Smyrna Hospitality, LLC v. Petrucon Construction, Inc., 2013 WL 6039287 (Del. Super. 2013).
  • Successfully defended a condominium association in connection with a multi-unit pipe burst at a high-end, beach-front condominium complex in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Mr. Naylor was able to obtain summary judgment in his client’s favor after the close of discovery. See Freibott v. Miller, 2012 WL 6850450 (Del. Super. 2012).
  • Successfully defended the manufacturer of a 20-ton industrial shearing machine where a young employee’s arm was severed and amputated. Despite numerous adverse facts on liability issues and a large damages claim, Mr. Naylor was able to obtain summary judgment in his client’s favor after the close of discovery based on Delaware’s builder’s statute (statute of repose). See Thompson v. Murata Wiedemann, Inc., 2011 WL 5624374 (Del. Super. 2011).
  • Successfully defended the former Chief Financial Officer of a public company in a securities class action filed by a nationally renowned law firm. Mr. Naylor was able to obtain dismissal of the claims prior to discovery. See In re AstroPower Securities Litig., 2006 WL 288120 (D. Del. 2006).
  • Successfully defended property owners in premises-liability cases.
  • Successfully defended contractors and vendors in fire / casualty litigation.
  • Successfully defended private and municipal employers in employment litigation.
  • Successfully represented insurance carriers in coverage disputes with their insureds and other carriers.

Appellate Practice

Mr. Naylor is a former clerk to the Honorable Joseph T. Walsh of the Supreme Court of Delaware and has an active appellate practice. Representative appellate matters include:

  • Regularly representing asbestos defendants in appeals with the Supreme Court of Delaware. Mr. Naylor recently obtained reversal of a $2.8 million asbestos verdict. See R.T. Vanderbilt Co. Inc. v. Galliher, 98 A.3d 122 (Del. 2014). Mr. Naylor is also one of only several attorneys in Delaware history to have ever argued an asbestos-related appeal to a full en banc panel of the Supreme Court of Delaware. See Plummer v. R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc., 49 A.3d 1163 (Del. 2012).
  • Represented an insurance carrier in a coverage dispute with insured racetrack after horseracing injury.
  • Represented the developer of hotel in a zoning dispute with New Castle County.
  • Represented a furniture-and-design company in a commercial lease dispute.
  • Areas of Practice

    • Asbestos
    • Defense Litigation
    • Insurance Law

    Bar Admissions

    • 1999 Delaware

    Education

    • 1999 Widener University School of Law Wilmington, DE J.D. Magna Cum Laude
    • 1996 University of Delaware Newark, DE B.A. Magna Cum Laude History Education

    CONTACT Joseph S. Naylor / (302) 656-5935 (phone) / (302) 656-1434 (fax)