Luke Sbarra believes happy and successful client representation derives from proactive and hands-on legal management, aggressive legal work, and timely and accurate reporting. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), and a 2017 Business North Carolina Legal Elite in Litigation.
He focuses his practice in the areas of professional liability, products liability, construction defect, premises, security, and liquor liability, and commercial litigation. His clients include individuals, businesses, commercial insurers, excess and surplus line insurers, and their insureds.
Luke has tried several jury cases to verdict throughout North Carolina, arbitrated several binding arbitrations to final award, and handled matters in North Carolina’s three federal courts and all of North Carolina’s specialized Business Courts. Luke has also argued at the North Carolina Court of Appeals and appeared before the North Carolina Supreme Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Luke enjoys giving back and has served on the Steering Committee of Hands on Charlotte since 2009, helping mobilize volunteers to strengthen the Charlotte community.
He and his wife have two children and have lived in Charlotte since 2000. When he is not working, Luke enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, reading, watching sports, and vacationing at the beach.
PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC INVOLVEMENT:
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- Member, Professional Liability Subcommittee
- Professional Liability Defense Federation
- Hands on Charlotte
- Member, Steering Committee (2009-present)
- North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
- Member, Product Liability Subcommittee
- Sbarra, Luke, and Buckley, Thomas. “When Eating Crow is the Best Item on the Menu: Stipulating to Liability in Professional Liability Actions.” IADC Professional Liability Committee Newsletter (May 2018)
- Sbarra, Luke, Richard Busch, and Andrew Countryman. “Third-Party Litigation Financing and Mitigating the Risk of Legal Malpractice.” February News- Lawyers’ Prof Liability Claims, Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF) (6 Feb. 2015).
Cases or matters referenced are for illustrative purposes only, and do not represent the lawyer’s or law firm’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicted based upon a lawyer’s or law firm’s past results. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Representation of professionals in a wide variety of professional malpractice matters from inception through dispositive motions and trial, with a specific focus on claims against attorneys, accountants, dentists, health-care professionals, long-term care facilities (SNF/LTC), design professionals, commercial and residential property appraisers, and insurance agents and brokers.
Luke’s specific professional malpractice experience includes the following:
Obtained complete defense arbitration award following five-day wrongful death arbitration against skilled-nursing facility arising out of alleged failure to prevent sepsis leading to death from infected decubitus ulcer and claims of medical malpractice, corporate and administrative negligence, and punitive damages.
Arbitration of claim against North Carolina adult care home arising out of alleged third-party rape of resident at the facility.
Obtained summary judgment for multiple physicians sued for “deliberate indifference” to incarcerated inmates’ civil rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents
Representation of numerous dentists in dental malpractice litigation and disciplinary matters before the North Carolina Dental Board and in medical malpractice actions relating to alleged standard of care violations, including improperly placed prosthetics, injury, and death claims following general and specialized care and surgery, failure to detect caries, and recommend appropriate treatment plans.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a structural engineer in federal court action alleging design defect and delay damages of $20,000,000 arising out of multiple failed structural elements of multi-unit condominiums in New Bern, North Carolina. This case involved over seventy-five depositions and the production and analysis of over one million documents. This case was affirmed on appeal.
Representation of civil engineer in professional malpractice action alleging failure to obtain state Department of Transportation highway approval for hollow-core slab bridge allegedly causing delay damages in excess of $3,000,000 arising out of developer’s inability to market eighty-four (84) acres platted for residential sub-division.
Obtained Order granting client’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) in 2.1 Complex Litigation Matter regarding plaintiff-investors’ claims against real estate appraiser for negligence, civil conspiracy, breach of third party beneficiary contract, and violations of the State Mortgage Lending Act, in professional malpractice against appraiser for damages arising out of purchase of coastal North Carolina lots.
Obtained Order granting client’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) in connection with claims against residential real estate appraiser based on North Carolina’s statute of repose for professional malpractice.
Obtained dismissal of a lawsuit against Atlanta lawyer and law firm arising from alleged breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with law firm’s failure to re-pay financier of personal injury litigation
Obtained dismissal of professional malpractice civil action against lawyer arising from alleged failure to satisfy tax lien during the closing of a real estate transaction, allegedly resulting in the subordination of Plaintiff’s Deed of Trust to first priority tax lien.
Representation of a law firm and lawyer as escrow agents in federal court action seeking damages in excess of $100,000,000 arising from alleged fraud scheme and numerous violations of state and federal racketeering, fraud, and conspiracy laws.
Representation of pharmacist and national pharmacy chain in connection with medical malpractice allegations arising from overdosing of the patient resulting in permanent injuries to the patient.
Representation of licensed social worker in connection with allegations of sexual molestation of resident patient under control of local state area authority allegedly causing patient’s suicide.
Commercial and Premises Litigation
Lead counsel in trial of 2.1 Complex Litigation Case in Jackson County (Sylva), North Carolina, Superior Court of claims of condominium-unit controlled owners’ association against declarant-developer for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of implied warranty of habitability, and negligence arising out of alleged systemic construction and design defects in twenty two (22) condominium units. Plaintiff sought a final judgment in excess of $7,000,000.00 and the jury considered sixteen issues, including the North Carolina Real Property statute of repose and exceptions to the applicability of the statute of repose based on equitable estoppel.
Lead counsel obtaining complete defense verdict of claim against client for negligence and breach of contract arising out of client’s upfit and renovation of PGA Tour Bus and delivery of bus to Florida following fire destroying bus en route to Florida. This case involved issues of Georgia law and defenses to breach of contract based on the impossibility of performance and frustration of purpose.
Lead counsel obtaining complete defense verdict of breach of contract and contractual indemnity action against client arising out of client’s employment contract with plaintiff.
Trial to complete defense verdict of claim for breach of breach of implied warranty of habitability and negligence arising out of alleged construction defects and personal injury at apartment complex.
Lead counsel in trial to verdict of roll-over of Cushman ATV defending allegations of negligent warnings, negligent training, supervision, and failure to warn.
Lead counsel in trial to verdict of personal injury action arising out of failed furniture at restaurant.
Lead counsel obtaining summary judgment on behalf of owner of sports stadium in connection with lawsuit against owner of stadium arising out of blinding incident in which patron blinded from baseball striking patron in eye.
Lead counsel obtaining dismissal with prejudice one week before trial of fire claim at hospital with alleged business interruption damages in excess of $7,000,000.000 arising out of client’s allegedly improper use of thermographic equipment to conduct infrared thermographic scans of electrical cabinets prior to fire.
Lead counsel representing officer of North Carolina company in the North Carolina Business Court sued for allegedly committing numerous business torts and violations of federal and state racketeering and securities laws in connection with an alleged Ponzi Scheme defrauding approximately thirty plaintiffs of $17,000,000.00.
Lead counsel representing industrial boiler manufacturer in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina in connection with allegations of breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and punitive damages seeking a recovery of $1,200,000.00 arising out of our client’s alleged supply of two defective commercial boilers to one of the world’s largest carpet manufacturers.
Representation of Taiwanese manufacturer in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina achieving dismissal of Plaintiffs’ claims for the defective manufacture of a bicycle chain sprocket due to lack of personal jurisdiction over the client in the North Carolina federal courts.
Representation of an industrial designer in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in connection with a commercial fire subrogation lawsuit seeking damages of $800,000.00 arising out of a commercial electrical fire in a paint spray booth.
Representation of an international manufacturer of cast polypropylene films in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in connection with Plaintiff’s claims of improper design of film, breach of contract, and breach of warranty resulting from our client’s supply of allegedly defective automobile transit tape causing tape melt on several thousand new automobiles and alleged damages of $800,000.00.
Representation of numerous manufacturers, component part manufacturers, distributors, retail sellers, and individuals in connection with the defense of a wide variety of product liability lawsuits arising from diverse industries including textiles, plumbing, refrigeration, residential propane gas equipment, construction, and recreational and sporting equipment.
- AV Preeminent® peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Member
- Selected to the North Carolina Rising Stars list published in Super Lawyers®
Magazine from 2010-2015. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in NC are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.
- Selected to the Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite in the litigation category, 2018