A Conversation with Christopher A. StumpCOO, Saxton & Stump LLC
Christopher A. Stump is the COO and co-founder of Saxton & Stump LLC, a law firm, with offices in Harrisburg and Lancaster.
He also serves as board chair for Hospice and Community Care and is on the board of trustees member for Moravian Manor. Stump earned his law degree from the University of Richmond in Virginia. He has worked for a variety of law firms in the past, including Barley Snyder LLP in Lancaster and Stevens & Lee in Harrisburg. Stump lives with his wife, Kathy, in Lititz.
Q: You have focused on health care both in your career and your volunteer work. Is this a passion for you?
A: For my first job, I worked in Norfolk, Va., for a firm that represented physicians and hospitals. I then worked at a health care-related law firm in Richmond. Health-related law has been the path of my professional career for the past 30 years. It is absolutely a passion of mine for a variety of reasons. I have lot of respect for health care professionals; they provide important services to society, under increasingly complex restrictions.
Why is Saxton & Stump's new medical-device litigation practice a good way for the firm to build potential new business?
Over the years, our firm has been involved in many lawsuits that implicate medical devices, including vaginal mesh, mycobacterium infections related to medical heater-coolers, and the da Vinci robotic surgery device. Given our firm’s unique resources and on-staff medical professionals and scientists, it lends itself to this practice. Also, we recently hired a litigator from Philadelphia, Steve Costello, who has significant experience in medical-device litigation. So, while we only recently named the medical-device litigation practice, we have been involved in such work since the beginning of our firm. Many physicians find themselves embroiled in medical-device litigation and I believe the need for medical-device litigation attorneys will increase in the future because of this.
Please describe the relationship between the legal team and the doctors and scientists on staff.
Currently, we employ nine physicians or other clinical practitioners in addition to nurses. At least one clinical person is assigned to each case. They assist in a variety of ways, including reviewing records, analyzing the claim, helping to educate lawyers on key medical/scientific issues, and assisting with strategy formulation. It is a very broad scope of integrated assistance.
Our physicians are selected carefully from all over the country. Most are still in active practice. We look for ones with a particular expertise and background that will be most effective for our clients. For example, we have an infectious disease specialist and a cardiovascular surgeon, both of whom are important in the mycobacterium infection cases.