Practice Areas

Bret C. Perry

E-mail MeBret C. Perry

Cleveland, Ohio
216-586-2013 (Ext. 2056)
877-214-7321 (Toll Free)
Bret C. Perry is a Shareholder in the law firm of Bonezzi Switzer Polito & Hupp Co. L.P.A. in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Perry concentrates his practice in the areas of the defense of physician, nursing, hospital, long-term care, aging services and assisted living malpractice claims. In addition, Mr. Perry is routinely called upon to represent the interests of ancillary healthcare providers including those employing home health aides, physical therapists, medical and radiology technologists, orthodontist and dentists. Mr. Perry has extensive trial experience handling complex multi-million dollar malpractice claims through jury verdict as well as extensive appellate experience before both state and federal courts of appeal and the Ohio Supreme Court.

Most recently, Mr. Perry argued before the Ohio Supreme Court in Havel v. Villa St. Joseph, et al., 2012-Ohio-252, in support of R.C. 2315.21(B) which established a litigants right to a bifurcated trial when both compensatory and punitive damages have been alleged. The Ohio Supreme Court agreed with Mr. Perry's arguments and reversed both the trial and appellate court's prior decisions finding that the statute was unconstitutional. The efforts of Mr. Perry now ensure that Ohio litigants are guaranteed the right to a bifurcated trial pursuant to R.C. 2315.21(B) when claims for both compensatory and punitive damages have been alleged.

In 2013, Mr. Perry again argued before the Ohio Supreme Court in the matter Johnson v. Smith, 131 Ohio St.3d 235, wherein the Court in a unanimous decision reinstated a jury's verdict in favor of the defendant-physician following the appellate court's reversal. In Johnson, the Court considered the admissibility of a physician's statements of apology and whether said statements could be used against the physician at trial as an admission against interest. In rejecting the reasoning of the appellate court, the Ohio Supreme Court held that a physician's statements of apology, act of benevolence and general conduct expressing sympathy was not admissible at trial and could not be utilized as an admission against interest.

In light of his expertise, Mr. Perry is a frequent lecturer to hospital facilities and their staff and currently serves as the Chairman of the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys Medical Malpractice and Nursing Home Litigation Committee and Medical-Legal Liaison to the Northeast Ohio Academy of Medicine.

Prior to joining BSPH, Mr. Perry served as a judicial staff attorney to the Honorable Nancy R. McDonnell, Presiding Judge, of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, and as an appellate staff attorney to the Honorable Michael J. Corrigan and Frank D. Celebreeze of the Eighth District Court of Appeals.

Mr. Perry is a U.S. Navy veteran having served during the Desert Shield and Desert Storm conflict. In addition, Mr. Perry has been recognized by his peers as an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2009 through 2012, and as an Ohio Super Lawyer for the years 2013 and 2014. Most recently, for the year 2014, Mr. Perry was voted one of the top 50 lawyers in the greater Cleveland area and top 100 lawyers in the State of Ohio by his peers.

Areas of Practice

  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Ancillary Healthcare Provider Defense
  • Appellate
  • General Liability Defense
  • Hospital and Long Term Care Facility Risk Management
  • Long-Term Care/Assisted Living Facility Defense
  • Professional Liability Defense

Litigation Percentage

  • 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 2001
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 2008


  • Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio
    • J.D. - 2000
    • Honors: With Distinction
  • Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
    • B.S. - 1997
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Education

Representative Clients

  • American Safety Insurance
  • Beazley Syndicate
  • Cleveland Clinic Health Systems
  • Healthcare Underwriters Group
  • Legacy Health Services & Stafford Health Services
  • Lloyds of London
  • Maxum Indemnity
  • Menorah Park Center for Senior Living
  • MetroHealth Medical Center
  • Mid-Continent Insurance
  • OneBeacon
  • ProAssurance
  • Sisters of Charity Health System
  • St. Vincent Charity Health System
  • The Doctors Company
  • University Hospitals Health System
  • Western Litigation


  • "Wound Care and the Legal Process", Northeast Ohio Wound Care Symposium, 2013
  • "Litigation and the Long-Term Care Industry", Beck Symposium, 2012
  • "Avoiding Litigation Pitfalls", Menorah Park Center for Senior Living, 2011
  • "End of Life and Family Expectations in the Long Term Care Environment", Menorah Park Center for Senior Living, 2011
  • "Litigation 101- Are you ready for your next lawsuit?", PharMed Annual Seminar, 2010
  • "Preparing for your next lawsuit", Menorah Park Center for Senior Living, 2010
  • "Vicarious Liability and the Hospital-Defendant...the Evolution of the Agency by Estoppel and Respondeat Superior Doctrine", BSMPH Quarterly, September, 2010
  • "Defining the Long-Term Care Medical Record", Nursing Home and Assisted Living Litigation Seminar, Defense Research Institute, Phoenix, Arizona, 2009
  • "The Amazing Race; Protecting Your Quality Assurance and Risk Management Documents", OHCA, Columbus Ohio, 2009
  • "Defending the Loss of Chance Doctrine", OACTA Spring Seminar, 2008
  • "Long Term Care Documentation: Defending Your Care by Avoiding Common-Pitfalls", Legacy Health Services, 2008
  • "Nursing and the Law", Brown Mackie College of Nursing, 2008
  • "Tort Reform Update", Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2008
  • "Defining the Legal and Professional Standard of Care", Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2007
  • "Defining the Medical Record", National Business Institute, 2007
  • "The Impact of Treatises, Professional Journals, and Peer Review Articles on the Defense of Malpractice Claims", Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2006
  • "Recovering Litigation Costs", Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2005

Honors and Awards

  • Ohio Super Lawyers, 2013 - 2014
  • Ohio Super Lawyers, Cleveland Top 50, 2014
  • Ohio Super Lawyers, Ohio Top 100, 2014
  • Ohio Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2008 - 2012
  • Life Member, Eighth Judicial Conference, 2009

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, Chairman-Medical Malpractice and Nursing Home Litigation Committee, 2007 - Present
  • Ohio Bar Association, 2001 - Present
  • Defense Research Initiative, 2009 - Present
  • Northeast Ohio Academy of Medicine, Medical-Legal Liaison
  • Ohio State Bar Association, 2009 - Present
  • Professional Liability Defense Foundation, 2010 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • 8th District Court of Appeals, Ohio, Staff Attorney
  • Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Staff Attorney


  • Alpha Sigma Phi
  • Delta Theta Phi