Eric John Purchase

Top rated Personal Injury attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania

Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C.
Eric John Purchase
Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C.

Practice Areas: Personal Injury, Business Litigation, Medical Malpractice; view more

Licensed in Pennsylvania since: 1991

Education: University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2023
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Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C.

2525 West 26th Street
Suite 200
Erie, PA 16506 Visit website


Attorney Eric John Purchase is a partner with Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., law firm, which has office locations in Erie, Meadville and North East, Pennsylvania. Serving a diverse range of clients throughout Erie County and the surrounding areas, Mr. Purchase devotes his practice primarily to representing the rights and interests of clients across his region who have suffered injuries or loss as a result of someone else's negligence.

In addition to handling all types of serious personal injury and wrongful death claims, including those arising from motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice and nursing home abuse, Mr. Purchase also provides invaluable advocacy and support to business owners and commercial clients dealing with high-stakes, complex litigation and business disputes.

A former insurance defense attorney, Mr. Purchase has crucial insight into the industry and the tactics insurance companies use to deny claims. Armed with this experience, he can devise the most effective strategies possible to help his plaintiff clients recover the maximum amount of compensation they deserve, and he has secured numerous substantial settlements and verdicts for those he has served.

Regarded as one of his region's leading trial advocates, Mr. Purchase has earned perennial top rankings and endorsements from his peers, and he routinely lectures other lawyers, insurance adjusters and other professionals on a wide range of topics, including trial tactics, insurance and car accident law, and other related subjects. He is also a highly active member of his legal community, and he has served in a number of leadership roles for various legal organizations.

Among his most notable professional affiliations, Mr. Purchase is a currently an officer of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and past President of both the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and the Erie County Bar Association. He also serves as Chair of the Erie County Bar Association's Civil Litigation Committee and as a voting member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's Political Action Committee. 

Mr. Purchase is also a life fellow with the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, and he volunteers his time and services with Northwestern Legal Services. A 1988 graduate of Gannon University, he obtained his Juris Doctor cum laude from University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1991, where he graduated Order of the Coif. He also served as notes and comments editor for the University of Pittsburgh Law Review while pursuing his legal degree.

Along with practicing before all Pennsylvania state courts, Mr. Purchase is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Practice areas

Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Business Litigation, Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff

Focus areas

Animal Bites, Assault, Birth Injury, Brain Injury, Construction Accident, Delayed or Incorrect Diagnosis, Dram Shop Laws, Informed Consent, Medical Malpractice, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Premises Liability - Plaintiff, Sexual Abuse - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Trucking Accidents, Wrongful Death

  • 60% Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • 20% Business Litigation
  • 20% Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff

First Admitted: 1991, Pennsylvania

Professional Webpage:

Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Judge of Elections, Erie County, 5th Ward, 20th District
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Inside Secrets of ERISA: A Third Party Administrator Pulls Back the Curtain, Erie County Bar Association, 2011 – Present
  • First Party Benefits Update
  • Premises Liability, Slip and Fall Update
  • Emotional Distress Claims
  • Bad Faith Insurance Claims and Trial Tactics
  • Effective Use of Depositions at Trial, Erie County Bar Association, 2008 – Present
  • 2013 - Public Health Law, Guest Lecturer, Medical Malpractice and the Health Care System, Mercyhurst University, 2013
  • Civil Litigation for First Year Lawyers, Erie County Bar Association, 2011 – Present
  • Guest Lecturer: Medical Malpractice and the Adversarial System, Mercyhurst University, 2012 – Present
  • Apologies in the Medical Malpractice Context, Erie County Bar Association, 2012 – Present
  • Guest Lecturer: Lawyers, Litigation and Settlement, Mercyhurst University, 2013 – Present
  • Guest Lecturer, Medical Malpractice Litigation and Health Care Quality, Mercyhurst University, 2013 – Present
  • A primer for young lawyers on the fundamentals of Civil Litigation practice in Pennsylvania, Speaker/Presenter, Civil Litigation 101, Erie County Bar Association, Erie County Bar Association, 2015
  • A consumer's guide to car insurance and personal injury claims., Co-Author, The Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Cases in Pennsylvania: A Roadmap to Justice, 2010
  • A discussion of the downward adjustment in value of shares in a closely held corporation reflecting the risks associated with a minority position., Author, The Problem of the Minority Discount, Business Magazine, 2002
  • A CLE approved seminar sponsored by the Erie County Bar Association on the subject of Underinsured and Uninsured Claims Practice, Speaker/Moderator, Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Claims Practice Seminar, Erie County Bar Association, 2007
  • A CLE approved seminar sponsored by the Erie County Bar Association on the subject of trial skills and tactics., Speaker, Trial Tactics: Making the Most of What 'Ya Got, Erie County Bar Association, 2008
  • A CLE approved seminar sponsored by the Erie County Bar Association on the subject of Automobile Law., Speaker, Auto Law Update, Erie County Bar Association, 2009
  • Mercyhurst University, Public Health Law and Policy Class, "Medical Malpractice and the Adversarial System", Guest Lecturer, 2012
  • CLE Approved Seminar on Pennsylvania Tort Reform Legislation, Moderator, Joint and Several Liability in Pennsylvania, 2011
  • A CLE approved course for newly admitted Erie County Bar Association Members, Speaker, Civil Litigation 101, 2012
  • A CLE approved seminar for attorneys and physicians offering a critical analysis of Pennsylvania's proposed apology law which would change the rules of evidence in medical malpractice and nursing home negligence cases. , Speaker, Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, 2012
  • A CLE approved seminar for first year members of the Erie County Bar Association, Speaker, Civil Litigation 101, 2011
Representative Clients:
  • General McLane School District
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Law Review, Notes & Comments Editor
  • , Top 100, Pa Super Lawyers, 2020
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2013 – Present, Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2021
  • Erie County Bar Association President's Award for Exemplary Service to the ECBA, President's Award, Erie County Bar Association, 2015
  • The Order of the Coif - Pittsburgh Chapter, The Order of the Coif - Pittsburgh Chapter, The Order of the Coif
  • Presented for hard work and dedication to the Kearsarge Fire Department, 2001 – Present, Businessman of the Year, Kearsarge Fire Department
Educational Background:
  • Gannon University, B.A., Major: Political Science, 1988
  • Proper v. Gregor, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 2001
  • Akers v. City of Erie.  A motor vehicle accident claim against a local municipality arising from an intersection collision involving a police cruiser which went thru a STOP sign and collided with the plaintiff.  The officer operating the cruiser claimed he first stopped at the STOP sign, then activated lights and then proceeded into the intersection, where he struck the plaintiff's vehicle.  The officer operating the cruiser also claimed that he was responding to a call.  The investigating officer claimed that plaintiff had violated the Pa Vehicle Code and, relying upon photos of vehicular damage, reached an opinion that the plaintiff must have been exceeding the speed limit.  The police accident reconstructionist then assigned 50% of the responsibility for the accident to the plaintiff.  Witnesses contradicted the police narrative, denying that the cruiser stopped or activated its lights and further denied that plaintiff was speeding.  Plaintiff suffered a closed head injury and soft tissue spinal injuries.  Damages were capped by the Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act.  Settled - $390,000.00, 2021
  • Kerth v. Hamot Health Foundation, et al. , 989 F. Supp. 691 (U.S. District Court 1997)
  • Fedorko Properties v. Millcreek, et al., 755 A.2d 118 (Commonwealth Court 1999)
  • In Re: Estate of Miller, 18 A.3d 1163 (Superior Court 2011)
  • Township of Millcreek v. Angela Cres Trust, Bench Trial Seeking Fees Incurred Seeking Fees in Eminent Domain Proceeding, $285,000 Award, 2017
  • Kaiser v. Faulhaber, Erie County, Jury (Hung), 2002
  • Carter v. Caruana, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 2003
  • Pollock v. Quality Markets, Warren County, Jury (Favorable Verdict)
  • Chautauqua County, NY, Jury (Adverse Verdict)
  • Cook, et al. v. Erie County Sportsmen's League, Erie County, Non-Jury (Adverse Verdict), 1998
  • Township of Millcreek v. Angela Cres Trust Estate. Bench trial on client's petition for recovery of attorney fees.  Favorable verdict in the amount of $517,868., 2014
  • Weller v. Hollabaugh, Crawford County, Non-Jury (Favorable Verdict)
  • Hodgins v. Taylor, et al.  Jury Verdict following trial on injuries suffered in motor vehicle accident:  $1,250,000.00.  Pre-trial offer was $55,000., 2015
  • Hofmann v. Miseyka, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 2001
  • Akerly v. Williams, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 2003
  • Burleigh v. Savitz, Warren County, Jury (Favorable Verdict)
  • Erie County Licensed Beverage Association v. Erie County (Equitable Relief, Favorable), 2007
  • Kremm v. D & D Landscaping, Mercer County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 1997
  • Girard Township vs. Lake Erie Community Park:  Lake Erie Community Park (LECP) was a non-profit corporation that had managed a local park since the 1940s when they'd deeded the park to a local municipality.  The municipality sued LECP to take possession of the park.  LECP defended on the notion that the deed was ambiguous and that extraneous evidence demonstrated an intent between LECP the the municipality that LECP would operate the park in perpetuity.  The verdict of the jury was that the deed was not ambiguous. , 2013
  • Widomski v. Gehrlein, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 1999
  • Millville Mutual Insurance v. Hodgins, et al. - Bench Trial in declaratory judgment action to determine scope of coverage owed pursuant to a homeowner's policy with incidental business endorsement. , 2015
  • Litowkin, et al. v. Robie, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 2001
  • Griffith v. Millcreek Township, Bench Trial, Eminent Domain De Facto Taking, 2018
  • Leopold v. Lanager, Erie County, Jury (Adverse Verdict), 2002
  • Sturgis v. May, Erie County, Non-Jury (Favorable Verdict)
  • Askins v. Adams, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 2007
  • Albaugh v. Northwest Medical Center, Venango County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 1997
  • Engel v. Palmer, Erie County, PA: An auto accident case in which our client suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing pars defect.  Pre-trial offer was $18,000.  Verdict was $375,968.32 , 2014
  • Westcott v. Levesque, Erie County, Jury (Favorable Verdict), 1998
  • Angela Cres Trust v. Millcreek Township - Bench Trial to recover expert witness costs in eminent domain contest., 2015
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • President, Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, 2020
  • Immediate Past President, Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, 2021
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, House of Delegates Political Action Committee Member, 2011 – Present
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1997
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania, 1991
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association - President Elect, 2019
  • Pennsylvania, 1991
  • Pennsylvania Association for Justice - Western Caucus Whip (2016 - 2019), 2019
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers - Vice President, 2019
  • Erie County Bar Association - Immediate Past President, 2019
  • Erie County Bar Association - Chair - Civil Litigation Section, 2007- 2008
  • President, Erie County Bar Association, 2018
  • Chairman, Erie County Bar Association Civil Litigation Section, 2012 - 2013
  • Board of Governors, Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers, 2012 – Present
  • Erie County Bar Association, Second Vice-President, 2016
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers - Treasurer, 2016
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association House of Delegates
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Secretary, 2017
  • Pennsylvania Association for Justice, Board of Governors – President’s Club, 1992 – Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Political Action Committee, Zone 7 Representative
  • Erie County Bar Association, Board of Trustees
  • Erie County Bar Association, Civil Litigation Section Chairman, 2016
  • Vice-President, Erie County Bar Association Board of Trustees, 2017
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Judicial Evaluation Commission, Investigative Panel Member, 2007
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Vice-President, 2018
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Governor's Club Member
  • Erie County Bar Association, Board of Trustees, 2012 – Present
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers, Treasurer, 2016
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • New Blossoms New Life Foundation, Board of Directors, 2021
  • Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, Life Fellow, 2012 – Present, 2021
  • Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Attorney - Wills for Heroes, 2020
  • Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Judge/Juror - Mock Jury Trial Challenge, 2021
  • Boys & Girls Club of Erie, Board of Directors
  • Volunteer Attorney, Northwestern Legal Services (1991 - 2021), 2021
Industry Groups:
  • 2020 - 2021
  • President
  • Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers

Office location for Eric John Purchase

2525 West 26th Street
Suite 200
Erie, PA 16506

Phone: 814-580-5017


11 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2023

Top Lists

Top 100: Pennsylvania Super Lawyers: 2020, 2023

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