Sam Hornak recently won summary judgment in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in Fores v. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, a personal injury lawsuit where the Plaintiff allegedly suffered serious personal injuries from falling into a sewer catch basin. The Court granted summary judgment on the basis that the Plaintiff had failed to establish any defect with the catch basin, or any liability on the part of the PWSA. The award of summary judgment spared the PWSA from the expenses of defending the case at trial, or conducting inquiries into the design of tens of thousands of catch basins in the City of Pittsburgh.
Samuel A. HornakSamuel Hornak Clark Hill
Samuel A. Hornak
Samuel A. Hornak is a commercial litigation attorney in Clark Hill’s Pittsburgh office, where he represents corporations, government agencies, and individuals before federal and state courts. Sam’s practice involves a diverse array of legal issues, ranging from contractual disputes to real estate development and tenancy matters, with a specialty in complex issues of governmental and municipal liability. Sam has extensive courtroom and mediation experience, including numerous arguments in favor of dispositive motions, and successful first-chair advocacy through trial verdict and on appeal. He was lead trial and appellate counsel in King v. The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, 139 A.3d 336 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2016), which established the standard for a municipal authority’s inspection of its facilities. From 2015 through 2019, Sam has been selected by his peers as a Pennsylvania SuperLawyers Rising Star. He sits on the Federal Court Section Council of the Allegheny County Bar Association.
Sam is active in the Western Pennsylvania community, and he has long been an advocate for homeless and at-risk children. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Beverly’s Birthdays and a member of the Board of Advisors to the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, both of which provide assistance to children experiencing homelessness in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. As a member of the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board Youth Advisory Committee, Sam assists in the distribution of federal and state workforce development funding among organizations serving young Western Pennsylvanians. Additionally, Sam is a past Board Chairman of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of living and working in Western Pennsylvania.
Sam served as a White House advance representative in the administration of President George W. Bush. As an undergraduate, he worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development in its Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs, and for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.
- “Affordable Care Act’s Medical Loss Ratio Provision: Is There A Private Right Of Action?” Communiqué, November 2012.
- “Health Plans’ Commercial Uncertainties Persist After Supreme Court’s Decision Upholding the Affordable Care Act’s Constitutionality,” Communiqué, August 2012.
- “Six Lessons From Six Months as an Associate,” The Legal Intelligencer, July 2012.
Sam Hornak’s recent argument before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in King v. Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) resulted in a favorable opinion for our client the PWSA. Sam defended the PWSA against a Plaintiff who alleged that the PWSA was responsible for an injury suffered as a result of a rusted sewer grate. The Court reaffirmed the PWSA’s current inspection policies which rely on complaint-based investigation and that the PWSA is not obligated to “patrol the streets” looking for defects in its facilities.