Attorneys

Matthew S. Sullivan

msullivan@whiteandallen.com

Matthew was born in Harrisonburg, Va. His primary area of practice is civil litigation and personal injury. Matt earned his undergraduate degree (B.S., magna cum laude) in administration of justice and public affairs in 1990, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. He attended Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University where he was the Wiggins Scholar, Editor-in-Chief of the Campbell Law Review, Paul Dennis Award Recipient, and inducted into the International Order of Barristers. Matt received his Juris Doctor (magna cum laude) in 1995.

Matt has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Product Liability Litigation since 2010 and has been selected by his peers for North Carolina Business Magazine Legal Elite for Litigation since 2013. About three percent of the State's attorneys are chosen as best practitioners, according to magazine officials. Matt is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest achievement rating. According to Martindale-Hubbell's website, an AV Preeminent rating is a significant rating accomplishment and a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence. Sullivan was recently selected to the 2017 North Carolina Super Lawyers list, an honor reserved for attorneys who exhibit  excellence in practice.

Matt is licensed to practice before all North Carolina State Courts, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the North Carolina and American Bar Associations, the Eighth Judicial District Bar Association, the Lenoir County Bar Association (president 1997-1998), the North Carolina Advocates for Justice (member of Board of Governors), and The Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court.

Matt's practice is concentrated in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, tractor-trailer accidents, industrial accidents, wrongful death, products liability and product failures, workers' compensation, commercial and general civil litigation. 

Matt, married with three children, and his family attend Bethel Free Will Baptist Church. He has served on the board of directors of the Lenoir Committee of 100 and has been involved in the United Way, Kinston Evening Rotary and the Kinston-Lenoir Chamber of Commerce. Matt has served on the North Carolina Advocates of Justice, Board of Governors (2008-2014).

Matt continues his longtime love of athletics as a coach of the North Carolina Rawlings Prospects travel baseball team; earning a 1st degree black belt in jujitsu; hunting, fishing and shooting sports. He played collegiate baseball at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1986 through 1988.

Recent Cases of Note:

  • Industrial Accidents and Claims: Represented as co-lead counsel numerous families and workers that were injured or killed in an industrial plant explosion that occurred at West Pharmaceutical Services Plant on January 29, 2003. Obtained over $43 million dollars in compensation for the families and workers.
  • Tractor-Trailer and Commercial Vehicles: Represented victims and families where drivers or passengers were killed or seriously injured in cases involved with tractor-trailers and other commercial style vehicles. Cases have involved night time collisions, backing accidents, failing to warn approaching motorists, failure to follow safety guidelines and practices, intersection collisions, and tractor-trailer and commercial vehicles leaving the roadway and striking pedestrians. 
  • Motor Vehicles: Represented victims and families of drivers and passengers killed in motor vehicle accidents ranging from drinking and driving cases, to distracted driving, speeding, intersection collisions and pass and turn claims.
  • Products Liability: Represented families and victims in accidents that seriously injured or killed innocent victims ranging from workplace accidents, to explosions, to products and materials used in public facilities, such as restaurants, and industrial settings, such as yard and tree maintenance equipment.
  • Premise Liability: Represented victims who were injured or killed as the result of conduct of others on property owned or controlled by a third party who failed to adhere to certain safety guidelines. Cases have involved the over-service of alcohol, slip and fall claims, and inadequate security.
  • Recreational Vehicles: Represented victims who were seriously injured from the use of or another person's failure to follow certain safety guidelines for the use of recreational vehicles or vessels. Cases have involved ATV's, large commercial fishing vessels and charters, jet skis, and golf carts.
  • Other cases of note:
    • Bad Faith Refusal to Settle: Successfully protected a client insured's personal assets, provided for the cancellation of an excess verdict and obtained compensation on behalf of the client against an insurance carrier, when the insurance carrier refused to resolve an underlying liability action against the client within the insurance policy limits. 
    • Construction Cases: Successfully represented several clients in obtaining substantial payment for work performed at a large scale coastal development that involved the developer, homeowners' association, and 95 individual owners of property.
    • Faulty Construction: Obtained a 2.2 million dollar judgment related to the faulty construction of a sports fishing yacht.