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John Sparling is a partner at Cullen and Dykman and head of the firm’s Construction Litigation department. The Construction Litigation department has experienced unprecedented growth in the nearly three years since the department has been established at Cullen and Dykman now with over 30 attorneys. The Construction Litigation practice includes the New York Labor Law team, the personal injury defense practice in New York and New Jersey, as well as the Construction Defect team and Construction professional liability. Insurance coverage in all aspects of these practice areas is a specialty adding to our excellent leading-edge results and services. John has been achieving outstanding results in the insurance, construction, product liability, and mass tort fields for over 30 years.

John's practice includes representing construction contractors, general contractors, owners, developers, architects, engineers, and other professionals in all aspects of construction litigation. He has significant experience litigating matters involving personal injury, property damage, construction defect, and delay claims, as well as drafting construction contracts, insurance policies, and endorsements. John also regularly represents clients in insurance coverage and declaratory judgment actions and other litigation involving large catastrophic fires, floods, toxic torts (including asbestos, silicone and latex products, and chemicals), construction accidents, product defect, and building claims. He is a frequent lecturer in the industry on insurance coverage, construction, safety, and risk management.

Some of the more-significant construction projects in connection with which John has defended claims include the new Yankee Stadium, the Javits Center Reconstruction, the Queens Plaza Towers, the Hudson Yards Renovation, and the Hudson Yards Spiral, as well as the recent renovations of Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and the Coney Island AQUARIUM and Hospitals. John is also on the Defense Steering Committee of the mass-tort litigation arising out of the World Trade Center 9/11 disaster and the cleanup litigation involving over 10,000 lawsuits.

In product liability cases, prior to becoming a leader in the New York Construction Defense Industry, John was a leading area litigator of product liability claims and continues in that regard. John has successfully defended manufacturers and other clients against claims involving industrial and construction equipment, power press equipment, automobiles, motors, heating and ventilating equipment, aluminum bus bars, chairs and stools, tampons, excavation, construction and industrial machinery, boats and boating equipment, knitting machines, kerosene heaters, traffic signals, street lights, flue gas desulfurization units, forklifts, snowmobiles and snow throwing equipment, printing presses, fire extinguishers, fabric and sleepwear, golf carts, chainsaws, medical devices, and other consumer products.

John has handled some of the largest construction design professional liability claims in New York. His experience with large-exposure design claims at high-profile projects has provided him with an unparalleled opportunity to work with the best professionals in the world. Professional liability insurers have also chosen John to represent their professional insureds, including architects and engineers, as select counsel. John works closely with these professionals to understand their practices and how he can protect their interests when claims are asserted against them.

John has also litigated many cases in state and federal court involving sheeting and shoring defects; improper boundary and property surveying claims; structural, architectural, electrical, mechanical, and design contract disputes; specification defects; and, civil engineering and geotechnical design defect claims. He has successfully represented clients in design claims and professional liability suits in several states, including New York and New Jersey.

Practice Areas



  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York


  • J.D., Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, 1987
  • B.A., St. Joseph’s College, 1984

Professional and Community Activities

  • Member, New York City Bar Association
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Associations
  • Member, Committees on Litigation, Tort and Insurance Practice and Real Property, Probate and Trust Law
  • Member Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Council on Litigation Management

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