Oliva named top woman in business

W.H. attorney is one of 50 chosen by L.I. Business News


Long Island Business News recently named Linda Oliva, 49, a medical malpractice attorney and a West Hempstead resident for the past 13 years, one of Long Island’s Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business at a gala at the Crest Hollow Country Club on Oct. 17.

“It’s a great honor,” said Oliva, who works for Pegalis & Erickson LLC in Lake Success. “I was humbled to be around such an amazing group of women.”

For over 20 years, Oliva has represented patients in medical negligence cases, ranging from birth injuries to doctors’ failure to diagnose and treat breast cancer. She had the fourth-highest number of medical malpractice verdicts in New York State last year, when she received the Courage Award from the Nassau County Bar Association.

Through her work at Pegalis and Erickson — which has been recognized as one of the premier medical malpractice firms in New York state — Oliva, who earned a law degree at St. John’s, has represented many of the firm’s Latino clients, educating them about their legal rights in malpractice cases.

She has also worked with the West Hempstead Community Support and Civic Association, the Nassau County Bar Association, the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers’ Association, the American Association for Justice and the Long Island Women’s Agenda, and has served as corresponding secretary for the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association.

Oliva has advocated for patient awareness for the Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition and the statewide Breast Cancer Hotline at Adelphi University, for which she helped organize an annual Creative Cups event that encourages participants to design their own bra artwork to raise money for breast cancer research.

She also teaches students about the law twice a month at Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempstead, as part of its growing mentoring program.

Oliva thanked her husband, James O’Hara, and her colleagues for supporting her over the course of her career.