Chicago Lawyer 2012 Settlement Survey

October 2012

This year’s Settlement Survey stands out for several large, high-profile settlements, including two that top $20 million, in Cook County.

Power Rogers & Smith and Stoller & Garstki handled the largest single settlement, at $25 million. The Cook County case involved a 47-year-old man who suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury and resulting quadriplegia after a semitrailer truck rear-ended his minivan on I-94.

Corboy & Demetrio reached the second-highest settlement in Cook County, attaining $22.5 million for a 40-year-old man who got severely burned after a train derailed and exploded near his van. His 44-year-old wife died and his 17-year-old pregnant daughter became severely burned. The incident also caused the premature birth of his granddaughter, who later died.

Power Rogers & Smith handled the third-highest settlement in Cook County for $18.5 million, and perhaps the most publicized incidents for a 26-year-old woman who suffered brain damage during filming of a “Transformers” movie.

The fourth- and fifth-highest settlements involved medical malpractice cases. In Cook County, Levin & Perconti and Favil David Berns & Associates reached a $17.76 million settlement for a 41-year-old police officer who suffered from quadriplegia after a hospital failed to properly monitor his medical procedure. In Peoria County, Phillips Law Offices and Janssen Law Center handled a $17.5 million settlement for a 36-year-old man who suffered severe injuries when his bowel was perforated during surgery to repair a hernia.

To learn more about the four firms that reached this year’s single largest settlements — Power Rogers & Smith; Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard; Corboy & Demetrio; and Phillips Law Offices — read Roy Strom’s feature story, “Going behind the scenes on large-scale settlements,” on page 18.

There were 100 individual settlements in Illinois of $2 million or more, for a total of $522.74 million in 2012. That shows an uptick from 2011, with last year’s survey reporting 69 settlements with a total dollar amount of $305.9 million.

Six firms reported settlements that totaled $25 million and above:

  • Power Rogers & Smith settled 11 cases for a total of $71.9 million.
  • Clifford Law Offices recovered $61.43 million in 15 cases.
  • Corboy & Demetrio settled 12 cases for a total of $56.88 million.
  • Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard recovered $46.51 million in five cases.
  • Levin & Perconti settled four cases for a total of $28.76 million.
  • Burke Wise Morrissey & Kaveny recovered $26.2 million in four cases.

Notes on the charts

All the settlements reported in the charts that follow were published in the Jury Verdict Reporter or Chicago Daily Law Bulletin between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2012. Exceptions were made for settlements that were reported to the Law Bulletin in time for publication in June but were not published due to space.

For the first time, the survey includes confidential settlements reported by the Jury Verdict Reporter. Those settlements are indicated with an asterisk.

All the settlements are rounded and listed in descending order by millions of dollars. In most cases, plaintiff counsel provided the names of defense attorneys and other case information.

The law firms listed are where the lawyers worked at the time of their settlement.

The charts can be found in the print edition of Chicago Lawyer magazine. Here's how you can pick up a copy. »