Daniel B. Mills
Recognition and Appointments
Illinois Super Lawyers®, 2007-2011
Honored Lifetime Member of the National Registry of Who’s Who in America
Managing Editor, Law Review, Northern Illinois University College of Law
Northern Illinois University, J.D. 1989
Eastern Illinois University, B.S. in Business 1985
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Federal Court Trial Bar
Illinois State Bar
Illinois State Bar Association
Cook County Bar Association
DuPage County Bar Association
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
American Health Lawyers Association
Chicago Healthcare Risk Management Society
Wetzel v. Neurosurgeon
The plaintiff alleged that the neurosurgeon performed spine surgery at the wrong level, requiring a second, more extensive operation and causing permanent injury. The subsequent treating physician and plaintiff’s retained expert testified that operating at the wrong level was per se negligence. Dan was able to convince the jury that the patient’s rare and unusual anatomy led to the surgery being performed one level below the target. The jury returned a not guilty verdict after approximately one hour of deliberations. This is believed to be the first reported not guilty award for a wrong level surgery in Cook County.
Estate of Taylor v. University medical center
Dan was asked to defend the hospital, staff neonatologist and neonatal nurse in this case, which alleged that the improper use of an ambulatory ventilation device resulted in bilateral lung damage and the death of a 3-day-old child. The case was tried on the theory of res ipsa loquitur, arguing that the sudden death of the child could only have occurred due to negligence. After two days of difficult deliberations, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in favor of Dan’s clients.
Estate of Wold v. Rheumatologist
This wrongful death case involved a failure to diagnose cancer in a 50-year-old wife and mother. The defendant physician had identified a mass on her knee several years earlier that the plaintiff claimed was actually a rare form of cancer, a leiomyosarcoma. Dan secured a not guilty verdict for all the defendants.
Estate of Pekala v. Gynecologic surgeon
One of the premier plaintiff law firms filed this suit, alleging the gynecological surgery performed by the defendant physician was not a recognized surgery anywhere in the United States. Dan traveled to Europe to obtain the evidence deposition of the physician that developed the technique at issue and verified the procedure was well recognized around the world. The jury returned a not guilty verdict, finding the procedure was reasonable and appropriate.
U.S.A. v. Konstant Products
Dan was part of a Pretzel & Stouffer defense team that successfully defended a client against a government recovery for the loss of goods used for a national school lunch program. The goods were lost after a massive fire at a refrigerated storage facility. Dan was asked to help prove a malfunctioning fork lift was the cause of the fire, while one of his partners simultaneously defended a rack storage designer against a claim that the product did not properly withstand the fire. The defense team obtained a not guilty verdict in federal district court in Wisconsin.
Heinbockel v. Airline
An accident on the tarmac at O’Hare Airport caused the plaintiff’s severe leg fracture, ultimately requiring the plaintiff to undergo knee replacement surgery. Dan was asked to defend the airline at trial and was able to successfully demonstrate that the accident was unavoidable, resulting in a directed verdict after completion of closing arguments. The directed verdict was upheld on appeal.