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Overview

Pretzel & Stouffer is and has been committed to protecting medical professionals and institutions in the courtroom. We take more cases to a jury verdict than any other Illinois firm of comparable size, and our attorneys routinely prevail in complex, multimillion-dollar cases.

When the volume of healthcare-related litigation ballooned in the 1970s, we were one of the first firms to establish an elite practice dedicated to defending medical practitioners against malpractice and negligence lawsuits. Today, healthcare organizations of every kind rely on us to secure the best possible outcome for their most challenging cases.

As highly experienced trial lawyers, we built a track record that encourages many opponents to voluntarily dismiss cases of dubious liability. As a result, our reputation allows us to negotiate settlements from a position of strength. We analyze each case from the mindset of a trial lawyer, utilizing our extensive courtroom experience to make practical assessments of potential liability and exposure related to claims against our clients.

We have successfully defended high-profile lawsuits against hospitals and virtually every type of healthcare organization, including surgical centers, medical corporations, freestanding medical centers, and clinics. Clients frequently retain our firm to take their cases to trial, particularly when other law firms lack the skill and aggressive nature to do so.

As a premier trial firm, our attorneys have successfully defended hundreds of physicians, surgeons and physician groups practicing in all areas of medical specialty involving every type of liability theory under the law. We have secured jury verdicts for nurses and physician assistants in claims arising from medical treatment received in operating rooms, emergency departments, neonatal intensive care units, and other specialty areas. We are also regularly called upon to defend dentists, endodontists, oral surgeons, and other dental professionals.

Our trial and defense experience extends to complex issues involving psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors in cases involving suicide, the side effects of prescribed medication, psychoanalytic malpractice, dissociation, transference/countertransference, and other issues. We routinely advise clients on compliance and disclosure issues involving the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act (IMHDDCA).

We also have considerable experience representing medical professionals before licensing boards and we are well-versed on the investigatory and disciplinary procedures of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the National Practitioner Data Bank.

Our reputation in the field of medical and healthcare negligence is exceptional. With this distinction and given our extraordinary skills, we consistently deliver positive results for clients faced with potentially damaging claims.

Related News & Results

No Exception for Mental Health Records for Claimed Neurological Injury

  Kayla Condeni, whose practice focuses on medical malpractice matters, explains the First’s District’s holding in Sparger v. Yamini. The First District of the Appellate Court of Illinois recently held in Sparger v. Yamini, 2019 IL App (1st), 180566, that where a plaintiff claims a neurological brain injury, rather than a psychological injury, the plaintiff ...

October 2019 | Firm News

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Victory for Resident Physician in MSRA Case

Brian Henry and Sommer Luzynczyk obtained a jury verdict in favor of a resident physician and an intern who allegedly failed to timely diagnose and treat a necrotizing MRSA skin infection in a nine day old neonate. The plaintiff argued that the defendants failed to appreciate that area of discoloration and redness on the infant. ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Not Guilty Verdict for Orthopedic Surgeon

Brian Henry and Sommer Luzynczyk obtained a jury verdict in favor of an orthopedic surgeon who repaired a fractured ankle and who was criticized by the subsequent treating ankle specialist. The plaintiff argued that the orthopedic surgeon fixated the medial malleolus fragment in such a way that the fragment impinged and closed down the medial ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Partial Summary Judgment for Public Hospital

Suzanne Crowley and Scott Howie, recently obtained a partial summary judgment for their client, a public hospital, on the basis of the Tort Immunity Act. In a case filed in Whiteside County, Illinois, the plaintiffs claimed that the hospital was liable for the negligence of a pathologist who mistakenly diagnosed lung cancer in a patient, ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Not Guilty for Orthopedic Surgeon

Timothy Weaver and Michael A. Barry, recently obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in which the plaintiff claimed that the defendant orthopedic surgeon prescribed excessive and unnecessary antibiotics following surgery for a hand fracture in violation of accepted guidelines causing nine months of severe and debilitating diarrhea due to a Clostridium ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Dismissal for Periodontist

Alan Schumacher and Tom Draths, recently obtained a victory for a periodontist and his practice arising out of claims of professional malpractice. The plaintiff claimed that the periodontist caused or exacerbated a neuropathic pain syndrome which allegedly negatively impacted nearly every aspect of her daily life. After Al and Tom thoroughly examined the plaintiff’s medical ...

July 2019

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Submit Amicus Brief for Illinois Defense Counsel

Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Rich Burgland and Donald Eckler, filed an amicus brief in the Illinois Supreme Court in support of the petitioner in Crim v. Dietrich on behalf of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel. This case deals with whether a party is required to file a post-trial motion to preserve issues decided ...

July 2019 | Firm News

Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Obtain Not Guilty Verdict for Cardiologist

  A Pretzel & Stouffer trial team of Edward Ruff and Mimi Moon obtained a not guilty jury verdict in Cook County, Illinois for a defendant cardiologist who discharged a 61 year-old female patient from a renowned teaching hospital. Twelve hours after being discharged, the patient died from an intra-abdominal hemorrhage. Plaintiff’s allegation against the ...

May 2019

Defense Verdict against Plaintiff Patient/Lawyer

Michael Barry and Timothy Weaver obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in which a lawyer claimed that the defendant orthopedic surgeon prescribed excessive and unnecessary antibiotics following surgery for a hand fracture in violation of widely accepted guidelines and thus caused her 9 months of severe and debilitating diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile infection. ...

March 2019

Trial Victory for Residents and Interns on Timely Diagnosis of MRSA Infection

Brian Henry and Sommer Luzynczyk obtained a jury verdict in favor of a resident physician and an intern who allegedly failed to timely diagnose and treat a necrotizing MRSA skin infection in a nine-day-old neonate. The plaintiff argued that the defendants failed to appreciate that an area of discoloration and redness on the infant’s front and lateral chest ...

March 2019 | Firm News

Defense Verdict for Orthopedic Surgeon’s Ankle Fracture Repair

Brian Henry and Sommer Luzynczyk obtained a jury verdict for an orthopedic surgeon who repaired a fractured ankle and who was criticized by the subsequent treating ankle specialist. The plaintiff argued that the orthopedic surgeon fixated the medial malleolus fragment in such a way that the fragment impinged and closed down the medial clear space which resulted in ...

March 2019

Defense Verdict against Plaintiff Patient/Dentist

Timothy Weaver and Michael Barry recently obtained a defense jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in which a dentist claimed that defendant orthopedic surgeon negligently delayed spine surgery by one day for an acute, repeated low back disc herniation in order to suit his surgical schedule, thereby causing multi-million dollar damages including permanent foot paralysis (drop foot), ...

March 2019

Trial Victory for Pulmonologist

Pretzel & Stouffer partners, Brian T. Henry and Michael A. Barry, successfully defended a pulmonologist against a wrongful death claim by the family of a woman who alleged that the defendant failed to timely diagnose the decedent’s lung cancer, which later spread to the decedent’s brain and caused her death. At trial, the plaintiff contended that given the ...

January 2018 | Firm News

Summary Judgement Won and Upheld Due to Lack of Medical Causation

The Appellate Court of Illinois has affirmed summary judgment for several doctors and professional corporations finding that the trial court properly found no genuine issue of material fact as to whether any of the defendants proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury. Robert Marc Chemers and Scott L. Howie of Pretzel & Stouffer prepared and defended the appellate brief on behalf ...

January 2018 | Firm News

Verdict for Orthopedic Surgeon

Brian Henry recently obtained a jury verdict in favor of an orthopedic surgeon. The plaintiff claimed a failure to timely diagnose a compartment syndrome and that the surgeon did not perform necessary fasciotomies. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician after a short deliberation finding that the standard of care had been ...

June 2016

Trial Victory for Surgeon

Pretzel & Stouffer Partner Brian C. Rocca and Michael A. Barry successfully defended a surgeon against a wrongful death claim by the family of a woman who was admitted to the hospital for respiratory distress, diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, and placed on blood thinners. She developed a rectus sheath hematoma, and Plaintiff alleged that she bled to death because ...

May 2016 | Firm News

Trial Victory for Otolaryngology Surgeon (ENT/HNS)

Pretzel & Stouffer partner Brian C. Rocca and Michael A. Barry successfully defended an ENT surgeon in a case brought by the family of a woman who at the age of 32 underwent sinus and septal surgery and allegedly contracted bacterial meningitis the next day. She was a high-level master’s degreed biomedical engineer who claimed to have permanent brain ...

May 2016 | Firm News

Edward Ruff – Speaker at FDCC 2016 Winter Meeting

Edward B. Ruff, a Partner, and frequent speaker spoke at this year’s FDCC Winter Meeting in San Diego, CA. Ed spoke to conference attendees during two separate meetings. During a plenary session, Ed spoke on the “Fantastic Voyage” of how the use of nanotechnology in the medical arena will impact medical liability claims in the future. ...

March 2016 | Firm News

Not Guilty Jury Verdict in 34 minutes for Orthopaedic Surgeon re ACL surgery

Edward B. Ruff and Michael P. Turiello successfully defended an orthopedic surgeon against a claim of unnecessary ACL surgery. A pre-operative MRI was read by the radiologist as showing an ACL which was taut and intact. The client orthopedic surgeon sent the plaintiff for a course of physical therapy, however, she failed to improve. Based upon his physical ...

March 2016

Pharmacy Defeats Product Liability Claim

Richard Waris and Tom Draths obtained a complete dismissal for their pharmacy client, which was defending against claims of negligence and breach of implied warranty in relation to a product liability prescription drug case. The dismissal came as the customer was involved in a nationwide class action lawsuit regarding the side-effects of the specific medication. Mr. ...

July 2015 | Firm News

Emergency Medicine Seminar

Brian Henry recently taught at the annual Medical Legal Seminar for emergency medicine residents at the University of Chicago Medical Center. This week-long seminar has been held annually for more than 40 years and Mr. Henry has taught for a day at that seminar for close to 30 years.

July 2015 | Firm News

Successful Defense of a Multi-Specialty Medical Group

Brian Henry recently defended a multi-specialty medical group in a trial in Cook County in which an internal medicine physician and clinic nurse were alleged to have improperly instructed an 80-year-old patient regarding a change in her blood thinning medication, for failing to notify her family and visiting nurse of the dosage change and for failing ...

December 2014

Dismissal of Medical Negligence and Tortious Interference Lawsuit Brought by Neurosurgical Resident Against Multi-disciplinary Medical Evaluation Team

Donald J. O’Meara, Jr. obtained dismissal of a multi-count medical negligence lawsuit brought by a plaintiff physician against a Chicago-area internist. The Plaintiff, a neurosurgery resident at an out-of-state medical center, alleged that he underwent an evaluation by a multi-disciplinary medical team comprised of Chicago-area physicians. The medical team had been retained by the Plaintiff’s employer ...

November 2014 | Firm News

Judgment on Behalf of a Hospital Client in a Case of Alleged Apparent Agency

Matt Egan recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of a hospital client in a case of alleged apparent agency. The Arabic-speaking plaintiff patient claimed to not be able to read English, and he had no prior relationship with the independently employed physician who was alleged to be the hospital’s apparent agent. The plaintiff claimed the physician ...

September 2014 | Firm News

Presentation to Eye Care Professionals

Equity Partner Dan Mills was a featured speaker for the Illinois Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (ISEP) and Chicago Ophthalmology Society (COS) Seminar entitled, “Academy Rules of Ethics: A Sword and Shield in Litigation” on March 7, 2014. The presentation involved a mock trial for several hundred physicians.

May 2014 | Firm News