Heyl Royster

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Heyl Royster





Medical Malpractice Litigation 

Heyl Royster has been a premier professional liability defense law firm in Illinois for decades. The firm name is synonymous with successful medical malpractice decisions from trial and appellate courts throughout the state. Our clients include private physicians, medical groups, medical colleges, hospitals, medical centers, nurses and dentists.  

Our statewide offices have extensive involvement in defending medical malpractice and allied professional liability claims. As a result we have developed contacts with excellent expert witnesses and consultants to assist in the evaluation and trial of cases. Our lawyers are focused on the timely assessment and disposition of claims or lawsuits when that is advisable. However, the extensive trial experience and record of successful verdicts by our lawyers is evidence of our commitment to defending our clients when a verdict is preferable to settlement.  

We encourage our client physicians to work closely with our trial attorneys and expert witnesses in a partnership that develops a solid defense strategy. This philosophy has allowed us to be a leader in the field of defending medical professionals. Our caseload volume not only gives us depth and experience, but efficiency as well. 

Our appellate department is one of the most active in the state. It handles appeals not only from our trial attorneys but also from other firms and clients who retain us. The attorneys in our appellate department have handled numerous professional liability cases of significant precedential importance in Illinois, such as Witherell v. Weimer, 113 Ill. 2d 586 (1987), Fawcett v. Reinertsen, 131 Ill. 2d 380 (1989), Owens v. Stokoe, 115 Ill. 2d 177 (1986), Roach v. Springfield Clinic, 157 Ill. 2d 29 (1993), and Renslow v. Mennonite Hospital, 67 Ill. 2d 348 (1977), to name a few.  

Our firm's long history in the defense of medical malpractice claims has permitted us to develop a cadre of premier trial attorneys with an unmatched record of success. They recognize the unique character of medical malpractice cases and stand ready to assist physicians and other professionals who find themselves involved with litigation.  

Our primary goal is always client satisfaction, as it has been for more than 100 years.

Legal Malpractice Litigation   

Heyl Royster has defended Illinois attorneys for six decades in many significant matters, which have resulted in Illinois Supreme Court decisions beneficially affecting the climate for practicing law in Illinois in cases such as Cripe v. Leiter, 175 Ill. 2d 525 (1997), McLane v. Russell, 131 Ill. 2d 509 (1989), and York v. Stiefel, 99 Ill. 2d 312 (1983). Our seasoned trial attorneys have defended these actions from service of process to final remand. Our Appellate Department is experienced at defending legal malpractice actions at every level of appeal with good results.  

Heyl Royster also has a long history of representing attorneys before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court. Our approach is simple, we treat every one of these matters as the most important matter we will ever handle.  

Accountant and Realtor Malpractice    

Heyl Royster has the legal expertise, staff, and resources to successfully handle complicated and voluminous accountant malpractice cases.  

Heyl Royster has successfully defended real estate brokers against many diverse claims arising out of the sale of real estate. Our Real Estate Practice Group provides excellent technical support for our Professional Liability Litigators handling real estate claims. Few things are so precious to a realtor as his or her reputation. We understand that, and painstakingly prepare the defense of such claims for a successful outcome. 

Design Professionals Litigation

Heyl Royster has represented design professionals in the multitude of claims with which those entities can be involved, including personal injury claims under the former Illinois Structural Work Act as well as the current Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 414 and 343, Construction and Design Defect Claims for Roofs, Curtain Walls, Window and Door Design and Construction, EIFS claims, HVAC systems, etc. We have defended design professionals in claims involving the design of jails, prisons, hospitals, performing arts centers, factories, and manufacturing facilities, sports stadiums, as well as residential and condominium developments.

Heyl Royster understands the unique requirements of representing a design professional in a legal setting and has developed the expertise to work with design professionals in their own element, i.e., examining the concept from the beginning until execution, including contract development, drawings, bidding, construction administration, change orders, punch lists, and termination of the project. We have represented design professionals as designers, construction managers, design builders, and consultants.

Our experience, not only with courtroom litigation, but with arbitration and mediation (as both advocates and arbitrators or mediators), gives Heyl Royster the perspective and experience to develop the best strategy for reaching a just and economical result for our clients.

Representative Clients

American Physicians Assurance

Carle Clinic


Galesburg Cottage Hospital

ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company

Illinois Provider Trust 

The Medical Protective Company


Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

UnityPoint Health – Methodist


  • "An Overview of the Affordable Care Act’s Potential to Mitigate Future Damage Claims," Heyl Royster, Medicolegal Monitor, Fourth Quarter (2015) - Read Article
  • "Attempted Use of Experts to Expand Legal Duties in Personal Injury Cases," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Leading Lawyers Law Day Edition (2014)
  • "Update: Medical Malpractice Caps," American College of Legal Medicine Q&A (2012)
  • "Attorney Liability to Non-Clients" chapter in Attorney's Legal Liability, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2007)
  • "Claim Evaluation" chapter in Medical Malpractice, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2011, 2013, 2018) - Read Excerpt
  • "The Law of Medical Practice in Illinois," West Publishing (2007)
  • "What Every Physician Needs to Know About the Stark Law," Heyl Royster Medicolegal Monitor (2008) - Download Article
  • "Advertising, Consent Forms, and Apparent Agency: A Review of the Illinois Supreme Court's Ruling in York v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center and Some Practice Suggestions," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2007) - Download Article
  • "What Every Litigator Needs to Know About Negligent Credentialing Claims," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2007) - Download Article
  • "Illinois Supreme Court: Attorney Fees and Costs Should Not Be Deducted Before Calculating Amounts Recoverable Under the Health Care Services Lien Act," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2015) - Download Article
  • "Attorney Liability to Non-Clients" chapter in Attorney's Legal Liability, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2012, 2014, 2018)
  • "Illinois Court Narrows Application of Good Samaritan Act Immunity for Physicians," International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter (2013)
  • "Physician Disciplinary Records: TMI?!" IDC Defense Update, Vol. 11, No. 8 (2010) - Download Article
  • "Illinois Supreme Court Rules Against Emergency Room Physicians in Resolving Split Among Appellate Districts Regarding Interpretation of Good Samaritan Act," International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter (2014)
  • "Update: Learned Intermediary Doctrine," American College of Legal Medicine Q&A (2012)
  • "Question: What Are the Results of Pharmacological Errors and How Do They Improve with the Use of Technology?," American College of Legal Medicine Q&A (2011)
  • "What Every Litigator Needs to Know About Protecting Non-Party Patient Privacy Rights in Litigation," Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2007) - Download Article
  • "Defense Update: Professional Liability" (2008)
  • Managing Medical Staff Disability Issues: Liability of Private Hospitals Under ADA Titles I and II," Journal of Health Law (2001)
  • "The Legal Environment of Insurance Malpractice," Arizona Agent (1996)
  • "The Case for Expanded Illinois Insurance Producer Duties," Northern Illinois University Law Review (1996)