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Heyl Royster



David Sinn (Senior Counsel)

Dave was the chair of our statewide Professional Liability Practice Group from 1992 to 2017 and has practiced at Heyl Royster's Peoria office since 1979. Prior to that he was in private practice in Peoria for three years. He became a partner at Heyl Royster in 1985. He concentrates on the defense of physicians, nurses, hospitals, attorneys, and law firms in professional liability litigation. He also represents healthcare professionals before the Illinois Dept. of Professional Regulation and legal professionals before the ARDC.

With extensive litigation and trial experience, Dave has personally defended more than 800 medical and hospital cases and more than 80 legal malpractice cases taking a significant number to verdict. His background includes an undergraduate degree in pre-medicine and three years practice as one of Illinois' first licensed paramedics. This training and practical experience gives him an enhanced understanding of medical issues presented in professional liability litigation.

There are probably few trial attorneys in Illinois who have tried to verdict as many medical malpractice cases as Dave. Over 91 percent of his jury verdicts have been for the defendant healthcare professional in spite of the fact that most of his opponents have been among the leading trial attorneys in Illinois. Since most of his verdicts have been in wrongful death cases he has succeeded in the face of mostly multi-million dollar jury demands.

Dave has published numerous chapters for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education on the defense of medical and legal malpractice claims. These handbooks are one of the primary sources of information used by Illinois attorneys who practice in the area of professional liability. Dave is a frequent lecturer at Grand Rounds and various medical society meetings on various topics in professional liability. Dave has been designated one of the "Leading Lawyers" in Illinois as a result of a survey of Illinois lawyers and judges conducted by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Significant Cases

  • Marcin v. Kipfer 117 Ill. App. 3d 1065 Appellate Court reversed defense verdict holding former patient could not sit as juror.
  • Rush v. Hamdy 255 Ill. App. 3d 352 Defense verdict for gastroenterologist who perforated a patient's esophagus when treating a Schatzki's Ring with an achalasia balloon.
  • Lee v. E.R., M.D. Wrongful death defense verdict in retained sponge in heart of 38 year-old policeman. 
  • Binegar v. F.G., M.D. Defense verdict in wrongful death of 38 year-old during cardiac rehab. 
  • Madsen v. H.L., M.D. Defense verdict in wrongful death from post colonoscopy bowel perforation.
  • Stinger v. R.W., M.D. Defense verdict in wrongful death of policeman from Lidocaine overdose.
  • Welch v. R.G., M.D. Defense verdict in severe brachial plexus injury from streptokinase catheter. 
  • Pemble v. R.G., M.D. Defense verdict in wrongful death of father of 4 from bowel infarction and ischemic mesenteric artery post lap cholecystectomy. 
  • Watters v. P.S., M.D. Defense verdict in wrongful death of 53 year-old Illinois high school counselor of the year and father of three from post CABG pulmonary embolism.
  • Kendrick v. G.S., M.D. Defense verdict in wrongful death post lung lobe resection.
  • Heinemeier v. J.S., M.D. Defense verdict in wrongful death of 53 year-old mother post gastric bypass surgery.
  • White v. G.L., M.D. Defense verdict in failed hip pinning resulting in total hip replacement and permanent pain and limp.


  • Columnist on various medico-legal issues, Medicolegal Monitor, published quarterly by HRVA (1996-2008)
  • "Attorney Liability to Non-Clients" chapter in Attorney's Legal Liability, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2007)

Public Speaking

  • “A Quick Guide to Millennials as Jurors”
    Heyl Royster’s 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2018
  • “Annual Speaker at Grand-Rounds on Medico-Legal Issues”
    OSF-St. Francis, Peoria
  • “Amendment to Illinois Wrongful Death Act Allowing Grief and Sorrow Recovery”
    Civil Practice Update Seminar, Peoria County Bar Assoc, Peoria, Illinois 2008

Professional Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.
  • Named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list (2016 and 2019). The Super Lawyers selection process is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Only five percent of the lawyers in each state earn this designation.
  • Meritorious Service Award by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Certificate of Appreciation from the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education

Professional Associations

  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (past co-chair of Professional Liability Committee)
  • Abraham Lincoln Court (Barrister Emeritus)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Peoria County Bar Association 

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois and Washington
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh and Eighth Circuits 

Community Involvement

  • Elder, Trustee, Adult Sunday School Teacher, First Christian Church of Peoria - 1976 to present
  • Board of Directors, Heartland Water Resources Council - 2002 to present
  • Board of Directors, leading acting roles, Cornstock Theater and Peoria Players - 1986 to present
  • Committee on Human Subjects in Research, Bradley University Internal Review Board - 2005 to present
  • United Way Pillars Society - 2002 to present
  • United States Army Reserve, 475th Field Artillery - 1970-1976
  • United States Army, 389th Civil Affairs - 1973-1976