Heyl Royster


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Heyl Royster



John Flodstrom (Office Managing Partner/Shareholder)


John has a practice that is divided between the defense of employers in cases pending before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and the representation of defendants in civil litigation in state and federal court at the trial and appellate court levels. John also has experience in representing defendants in the Illinois Court of Claims.

John's workers' compensation defense practice entails representing employers of all sizes at dockets in Central and Southern Illinois. John appears on a regular basis at the dockets in Herrin, Mt. Vernon, and Urbana. Employers represented by John include numerous electrical utility companies, trucking companies, agri-business enterprises, large and small manufacturing concerns, convenience stores and various retail businesses. John has tried well in excess of 100 cases before various Workers' Compensation Commission Arbitrators, and has also handled numerous appeals at the Commission, Circuit Court, and Appellate Court levels.

John has also defended the interests of employers in ancillary civil matters, including third party claims for contribution and subrogation claims.

John has also represented a wide variety of defendants in tort and other civil claims in Central and Southern Illinois. This work includes defending property owners in premises liability claims, the defense of manufacturers and distributors in products liability matters, and professional liability and construction litigation cases. He has also defended trucking companies, businesses and private individuals in litigation arising from motor vehicle accidents. John has experience in defending claims under the Consumer Fraud Act and has also handled a variety of commercial litigation matters, including breach of contract and breach of warranty claims. John also represents individuals and entities in Civil Rights litigation in Federal Court.

John is a frequent lecturer on workers' compensation issues. He has authored several articles regarding various issues faced by employers and insurers in workers' compensation matters, and has also provided in-house training to employers and insurers.

John has spent his entire legal career with Heyl Royster. He joined the Urbana office in 1986 and was promoted to partner in 1996.

John graduated from the University of Illinois in 1983 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. He attended Northern Illinois University College of Law and received a JD, cum laude, in 1986.

Significant Cases

  • Graneros Unidos S.A. de C.V. v. GSI Group, LLC et al. Defended GSI Group at trial in the U.S. District Court in Urbana, IL in case related to the sale of eight grain bins and other equipment by GSI Group to a Mexican grain company, Graneros Unidos S.A. de C.V. The grain bins were destroyed during Hurricane Lane in September of 2006. The plaintiff claimed the bins were destroyed by winds below the wind rating promised in the contract, that the bins were negligently designed, and that fraudulent misrepresentations and concealments were made during the transaction. The claimed damages included $2.4 million in damaged property, $2.5 million in lost grain, and $5 million of lost profits. There were also claims for punitive damages and attorneys' fees under the Consumer Fraud Act claim. The trial was bifurcated and the jury returned verdict in favor of firm client GSI on the breach of contract and negligence claims. The judge subsequently ruled in favor of defendant GSI on the Consumer Fraud Act and punitive damages claims.
  • Corn Belt Energy v. Schick Represented Corn Belt Energy in a jury trial in DeWitt County in a subrogation claim to recover workers compensation benefits paid to a Corn Belt employee. The case was related to an injury sustained by a Corn Belt lineman who had been working on a utility pole project on a country road. The defendant, a local farmer, was driving a truck towing a large farm implement known as a Crumbler, which struck the lineman. The parties stipulated to the amount of the damages and the jury returned a verdict finding the defendant farmer 80% at fault for the accident.
  • Dunn v. B&O Railroad Successfully upheld the duty of care for motorists in connection with a railroad crossing/wrongful death case, and upheld the strict definition of that duty of care following the adoption of comparative negligence by the Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Walker v. Casey's Retail Co. Defended a premises liability jury trial in Iroquois County for Casey’s General Store. The plaintiff was injured walking into a Casey’s General Store when she pulled the door onto her foot and crushed her left fourth toe. She subsequently received treatment from a podiatrist for a Morton’s neuroma and other conditions of the left foot. Prior to trial, the court granted summary judgment for Casey’s on the claim of specific negligence but denied summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s separate res ipsa loquitor count. At the jury trial, the testimony of the podiatrist was barred because the plaintiff failed to establish causation for the medical conditions diagnosed. After a short deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Casey’s.
  • Ealy v. Industrial Commission 189 Ill. App. 3d 76 (1989) Compensability of slip and fall outside of employer's premises.
  • Goodknight v. Village of Royal 197 Ill. App. 3d 319 (1990) Common law liability of a municipality for injuries sustained due to consumption of alcohol.
  • Buell v. Oakland Fire Protection District 237 Ill. App. 3d 940 (1992) Applicability of Tort Immunity Act in contribution claim against an ambulance service.
  • Pryor v. Industrial Commission 266 Ill. App. 3d 497 (1994) Accident occurring on personal farm owned by president of corporation is not compensable.
  • Fillpot v. Midway Airlines 261 Ill. App. 3d 237 (1994) Airline cannot be liable for slip and fall on ice on tarmac.


  • "Workers' Compensation in Illinois," National Business Institute (1995)

Public Speaking

  • “Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange Workers’ Compensation Group Kick Off Meeting”
    The Illinois Association of Electric Cooperatives 2012
  • “Illinois Workers' Compensation from the Perspective of an Employer's Attorney”
    Apex Physical Therapy Spring Conference 2011
  • “Successful Strategies for Defending Your Claims and Beating Fraud”
    Apex Physical Therapy Spring Conference 2008
  • “Illinois Workers' Compensation Claims: A Defense Lawyers' Perspective”
    The Illinois Association of Electric Coops 2008
  • “Average Weekly Wage Calculation: Section 10”
    Heyl Royster 2006
  • “Insights on Each Workers' Compensation Commission Venue”
    Heyl Royster 2005
  • “Average Weekly Wage Calculation: Section 10”
    Heyl Royster 1997
  • “Resolving the Disputed Nature and Extent Case”
    Heyl Royster 1995
  • “Workers' Compensation in Illinois”
    National Business Institute 1995

Professional Recognition

  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in the area of Workers' Compensation Defense Law. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.
  • Champaign County Pro Bono recognition, 1998 and 2000 

Professional Associations

  • Champaign County Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute 

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit 

Community Involvement

  • Youth sports coach
  • Former President/Board Member of Illinois FC Soccer Club