Heyl Royster


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Heyl Royster



Robert Bennett (Partner)


After law school, Rob served as a judicial clerk from 1993 to 1995 for the Honorable Michael McCuskey, Justice of the Appellate Court of Illinois. He came to Heyl Royster in 2001 after spending five years with another defense litigation firm. Rob concentrates his practice in the defense of matters involving complex medical or legal issues, or catastrophic injuries. He is a member of the Professional Liability Practice Group and is actively involved in defending the firm's client physicians, hospitals, nurses, health care providers and lawyers. Rob also has a significant practice in defending construction accident cases and motor vehicle injury claims.

Much of Rob's litigation experience includes the defense of medical and hospital cases. He has personally been involved in defending over 200 such cases. He is significantly involved in the selection of defense experts as well as guiding such cases through all phases of the discovery process. He is actively involved in party and expert depositions, and in devising discovery and trial strategies. An increasing number of his matters are against Chicago and national counsel and involve significant damage claims.

In recent years, Rob has also focused on the defense of catastrophic accident cases (involving significant medical issues or serious personal injuries or death) and insurance coverage issues. He has written and lectured on construction litigation for Heyl Royster's claims management seminars. He has also written on legal malpractice issues for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education.

Significant Cases

  • Involvement in discovery and mediation of three cases involving birth trauma to children, involving discovery on numerous medical disciplines including placental pathology, pediatric neuroradiology, pediatric pulmonology, rehabilitation medicine, obstetrics, and neonatology.
  • Mary L. Ubaudi v. William G. Humphrey, Rowe Construction Co., Division of R.A. Cullinan & Son, Inc., and Mazda Motor of America, Inc. Discovery and mediation involving severe post-motor vehicle accident injuries including fractured pelvis, bilateral fractured humeri, lung contusions and infection with coma, settled following lengthy discovery
  • Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity v. Sound and Signal Electronics, William Murphy, individually and d/b/a Sound and Signal Electronics, SecurityLink, Inc. and SecurityLink, Inc., f/k/a SecurityLink from Ameritech f/k/a Ameritech Monitoring Services, Inc., and ADT Security Services Inc., and TYCO International (US) Inc. Mediation of large property damage claim involving destruction of fraternity house fire; represented fire alarm monitoring company at mediation and resolved case following lengthy discovery and mediation/settlement discussions for five months. 
  • Yacko v. Curtis 339 Ill. App. 3d 299 (4th Dist. 2003) Upholding insurer's cancellation of automobile insurance policy for nonpayment.
  • Bush v. Catholic Diocese of Peoria 351 Ill. App. 3d 588 (3d Dist. 2004) Appellate Court affirmed trial court's determination that Dioceses proposed protective order was appropriate. The protective order barred plaintiff from disseminating information disclosed in discovery; Appellate Court held that parties have no First Amendment free speech right to divulge to others information disclosed in discovery.
  • State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. Board of Governors 50 Ill. Ct. Cl. 304 (1997) Granting summary judgment to insurer for reimbursement of costs and fees incurred in defending parties' insured against libel claim.
  • Barrick v. Grimes 308 Ill. App. 3d 306 (4th Dist. 1999) Affirming jury verdict for truck driver in vehicular collision lawsuit.
  • Helfers-Beitz v. Degleman 406 Ill. App. 3d 264, 939 N.E.2d 1087 (3d Dist. 2010) Hospital not responsible for physician's acts of sexual misconduct nor for negligent hiring, credentialing or retention where hospital made reasonable inquiry.


  • "Defenses to Product Liability" chapter in Illinois Product Liability Practice, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education in each handbook since 1980 (2009)
  • "Attorney Liability to Non-Clients" chapter in Attorney's Legal Liability, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2007)

Public Speaking

  • “Construction Litigation Update”
    Heyl Royster 2008
  • “Medical Records”
    Lorman Seminars 2006

Professional Recognition

  • Selected as a Leading Lawyer in Medical Malpractice Defense Law, Professional Malpractice Defense:  Incl. Legal/Technical/Financial. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are named as Leading Lawyers.

Professional Associations

  • Abraham Lincoln Court
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Peoria County Bar Association
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel 

Court Admissions

  • State Courts of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit