Heyl Royster


Richard Hunsaker

Richard Hunsaker

Significant Cases

  • Bowman v. Ottney 2015 IL 119000 Illinois Supreme Court pronouncement that voluntarily dismissed actions which are re-filed do not afford an absolute right to a change of judge where the judge made substantive rulings in the originally filed action. The Supreme Court affirmed the trial judge's decision to deny a Motion for Change of Judge in an action which had been voluntarily dismissed and re-filed.
  • Avichail v. Jones 686 F.3d 548 (8th Cir. 2012), Not guilty verdict for a pediatric nurse in a case of a claimed brain injury following a period of depressed oxygen saturation levels. It was contended that the nurse failed to continuously monitor oxygen saturation values as ordered by the attending surgeon and that as a result, plaintiff sustained a brain injury affecting cognition and behavior. Verdict affirmed on appeal by Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Greenlee v. First National Bank in DeKalb 175 Ill. App. 3d 236 (2d Dist. 1988) Second District Appellate Court holding that national building code provisions (BOCA) adopted by DeKalb County do not apply to a 100 year old farm house.
  • Kennedy v. Crusader Clinic (Jury trial, 2000, Winnebago County) Trial of what was one of the first "false positive" HIV tests reported in Illinois. Plaintiff sought emotional damages for three years where he believed he was HIV positive, contending that the standard of care required a confirmatory retest. One of the principle defenses was the testimony of a former employee of the C.D.C. that shortly after the tests were developed, the tests were found to be very reliable, with low "false positives" rates. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.
  • Lower v. Rucker 217 Ill. App. 3d 1 (2d Dist. 1991) Reversal of trial court's order to produce statement of witness/passenger, who was also an insured under the same policy as the driver. The case, which involved a car/pedestrian collision at high speeds, was later tried before a jury and resulted in a defense verdict. (Jury Trial, 1994, Ogle County)
  • Paszkiewicz v. Microsurgery and Brain Research Institute (U.S. District Court, Eastern Division of Missouri, Jury Trial 2004) Claimed spinal cord injury during back surgery alleged to have resulted from improper use of a surgical support frame and associated medical devices. Jury verdict in favor of the defendants following a two week trial.
  • People v. Fiorini 143 Ill. 2d 318 (1991) Right of contribution in Environmental Protection Act cost recovery cases recognized by Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Pettie v. Williams Brothers Construction, Inc. Refusal to enforce language in an indemnification agreement between a general contractor and the plaintiff's employer. The court's holding and analysis was later overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court in unrelated litigation.
  • Ratermann v. Tri-County Elec. Co-op., Inc. 229 Ill. 2d 658, 897 N.E.2d 263, 325 Ill. Dec. 15 (Jury Trial, Marion County, 2009) Not guilty verdict for electric utility where plaintiffs claimed a power surge resulted in a home fire. Plaintiffs relied upon res ipsa loquitor and plaintiffs' cause and origin expert maintained there was physical evidence of a massive high voltage surge of electricity causing simultaneous fires in two breaker panels.
  • Rix v. Heartland Regional Medical Center No. 5-07-0006 (5th Dist. 2008) Affirmation of dismissal of class action claim brought pursuant to the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act regarding hospital pricing of services provided to uninsured patients.
  • Schur v. Troy FHC (Jury Trial, 2006, Madison County, Verdict affirmed by 5th District Court of Appeals, 2008). Claim that a family practitioner failed to treat unstable angina in a patient complaining of chest pain. The patient had a normal EKG, along with a host of other non-cardiac symptoms but suffered a fatal coronary event the day following his visit with the defendant doctor. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician.
  • USA v. Shanrie v. Henderson Associates Architects Inc. 610 F. Supp. 2d 958 (S.D. Ill. 2009) Dismissal of contribution claim brought by developers and builder against architectural firm for alleged failure to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act. The Southern District of Illinois, in granting the Motion to Dismiss, concluded that the Fair Housing Act does not allow for third-party contribution or indemnity claims.
  • Veltman v. Employers Mutual Casualty (Jury trial, Will County, 1996) In what is believed to be the first spoliation case tried after the Illinois Supreme Court's opinion of Boyd v. Travelers Insurance, a directed verdict was obtained for Employer's Mutual Casualty in connection with the loss of the quick coupler valve which was allegedly defective, causing an 18 years old employee to be blinded after exposure to anhydrous ammonia. The case was tried in two phases. The first phase focused on the product liability allegations against the maker of the quick coupler valve while the second phase revolved around the loss of the evidence and whether that loss impaired the ability of the parties to adequately present their cases.


  • "Claim Evaluation" chapter in Medical Malpractice, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2011, 2013, 2018) - Read Excerpt

Public Speaking

  • “Techniques to Reduce Finger Pointing and Standstill Agreements”
    Heyl Royster’s 33rd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2018
  • “Reptilian Theory: The New Frontier of Trial and Negotiation Practice”
    United States Arbitration & Mediation's Best Practice's Series 2018
  • “Electronic Medical Records: Emerging Issues in Litigation”
    Heyl Royster's 32nd Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2017
  • “EMR vs. ESI: Electronic Medical Records and Illinois Supreme Court Rules Governing the Production of Electronically Stored Information”
    United States Arbitration & Mediation Best Practices Seminar 2017
  • “Illinois Case Law Update”
    IDC / MODL Seminar – St. Louis 2016
  • “Can The Affordable Care Act Make Future Medical Care In Litigation More Affordable?”
    Heyl Royster's 31st Annual Claims Handling Seminar 2016
  • “Legal Ethics in the Age of Electronic Media”
    Illinois Best Practices Seminar, United States Arbitration & Mediation 2016
  • “‘You in the Hot Seat’ – Shoulder Dystocia Issues”
    OB Risk Management Meeting – IRMS 2016
  • “Reduction of Civil Juries in Illinois from 12-6”
    Right to Trial by Jury, ABOTA, 2016
  • “Legal Ethics: Confidentiality & Conflicts of Interest”
    National Business Institute, June 2015
  • “The Use of Special Masters in Discovery Disputes”
    Illinois Best Practices Seminar, United States Arbitration & Mediation, May 2015
  • “Issues Arising in the use of Electronic Medical Records”
    Jackson County, Illinois, May 2015
  • “Advocacy in Mediation – Understanding the Other Side”
    Illinois Best Practices Seminar: Current Issues in Ethics and Mediation Advocacy 2014
  • “'The Politics of Risk Management,' A Difference in Perspective on Medical Malpractice Litigation: Plaintiff vs. Defendant”
    Illinois Hospital Association, IRMS, 28th Annual Risk Managers’ Meeting 2012
  • “Regulations in Personal Injury and Healthcare”
    Illinois State Bar Association 2005
  • “UM/UIM - The End of Stacking Litigation”
    Heyl Royster 2005
  • “Medical Malpractice Case Evaluation”
    Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education 2006
  • “Jury Success Strategies”
    Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education 2006
  • “Defending Emergency Department Claims – What Helps and What Hurts”
    IRMS 2008
  • “Defense of Healthcare Professionals in Litigation Involving Care of Patients in the Emergency Department”
    IRMS, 2009