Timothy J. Cavanagh
Cavanagh Law Group
TIMOTHY J. CAVANAGH
Timothy J. Cavanagh is a founder and partner of Cavanagh Law Group in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Cavanagh concentrates his practice in plaintiff’s personal injury trial work and handles catastrophic injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. Mr. Cavanagh has been named one of the top 500 leading plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country by Lawdragon Magazine. He was named a Super Lawyer by Key Professional Media, Inc. through the research of Law & Politics in the years 2005–2011. Leading Lawyers Network, a Division of Law Bulletin Publishing Company has named him a Leading Lawyer every year since its inception in 2003 – an honor that is limited to the top 5% of lawyers in Illinois. In 2010, he was named one of the top 100 consumer lawyers in Illinois and was named to the prestigious Irish Legal 100 by The Irish Voice Newspaper. He is a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and an invited member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In 2001, he was selected by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company as one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under the Age of 40 to Watch.” He has appeared on all local television stations and as a guest on “The Today Show” on NBC, “The Abrams Report” on MSNBC, “The O’Reilly Factor” on FOX and the cable television program “Illinois Issues in Review.” He is a frequent lecturer and speaker at legal seminars throughout Illinois.
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio
ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
Illinois State Bar, 1987
The Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation (TLPJ), 1998 to present
“Railroad Crossing Cases” — Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, January 27, 2011
“Making Your Case: Courtroom Visuals” — Law Bulletin Seminars: Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2010
“Negligence (Anatomy of a $13.7 Million Verdict)” — Law Bulletin Seminars: Chicago, Illinois, November 17, 2009
“Damages” — Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, October 12, 2009
“Winning the Verdict and Protecting the Record” —- Law Bulletin Seminars: Chicago, Illinois, May 20, 2009
“Cross-Examination Techniques” — Law Bulletin Seminars: Chicago, Illinois, April 23, 2009
“Trains” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, February 16, 2009
“Winning Strategies (Case Studies)” —- Law Bulletin Seminars; Chicago, Illinois, May 16, 2008
“Uninsured—Underinsured Motorist” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, February 18, 2008
“Railroad v. Vehicle Crashes” – Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE); Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2007
“Key Considerations in Evaluating a Case at the Engagement Stage, Settlement Stage and Trial: Case Studies” – Law Bulletin Seminars; Chicago, Illinois, October 24, 2007
“Governmental Immunity: The current case law” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, February 15, 2005
“Proper Parties to Lawsuit” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, January 9, 2004
“Damages Evidence” – Lorman Education Services; Oak Brook, Illinois, December 17, 2003
“Railroad Evidence” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, October 13, 2003
“Opening and Closing Statements” – Chicago Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, May 8, 2001
“Evidence Seminar” – Moderator, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, May 5, 2001
“The Art of Maximizing Damages” – Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE); Chicago, Illinois, December 13, 2000
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, December 9, 1999
“The Plaintiffs’ Attorney’s View of Current Medical Malpractice Issues” – Hospital Insurance Risk Managers (CHRMS); Chicago, Illinois, May 5, 1999
“Illinois Issues in Review” – Television program panelist; Chicago, Illinois, February 19, 1999
“Trial Techniques” – Moderator – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, January 9, 1999
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, December 10, 1998
“Aggravation of a Pre-Existing Condition – Plaintiff’s View” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Chicago, Illinois, May 9, 1998
“Arbitration” – Chicago Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, January 22, 1998
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, December 11, 1997
“Trial Objections and Effectively Responding to Objections” – Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, December 4, 1997
“Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, September 6, 1997
“Jury Deliberations and After the Verdict” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, May 3, 1997
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, December 12, 1996
“Trial Techniques” – Program Planning Chair – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, October 14, 1996
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, May 31, 1996
”Civil Pre-Trial Practice Seminar “Slimming Down” – Illinois Trial Lawyer Association; Springfield, Illinois, February 3, 1996
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, November 30, 1995
“Life Before and After House Bill 20 – Premises Liability Reforms” – Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Chicago, Illinois, May 6, 1995
“A Plaintiff’s Counsel’s Perspective on Joint & Several Liability and Section 2-1117” – Chicago Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, January 25, 1995
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, December 2, 1994
“Litigating a Civil Case in Cook County” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, November 11, 1993
“Public Service” – Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago, Illinois, November 5, 1992
“Section 2-1117: Modified Joint and Several Liability in Illinois”
“Supreme Court Hands Victory to Railroad Industry in Crossing Case”
1990 – Present
HONORS AND AWARDS
John Carroll University – “Community Service Award;” December 12, 1999
Law Bulletin Publishing Company – “40 Illinois Attorneys Under the Age of 40 to Watch”; 2001
John Carroll University – “Making a Difference Award;” 2001
Super Lawyers – 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Leading Lawyers – 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
LawDragon Magazine – 2007 – Mr. Cavanagh was named one of the top 500 plaintiff attorneys in the country by LawDragon Magazine (www.LawDragon.com)
In 2010, Mr. Cavanagh was named to the Board of Regents of the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls (www.MercyHome.org)
The Irish Voice Newspaper – Irish Legal 100, 2010
REPRESENTATIVE PERSONAL VERDICTS/AWARDS
Czapski v. Maher
On April 20, 2009, Tim Cavanagh obtained a $13.7 million verdict on behalf of the Estate of Roger Czapski against Christopher Maher arising from a deadly automobile crash. After a two week long trial and 3 hours of deliberation, the jury returned the verdict finding Maher was 98% responsible for the wrongful death of Czapski.
On August 4, 2004, Czapski, age 22, was a salesman for Motor Werks of Barrington, Inc. That afternoon, Maher, a 20 year old from Inverness, Illinois, took a BMW 530i on a test drive, with Czapski riding as the front seat passenger and Maher’s two friends seated in the back seat. The BMW violently collided with a left turning vehicle at the intersection of Algonquin Road and Willow Creek Church Drive. The BMW then ricocheted into a light post and exploded on impact.
At trial, witnesses to the collision, including the two back seat passengers in the BMW, testified that the BMW was traveling at 95 mph at the time of impact. The posted speed limit on Algonquin Road is 45 mph. Czapski was pronounced dead at the scene.
Czapski is survived by his father, mother and brother. At the time of his death, Czapski was living in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He graduated from Lane Tech College Preparatory High School in Chicago, Illinois on the honor roll and attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana for a brief time. He worked as a Motor Werks salesman for approximately 18 months before his death.
Santillana v. City of Chicago and Jesus Gomez
On December 12, 2003, Cook County Circuit Court Jury awarded Elizabeth Santillana $2 million in a hotly disputed wrongful death case. The case arose out of a “police pursuit” on July 18, 2000 that resulted in Dalia Santillana’s death when her vehicle was struck by a car driven by a man fleeing a Chicago Police Department squad car engaged in a “police pursuit.” Evidence was presented that the police officers “rammed” the Gomez vehicle causing it to lose control and cross the center line. City of Chicago rules on “police pursuits” outlined in General Order 97-3 specifically prohibit “ramming” by squad cars. A Cook County jury rejected the City of Chicago’s position that it was not engaged in the pursuit at the time of the fatal collision. Because the City was found 25% at fault, it is responsible for the entire verdict amount. The City declined to make a settlement offer prior to trial.
Velarde v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., et. al. Verdict: $21,310,406
On February 8, 2002, Cook County Circuit Court Jury awarded Fidel and Francisca Velarde a total of $21,310,406.65 for injuries suffered in a January 9, 2001 car train collision. Fidel, age 73, and Francisca, age 73, were passengers of an SUV struck by an 8 million pound train at 50 miles per hour. The crossing gates and lights were not working and the dispatcher erroneously told the train crew that the crossing was protected. The plaintiffs suffered traumatic brain injuries in the collision. The total award to the Velardes and their daughter, who was the driver of the car, totaled over $54 million–a state record in Illinois for a railroad crossing collision case.
Roy v. Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency
Webb v. Dikcis Cab Company
The case arose from a two-vehicle collision in which an uninsured drunk driver ran a red light and struck a cab in which the plaintiff was a passenger. Webb suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in his death. Webb, who had AIDS, had only months to live. The jury found the cab company twenty-five percent responsible for its driver’s decision to pull into the intersection without observing the approaching speeding car. The jury verdict resulted in joint and several liability against the cab company.
Coglianese v. Cardiovascular Renal Consultants
Medical Malpractice – Adult female patient died at Blue Island Hospital from sepsis after doctors failed to detect a perforated colon despite a history of a recent colonoscopy and x-ray films that demonstrated free air. Case settled pre-trial for $2,000,000.00 against the radiologist.
Catala v. City of Chicago
Premises Liability – Adult female fell due to a sinkhole in the crosswalk at the intersection of Belmont and Western Avenues, sustaining a spiral fracture of her femur requiring several surgeries. The City of Chicago which owned and maintained the crosswalk and street denied that it had any notice of the sinkhole.
Tidwell v. Oh
A seventeen year-old girl was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a one-car crash in Colorado. The plaintiff sustained a de-gloving injury to her arm requiring surgery. The verdict was the highest reported verdict in the history of Morgan County, Colorado.
Gost v. Finney
A sixteen year-old girl was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a two-car crash. The plaintiff sustained a back injury requiring medical treatment which cost eighteen hundred dollars.
Imhof v. Loyola University Medical Center $1,450,000
This wrongful death case arises after a man was brought to Loyola for burn injuries but died when the doctors failed to treat him correctly.
Koning v. Morris $1,000,000
A man drove his Jaguar into a Starbucks Coffee shop striking a table occupied by two women. One of the women suffered neck and shoulder injuries.
Brown v. Seaberry $1,000,000
DeJule v. Solberg $1,000,000
A young man suffered neck injury in car crash leading to cervical fusion surgery.
Shafer v. Wolin-Levin $3,000,000
A 32 year old woman suffered an electrical shock in her kitchen because the landlord improperly wired an electrical outlet. The woman developed four level complex regional pain syndrome resulting in a surgery implanting a pain device in her back. The case settled on the eve of trial for $3 million.
Vlachos v. Hungerford, et al. $14,000,000
The family of a 5-year-old Chicago boy was awarded $14 million in a settlement after he suffered a severe brain injury during birth after hospital staff members allegedly mixed up his heart rate with his mother’s pulse. The malpractice complaint against Northwestern Memorial Hospital contended the baby was not breathing when he was born and that emergency staffers were not prepared to resuscitate him because of the monitoring error. The 7-minute lapse without oxygen caused the child to suffer from cerebral palsy, leaving his arms and legs paralyzed, according to the complaint.
Barnes v. Berry Electric Contracting Company, Inc., et al. $4,100,000
A seventy year old grandmother was driving to the store when her vehicle was broadsided by a truck driven by an employee of Dennis Svec, an employee of Berry Electric. Svec was lost and looking at his Blackberry device when his vehicle entered the intersection. Witnesses testified that Svec ran the red light although one witness disagreed. Mrs. Barnes suffered multiple traumatic injuries including a C4-5 distraction injury and dura tears requiring anterior and posterior fusion surgeries, multiple pelvic fractures requiring external fixation surgery, punctured heart, rib fractures, closed head injury and cranial nerve palsy. The case settled immediately before opening statements one year to the day of the crash. The case was advanced to trial after Mr. Cavanagh took over 30 depositions in twelve months.
Munoz v. Mack Trucks, et al. $3,000,000
A thirty-two year old employee at Waste Management suffered amputation of leg below the knee after his leg was caught in between the arm and cab of a dump truck. A product liability lawsuit was filed alleging that the truck was designed defectively because the pinch point was not protected.
Hopkins v. Westlake Hospital $7,500,000
A forty-two year old mother of three presented at emergency room with chest pain. The hospital staff failed to provide an EKG immediately and provided a drug that sped up the heart. Plaintiff suffered a myocardial infarction and suffered brain damage.
Taylor v. Salvation Army $4,500,000
In October, 2003, Mr. Cavanagh obtained a $4.5 Million wrongful death settlement for the family of a woman killed in a collision between a van and a semi tractor-trailer. The case settled immediately prior to jury selection after lengthy discovery.
Ajmeri v. Illinois Central Railroad Company $9,100,000
Passenger of car injured when train and car collided on March 9, 1998. Case settled on third day of trial for state record amount according to the Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter.
Cottrell v. State Farm Automobile Insurance Company $1,200,000
Seventeen year old high school honor student killed in one-vehicle crash in McHenry County, Illinois. The case settled for the full amount of the insurance policies available on the vehicle after State Farm Automobile Insurance Company was sued for spoliation of evidence.
McGill v. G.G. Connections, Inc. $1,000,000
Mother and son were killed in a two-vehicle collision when a truck driver ran a red light. The case settled for the full limits of the trucking companies’ insurance policy.
Wiers v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital,et al. $2,500,000
On November 30, 2003, a pregnant mother presented to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to induce labor and delivery. The attending obstetrician performed a forceps delivery that we alleged caused a brain hemorrhage to the newborn. The child was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy and associated physical and cognitive deficits. The case settled during trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County.