3Stephen M. PassenChicago(312) 527-4500spassen@passenlaw.comspassen@passenlaw.comPassen & Powellwww.passenlaw.comwww.passenlaw.compassenstephen.jpgPersonal Injury Law: GeneralPersonal Injury Law: Professional MalpracticePersonal Injury Plaintiff's Law: Product LiabilityCatastrophic Personal InjuryBrain InjuriesAuto, Truck & Airplane AccidentsWrongful DeathMedical Malpractice
Stephen M. Passenspassen@passenlaw.com
Passen & Powellhttp://www.passenlaw.com
1 E Wacker Dr Ste 1750
Chicago IL 60601
Ph.(312) 527-4500 Fx.(312) 527-4435Leading Lawyers Magazine story about this lawyer
Recommended by peers in:    Extensive Experience in:
Personal Injury Law: General    Catastrophic Personal Injury
Personal Injury Law: Professional Malpractice    Brain Injuries
Personal Injury Plaintiff's Law: Product Liability     Auto, Truck & Airplane Accidents
    Wrongful Death
    Medical Malpractice
County:  Cook
Litigator:  Yes

Practice Description:  
Mr. Passen founded Passen Law Group in 1977, and since then has focused exclusively on representing individuals and families in complex personal injury and wrongful death cases.

He regularly handles cases involving severe personal injuries or death caused by transportation negligence, medical malpractice, premises liability, and product liability. Over the years, he has consistently secured substantial verdicts and settlements for personal injury victims and their families.

In Mr. Passen's most recent high-profile jury trial, a Cook County jury returned a verdict of $10.9 million against a concrete sealer manufacturer, and in favor of a man who was severely burned in a household explosion while using the product to seal his basement floor.

Notable Cases and Results:  
$19 million - Verdict to Brain Injured Boy: A 9-year-old boy was helping move a TV cart on wheels in a parochial school classroom. The cart contained a 27-inch TV bolted into the base of the stand. The TV cart fell, striking the boy’s head resulting in brain injury. He now has left sided weakness and some cognitive dysfunction. This verdict was recognized as one of the "Top 100 Verdicts" that year by the National Law Journal.

$15 million - Trucking Settlement: A 56-year-old man was killed and his 54-year-old wife suffered right sided paralysis when their car was struck in the rear by a semi tractor trailer on a Chicago highway. The wife is now partially paralyzed on her right side and has cognitive limitations involving areas of concentration, attention, memory and performing multiple tasks.

$10.9 million - Verdict in Home Explosion: A Cook County, Illinois, jury returned a verdict of $10,875,622 against a concrete sealer manufacturer, and in favor of a man who was severely burned in a household explosion while using the product to seal his basement floor. Concrete sealer vapors migrated across the basement floor to a utility room where they were ignited by a water heater pilot light, causing a large explosion.

$4.2 million - Burn Injury / Explosion: The case involved a worker who sustained severe burn injuries from an explosion occurring while repairing a gasoline storage tanker.

$4 million - Medical Malpractice / Death: The case involved the death of a 41-year-old mother of three children who presented to the hospital with a life threatening blood condition known as thrombotic thrombocytopenia which should have been recognized and immediately treated by therapy known as plasma pheresis which, if administrated in a timely matter, would have likely saved her life.

$3 million - Pedestrian / CTA Bus Accident: After a week of trial, Passen Law Group was able to secure a $3 million settlement for a man struck by a CTA bus while attempting to cross the street in front of the United Center; he consequently sustained a traumatic brain injury.

$2.25 million - Verdict in Chicago Police Chase: The case involved a Wrongful Death action on behalf of the estate of a 14-year-old child struck while crossing 71st Street by a Chicago Police Department vehicle, which was traveling in the wrong lane without its lights or siren activated. The Chicago Police Officer was allegedly in a police chase responding to a crime scene. The case was initially dismissed on summary judgment by the trial court based on sovereign immunity. Mr. Passen won a reversal in the Illinois appellate court, and the case subsequently settled for $2.25 million.

$1.8 million - Traumatic Brain Injury: The case involved an ironworker who fell from an “I” beam at a Chicago construction site resulting in a Traumatic Brain Injury.

$1.74 million - Verdict in Premises Liability / Death: The case involved a Wrongful Death and Premises Liability action against the landowner and the gas company in San Diego, Califonia. Our client’s death was caused by carbon dioxide asphyxiation from a faulty wall heater in his apartment.

$1.7 million - Medical Malpractice / Death: The case involved a wife (and mother of two children) who was prescribed the wrong medication to treat an asthmatic condition, which caused her death. Passen Law Group reached a $1.7 million settlement in this Wrongful Death / Medical Malpractice action.

$1.5 million - Iron Worker Brain Damage: The case involved an Chicago Iron Worker who suffered traumatic brain damage when he fell while being raised in a man-basket at a plant in Illinois. Mr. Passen was able to secure a settlement of $1.5 million (plus waiver of a $305,000.00 lien).

$1.5 million - Work Accident to Truck Driver: The case involved a 32-year-old Chicago Truck Driver who was in a Work-Related Accident when he became pinned between two trucks at a dock. The truck driver sustained serious injuries to his neck and lower back, which required fusion surgery. Top Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer, Stephen M. Passen, reached a $1.5 million settlement.

$1.4 million - Settlement

$1.3 million - Verdict in CTA Bus Accident: The case involved a 59-year-old retired woman from Chicago whose foot was crushed when the CTA bus on which she was a passenger lost control and struck a tree. Top Chicago Bus Accident Lawyers, Passen Law Group, secured a $1.3 million jury verdict.

$1.25 million - Construction Accident / Death: The case involved a Wrongful Death action on behalf of the estate of a 26-year-old man who died after being pinned while standing on the back of a truck, driven by his brother, which was backing into a driveway. The brothers were Chicago Construction Workers engaged in a job at the time. Top Chicago Wrongful Death Attorney, Stephen M. Passen, recovered a $1.25 million settlement (plus waiver of a worker’s compensation lien in excess of $350,000.00).

$1 million - Medical Malpractice: The Chicago medical malpractice lawsuit alleged that doctors surgically removed a maxillary tumor known as an “ameloblastoma,” but failed to clear the margins. A residual tumor recurred, which had to be surgically removed, requiring removal of additional teeth, bone and soft tissue. Attorney Stephen M. Passen of Passen Law Group secured a $1 million settlement for his client.

$900,000 - Medical Malpractice / Wrongful Death: A 59-year-old man died after his primary care physician failed to adequately diagnose and respond to his complaints. The man emailed his primary care physician describing his symptoms and stating he had "never felt worse in his life." The defendant doctor replied via email diagnosing the man’s condition and prescribing certain home remedies. The doctor never recommended the man come to his office for an in-person examination or go to the emergency room if his condition worsened. The man died days later of a bacterial infection.

$900,000 - Birth Injury / Fetal Death: Passen Law Group represented a pregnant mother in Chicago who was administered the wrong drug by her medical professionals, which induced Premature Birth of an 11-week fetus, which subsequently died. Our Top Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers filed a Wrongful Death based on theories of Medical Negligence and Wrongful Birth Injury, resulting in a $900,000.00 settlement.

$825,000 - Medical Malpractice: Passen Law Group brought a Chicago Medical Malpractice action against a surgeon who inappropriately performed surgery to remove a bladder stone. As a result of the surgeon’s negligence and complications from the improperly performed surgery, the plaintiff sustained permanent renal injury, scarring and eventual renal failure. Our Top Chicago Medical Malpractice Lawyers secured an $825,000.00 settlement for the injured plaintiff.

$825,000 - OB/GYN Malpractice: Passen Law Group represented a Chicago mother in a Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Action alleging that OB/GYN doctors and nursing staff failed to recognize fetal distress of her full-term baby during child birth, resulting in her stillborn birth.

$775,000 - Failure to Diagnose: In this case, Chicago-area emergency room physicians failed to diagnosis our client with a fatal heart condition. Appropriate tests were not performed, and our client was released from the emergency room. He died the next day. Our Top Chicago Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death Lawyers secured a $775,000.00 settlement.

$610,000 - Record Verdict for Soft Tissue Injuries: A Cook County jury returned a verdict of $610,000 in favor of a husband and wife, ages 80 and 76 respectively, who were rear-ended by a semi truck on I-90 near the Illinois/Wisconsin border on April 12, 2004. The defense admitted negligence, but claimed the plaintiffs were not injured as a result of the accident to the degree and extent alleged.

Bar Admissions:  
Illinois, 1973
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1973
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1979
United States Supreme Court, 1980

Hourly Rate:  Contingency fee arrangements.

Year of Birth:  1948

Law School:  University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., 1973

Undergraduate School:  University of California-Berkeley, B.S., 1970

Representative Clients:  Severely injured persons and family members of those severely injured

Employment History:  
Passen Law Group, 1977-present
Rudnick and Wolfe, 1975-1977
Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, 1973-1975

Bar/Professional Association Involvement:  
Society of Trial Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
  Tort Law Section Council, 1989-1993
Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
  Civil Procedure Committee, 1993-1994
American Trial Lawyers Association
American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
American Arbitration Association

Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
  • Who's Who in Executive Professionals
  • Marquis' Who's Who in American Law
  • Strathmore's Who's Who in 2000-2001
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating
  • Leading Lawyers Member selected by peers in Personal Injury Law: General and Personal Injury Law: Professional Malpractice

    Published Legal Writing:  
    "Application of the Nursing Home Reform Act in Wrongful Death Actions: Further Legislation is Required," Illinois Tort Reports, May 1989

    Firm Description:  
    Passen Law Group is a Chicago-based law firm representing individuals and families of those who have suffered severe, permanent, and catastrophic injury or death due to the carelessness or recklessness of others. Our founding partner, Stephen Passen, is a top-rated Chicago personal injury lawyer with over 30 years experience handling sophisticated personal injury cases in Illinois and nationwide. Our dedication and experience has resulted in record verdicts and settlements for our clients.

    We are a boutique personal injury law firm; we handle a limited number of cases involving serious personal injuries, such as brain injury, spinal cord damage, birth injury, and wrongful death. This allows our lawyers to devote our full energy and passion to each case and every client.

    We are deeply concerned that our clients' rights be protected, that they receive full compensation for their injuries, and that they understand the legal process involving their case. We appreciate the great responsibility we owe to our clients, knowing that the service we provide can significantly impact their lives and their family members' lives. The damages we secure for our clients must compensate them for yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    We are experienced trial lawyers. Our lawyers prepare every case with the expectation that it will go to trial, and our courtroom success is well documented. We have an established reputation as trial lawyers, which gives us leverage at the negotiating table, and often results in our clients being able to settle their cases for substantial compensation.

    We are passionate Chicago personal injury lawyers and recognize our responsibility to keep our clients informed, to ease their fears, and to be available when questions arise. We pride ourselves not only on our successes in obtaining excellent results, but also in our ability to earn the trust of our clients, and to make their experience as positive as possible.

    Wife, Wendi; children, Matthew, Kasey, and Samantha. In October 2008, Matthew Passen, formerly with Jenner & Block, joined this firm.

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