| Practice Description: |
Matthew A. Passen, partner with Passen & Powell, has a broad range of experience in cases involving serious personal injury and wrongful death, including motor vehicle and transportation accidents, defective products and medical negligence. He also represents crime victims in civil actions against responsible individuals or entities.
Notable Cases and Results:
$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.
$5.3 million - Medical Malpractice / Wrongful Death Settlement: A 61-year-old man underwent a cervical disc fusion and while recovering from surgery, he suffered a cervical hematoma which compressed his airway and caused a hypoxic-anoxic brain injury. He remained unresponsive for several years until his death.
$1.4 million - Medical Malpractice Settlement: A 54-year-old female registered nurse was prescribed the wrong antibiotic regimen for a bacterial infection, resulting in the development of endocarditis and the need for valve replacement surgery.
$1.385 million - Premises and Product Liability Settlement: Plaintiff, a tractor-trailer mechanic, was repairing a trailer when one of the jack stands collapsed, causing the trailer to fall onto plaintiff’s legs resulting in a below-knee amputation. Plaintiff recovered from the repair shop for premises liability as well as from the manufacturer of the jack stands under a product liability theory.
$1.125 million - Pedestrian Struck by Auto: 74-year-old man was crossing the street at night, wearing dark clothing, outside the crosswalk, when he was struck and killed by another driver with substandard insurance coverage. Case proceeded to a UIM Arbitration, resulting in the substantial judgment.
$1 million - Medical Malpractice Verdict: 65-year-old man underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in which the general surgeon allegedly negligently clipped the common bile duct, resulting in an obstruction and subsequent gastrointestinal bleeding, which was allegedly a cause of his death more than a month later.
$1 million - Medical Malpractice / Wrongful Death Verdict: 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.
$750,000 - Motorcycle accident settlement: 68-year-old man was injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver resulting in modest orthopedic injuries, as well as claimed Peyronie’s disease and erectile dysfunction.
$655,000 - CTA Bus Accident Verdict: Plaintiff’s vehicle was clipped by a CTA bus pulling out from a high school resulting in aggravation of pre-existing degeneration in his cervical spine and the need for cervical fusion surgery.
$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.
DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 2006
Law School Honors/Involvement:
Summa cum laude; Order of the Coif; served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Ronald A. Guzman, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; interned with the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois
University of Michigan, economics, 2002
Undergraduate School Honors/Involvement:
Magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; played four years of hockey as a member of the University of Michigan Club Hockey Team
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
- Chicago Bar Association
- Board of Managers, 2015-2016, 2018-2019
- Chair, Trial Practice Committee, 2018-present
- Chair, Young Lawyers Section, 2015
- Chicago Bar Foundation
- Past President, Young Professionals Board
- American Bar Association
- Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
- Vice Chair, Trial Techniques Committee and Automobile Law Committee
- National Crime Victim Bar Association
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
- Board of Managers, 2015-2018
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
- American Association for Justice
- New Lawyers Division Board of Governors (former member)
- 40 Under 40, Law Bulletin Media, 2015
- Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorney, The National Trial Lawyers, 2015
- Top 40 Litigation Lawyers Under 40, American Society of Legal Advocates, 2014
- Recognized by SuperLawyers, 2012-present
- America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, 2019
- Society of Trial Lawyers, 2018-present
- Chicago Inn of Court, 2017-present
- Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2017-present
- United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago
- Board of Directors (former member)
- Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (formerly RIC)
- Treasurer, Associate Board
- Brain Injury Association of Illinois
- Corporate Sponsor and Board Volunteer
2015 graduate of Trial Lawyers College
Published Legal Writing:
End Distracted Driving, CBA Record, November 2015
Giving Back, CBA Record, October 2015
Lessons From the Ranch, CBA Record, September 2015
The Complete Lawyer, CBA Record, July/August 2015
Proving Damages in Motor Vehicle Crash Cases Involving Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Automobile Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2014
Preparing and Conducting Effective Cross-Examination, ABA Section of Litigation, Young Advocates, September 2013
Lawyers Aim to Curb Distracted Driving, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, March 5, 2012
Social Host Liability for Underage Alcohol-Related Injuries, CBA Record, October 2011
Protecting Those Who Protect Us: The Fireman’s Rule, CBA Record, February/March 2011
Finding My Ironman, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, November 10, 2010
Tort Immunity for Public Hospitals and Medical Professionals in Illinois, CBA Record, September 2010
Conflict Resolved: Settling Defendants Not On Verdict Form, CBA Record, April 2009
Should Settling Defendants Appear on a Jury Verdict Form?, CBA Record, February/March 2009
Illinois Supreme Court Expands Scope of Collateral Source Rule, CBA Record, September 2008
Medical Societies’ Peer-Review Authority: Professional Self-Regulation or Witness Intimidation? CBA Record, May 2008
Punitive Damages in Illinois: A Primer, CBA Civil Practice Committee, February 2019
Anatomy of a Premises Liability Case, Lawline, April 2018
Maximizing Damages in Illinois Personal Injury Cases, Lawline, April 2018
Suggestions for an Effective Jury Selection, CBA Trial Practice Series, September 2017
Medical Malpractice Litigation in Illinois, Lawline, May 2017
Effective Use of Technology at Trial in Illinois, Lawline, May 2017
Appellate Tips for Trial Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association, February 2017
Jury Selection: Practical Advice for Picking a Jury, Chicago Bar Association, February 2017
Common Issues in Medical Malpractice Cases, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Risk Management Committees, January 2017
Effective Use of Trial Technology, Chicago Bar Association, Trial Techniques Committee, December 2016
Jury Selection Law and Techniques, Illinois State Bar Association, November 2016
Preservation Makes Perfect: Appellate Tips for Trial Lawyers, Chicago Bar Association, March 2016
Civil Remedies for Victims of Crime in Illinois, The National Center for Victims of Crime, November 2015
Is This Admissible?, American Bar Association Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section, Moderator, July 2015
Judicial Panel on Persuasiveness in Court, Chicago Bar Association, Moderator, November 2014
Using an iPad in Trial, Chicago Bar Association, November 2014
How To Create A Trial Notebook For Use At Trial, Chicago Bar Association, Moderator, February 2014
Product Liability Update, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Product Liability Committee, January 2014
Deposition Practice in Illinois: Top 10 Practical Considerations, Chicago Bar Association, November 2013
Strategies for Success At Trial, Chicago Bar Association, October 2013
Trial Technique Strategies, Chicago Bar Association, Moderator, February 2011
Passen & Powell 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 negligence or malpractice of others. Our experience, dedication, and perseverance have resulted in securing record verdicts and settlements for our clients.
We are a boutique personal injury law firm; we handle only a limited number of cases involving serious personal injuries, such as brain injury, spinal cord damage, birth injury, and wrongful death. This allows us to devote our full efforts and resources to each case and every client.
Family: Married with two young children