Select an Area of Practice

Heyl Royster




Heyl Royster has been a premier medical malpractice defense law firm in Illinois for decades. The firm name is synonymous with successful medical malpractice decisions from trial and appellate courts throughout the state. Our clients include private physicians, medical groups, medical colleges, hospitals, medical centers, nurses and dentists.

Our statewide offices have extensive involvement in defending medical malpractice and allied professional liability claims. As a result we have developed contacts with excellent expert witnesses and consultants to assist in the evaluation and trial of cases. Our lawyers are focused on the timely assessment and disposition of claims or lawsuits when that is advisable. However, the extensive trial experience and record of successful verdicts by our lawyers is evidence of our commitment to defending our clients when a verdict is preferable to settlement.

We encourage our client physicians to work closely with our trial attorneys and expert witnesses in a partnership that develops a solid defense strategy. This philosophy has allowed us to be a leader in the field of defending medical professionals. Our caseload volume not only gives us depth and experience, but efficiency as well.

Our appellate department is one of the most active in the state. It handles appeals not only from our trial attorneys but also from other firms and clients who retain us. The attorneys in our appellate department have handled numerous professional liability cases of significant precedential importance in Illinois, such as Witherell v. Weimer, 113 Ill. 2d 586 (1987), Fawcett v. Reinertsen, 131 Ill. 2d 380 (1989), Owens v. Stokoe, 115 Ill. 2d 177 (1986), Roach v. Springfield Clinic, 157 Ill. 2d 29 (1993), and Renslow v. Mennonite Hospital, 67 Ill. 2d 348 (1977), to name a few.

Our firm’s long history in the defense of medical malpractice claims has permitted us to develop a cadre of premier trial attorneys. They have tried more cases to verdict than any other downstate medical defense firm with an unmatched record of success. Our attorneys recognize the unique character of medical malpractice cases and stand ready to assist physicians and other professionals who find themselves involved with litigation.

Representative Clients

  • Carle Clinic
  • CNA
  • Galesburg Cottage Hospital
  • Illinois Provider Trust
  • ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company
  • ProAssurance
  • Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
  • The Medical Protective Company
  • UnityPoint Health – Methodist

Significant Cases

  • Young v. ___ (C.D. Ill 2017) - Represented seven clinical therapists in an inadequate mental health treatment claim. The court granted the defendants’ summary judgment motion and agreed that the plaintiff could not support his claim by demonstrating that any of the individual defendants failed to provide him sufficient mental health treatment. The defendants provided evidence, including the plaintiff’s clinical progress notes which established the plaintiff’s engagement in the treatment process, to defeat the plaintiff’s claim.


  • “Hospitals Beware: Apparent Agency Claims May Arise From Treatment Rendered at Offsite, Independent Clinics,” Illinois Defense Counsel Quarterly (2017) - Download Article
  • "An Overview of the Affordable Care Act’s Potential to Mitigate Future Damage Claims," Heyl Royster, Medicolegal Monitor, Fourth Quarter (2015) - Read Article
  • "Claim Evaluation" chapter in Medical Malpractice, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2011, 2013) - Download Article
  • "Update: Medical Malpractice Caps," American College of Legal Medicine Q&A (2012)