Heyl Royster

Mark Benfield

Associate
Champaign, IL

Joined Firm in 2019

Mark knows each client and case is unique. He understands that each client's opinions, insights, and goals should guide the matter, approaching his work aggressively and meticulously while considering creative solutions.

  • University of Illinois College of Law Moot Court Judge
  • J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, cum laude
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Mark Benfield

Attorney in Champaign, IL

As an Associate attorney in the firm's Champaign office, Mark defends healthcare providers, clinics, and hospitals in medical malpractice litigation. He is a passionate advocate and has obtained numerous defense outcomes and trial verdicts. Mark has successfully dismissed cases when the facts do not warrant a lawsuit. He has facilitated fair and reasonable resolutions when the circumstances lend themselves to settlement. When parties cannot agree, he has obtained defense and defense-favorable judgments. In addition to civil litigation, Mark represents clients in proceedings before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Human Rights. 

Serving on the Illinois State Bar Association Tort Law Committee and the Illinois Defense Counsel Tort Law Committee, Mark actively monitors trends in medical malpractice legislation, court opinions, settlements, and verdicts. During law school, Mark clerked for the Honorable Thomas Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Honorable Noelle Collins of the Eastern District of Missouri. Never losing his passion for the academic aspects of law, he continues to research, publish, and present on litigation topics.

Credentials

Education

J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, cum laude

B.S., Saint Ambrose University, Mathematics

Licensure(s) and Admission(s)

State Courts of Illinois

United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Professional Affiliations

Champaign County Bar Association

Illinois Defense Counsel, Tort Law Committee

Illinois State Bar Association, Tort Law Committee

Community Involvement

University of Illinois College of Law

Moot Court Judge (2022)

Law Firm Challenge, Team Leader (2020)

Alumni-Student Mentoring Program, Mentor

Results

  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of an Illinois surgeon and Central Illinois hospital. The plaintiff filed a medical malpractice action alleging a delay in diagnosis, failure to perform surgery, and failure to obtain informed consent. After the motion practice surrounding Illinois statutory requirements for malpractice actions and attorney affidavits, the court dismissed the plaintiff’s case with prejudice.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a central Illinois hospital in a personal injury action. The plaintiff alleged that a dangerous condition at the hospital caused him to fall and strike his head. The plaintiff alleged damages exceeding $50,000, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of income, and permanent disability. Throughout discovery, Heyl Royster attorneys strategically postured the case for summary judgment by developing defense theories to defeat the plaintiff's premises liability claim. The court entered judgment in favor of Defendants on all counts.
  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of an Illinois pharmacy following nearly one year of contentious briefing and argument. The plaintiff alleged that the pharmacy failed to warn the patient and healthcare providers that the prescribed amount of medication was hazardous. After substantial motion practice, the court dismissed the plaintiff's claim against the pharmacy with prejudice.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a central Illinois hospital in a personal injury action. The plaintiff alleged that a collision with a hospital employee pushing a wheelchair caused severe and permanent injuries to her hand and wrist. Mark strategically pursued fact discovery, ultimately posturing the case for summary judgment. The court entered judgment in favor of Defendants on all counts.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a medical malpractice case in a case involving allegations against a central Illinois provider and her practice group. Heyl Royster attorneys strategically positioned the case through expert discovery, ultimately securing judgment in favor of the defendants on all counts.
  • Secured a trial victory on behalf of a central Illinois healthcare provider and a central Illinois practice group in a case involving allegations that negligent treatment resulted in a recurrence of breast cancer, a bilateral mastectomy, subsequent revision surgeries, and an unfavorable cosmetic outcome. Although the plaintiffs suggested a verdict of $2M, the verdict was in favor of the defendants on all counts.

Presentations/Publications

Presentations

Reasonable Value Defense,” 34th Annual Claims Handling Seminar (2023)

"VBAC,” OB Grand Rounds (2020)

Publications

“Diligence in Service of Process,” ISBA Tort Trends Vol. 59 No. 1 (2023)

"Expert Witness Standards? Section 8/2501 and the Purtill Test," ISBA Tort Trends Vol. 58 No. 1 (2022)

"Medical Malpractice: Trials," Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (2022)

"Res Judicata and Involuntary Dismissal," ISBA Tort Trends Vol. 57 No. 2 (2022)

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