MICHAEL T. MERTZ
Since graduating from De Paul University College of Law in 1997, Michael T. Mertz has practiced with Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C.. In 2004, he became a partner. Mr. Mertz exclusively represents injured persons and their families in all types of cases, including medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, product liability, construction accidents, automobile collisions, and premises liability cases.
Throughout his tenure he has served his clients well, achieving significant verdicts and obtaining record-setting settlements. To date, Mr. Mertz has recovered more than $150 Million for his clients. Mr. Mertz has successfully resolved cases in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee, Nevada, Indiana and Oklahoma.
Through his extensive experience in complex cases, Mr. Mertz has honed his skills to evaluate each case closely and quickly identify successful theories and arguments. His tireless and aggressive advocacy, coupled with his flexibility throughout each phase of litigation, allows Mr. Mertz to achieve maximum recoveries on behalf of his clients.
Mr. Mertz also serves as his clients' appellate lawyer. In 1999, in Modelski v. Navistar Int'l Transp. Corp., 302 Ill.App.3d 879, 707 N.E.2d 239 (1st Dist. 1999), Mr. Mertz argued before the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and won a reversal of a jury's verdict entered against his client. The case settled shortly after Mr. Mertz convinced the Appellate Court to rule in his client's favor.
In 2001, in Keef v. Widuch, et al., 321 Ill.App.3d 571, 747 N.E.2d 992 (1st Dist. 2001), Mr. Mertz again successfully appealed the dismissal the complaint in one of his cases by convincing the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, to reverse the lower court's ruling.
Meet Michael T. Mertz
Mr. Mertz's professional accomplishments and expertise were recognized by his peers when they elected him to the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and to the Assembly of the Illinois State Bar Association in 2012. In the same year, Mr. Mertz was also selected as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers. In 2012 and 2013 Super Lawyers rating service selected him as a "Super Lawyer" after having been selected by that service as a "Rising Star" every year since 2009.
Mike Mertz: A Case is Not a Set of Facts
Highlights of my Career
"Never Stop Trying:" Representing an Inspirational Client
I had the honor and privilege of representing Mark and Margaret Stephan. Mark's neck was fractured in a bicycle crash. The quick release system on his bicycle caused the front wheel to fall off while he was riding, and propelled Mark headfirst into the pavement. Mark, who had previously been an accomplished marathoner and triathlete, was told his injuries would confine him to a wheelchair. Mark refused to accept that prognosis. Through incomparable determination and countless hours of rehabilitation, Mark re-gained enough mobility to be able to climb the Willis Tower and ride a recumbent tricycle across America. Mark said, "If you live through an accident like mine, you have two choices. One is to accept the injury and living the rest of your life with it. The second choice is to keep battling -- and never stop trying to get better." I am grateful to have been a part of Mark and Margaret's battle and am inspired by their refusal to never stop trying to get better. I am extremely proud that we improved those aspects of Mark and Margaret's lives we had the opportunity to make better.
Board of Managers, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
In 2012 I was elected by my peers to the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. I have been an active member and strong supporter of ITLA since I was in law school. Since long before I became a lawyer, ITLA has never yielded in its fight to ensure that injured people and their families have the same access to justice as the insurance companies and big corporations. I am proud to wage this fight with ITLA as an elected member of its Board of Managers.
Protecting Kids in Foster Care
I am very proud of our work on a case where we represented three children who were abused by their foster parent while in the defendants' foster care system. The laws in this case were difficult to navigate overcome and the truth was difficult to prove. We were relentless in our representation of these three kids, though, and were able to get them a $12,000,000 settlement. It is very gratifying to know that we were the first people who ever fought for these kids, and to have made their lives more comfortable.
A Record Wrongful Death Verdict
Shortly after I became a lawyer, I met with Mark Roth who selected our firm to represent his family in the wrongful death of his wife, Claire. The medical providers in the case failed to recognize that Claire was suffering from pneumonia. This disregard for Claire resulted in her death. I was, and still am, grateful for the confidence Mark showed in me and in our firm. The defendants thought the case was only worth around $1,000,000. Chris Hurley and I had developed a very strong case, though, and we knew it was worth far more. The jury agreed and awarded the Roth family $7,200,000 – an amount that still stands as the record high for wrongful death cases in DuPage County, Illinois.
Proving the Truth Through a Forensic Audit
More recently, we represented Chris Medina and Damien Medina in their case for the death of their wife and mother, Samantha. In this case, one of the defendant doctors claimed to have not been told that a MRI scan was ready for his interpretation. As a result, the MRI which clearly showed that Samantha was suffering from a basilar artery stroke, was not read until the following morning. By that time, it was too late for Samantha to survive her stroke. Through forensic audits of the hospital's computerized charting system, we were able to show that the doctor was lying – he had opened and read the MRI scan when surgery could still have been performed to save Samantha's life. The forensic audit we performed resulted in a $5,300,000 settlement for the Medina family.
I was recognized as a top trial lawyer when I was selected as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers in 2012 and rated a "Super Lawyer" in 2012 and 2013 after having been rated a "Rising Star" every year since 2009.