Stephan D. Blandin | Romanucci & Blandin
Principal and Partner
Stephan D. Blandin is a principal and partner in Romanucci & Blandin LLC, a Chicago-based personal injury firm. Since co-founding the firm in 1998, Mr. Blandin has focused his practice on catastrophic plaintiff’s personal injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle and airplane crashes, medical negligence, product liability and workplace accidents. He also has a particular passion for birth injury cases in Illinois, Wisconsin and Arizona.
At Romanucci & Blandin, Mr. Blandin strives to serve clients with passion and preparedness. This attitude and determination has lead the firm in obtaining dozens of verdicts and settlements for its clients in excess of $1 million, including: a $30 million settlement for a family after their son was left permanently disabled and brain injured as a result of 25 experimental surgeries; a $22.3 million award in a medical malpractice case which left a ten-year-old boy with disabilities; an unprecedented $17.6 million jury award in a police chase case where a bystander was left with quadriplegia.
That amount remains the largest verdict ever rendered by an Illinois jury against the Chicago Police Department; a $3.3 million settlement for the family of a male who died as a result of an alleged failure to provide the worker with fall protection in an industrial accident; and a $2 million settlement for the family of a 41-year-old female who lost her life following a delayed diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Stephan Blandin was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© – a list he has now been included on for five years in a row. Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. For the 2017 edition, over 83,000 leading attorneys worldwide were eligible to vote and over seven million votes were analyzed.
Mr. Blandin has also been named an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2005, an honor determined by a high-level and exclusive voting process which includes research, peer nominations and evaluations of attorneys throughout the State of Illinois. Blandin’s ascent as a Super Lawyer exemplifies his performance perfected as a highly respected member of the legal community.
With over 90,000 lawyers in the State of Illinois, and many of them affiliated with mega firms, Blandin’s rise to this exclusive list from a boutique firm is a testament to his character and performance as a lead trial attorney. Martindale-Hubbell has also awarded Mr. Blandin with its AV-Preeminent* rating for his superb record and ethical standards.
Romanucci & Blandin’s intimate approach to the practice of law proves that a small firm can produce big results and have huge talent. In 15 years, Romanucci & Blandin has secured over $400 million in recoveries for their clients.
Mr. Blandin is a member of many professional organizations, including the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice and the Illinois State Bar Association. Since 2012, he has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) as a Hearing Board Commissioner. Mr. Blandin is one of more than 75 hearing board members who will make recommendations in disciplinary matters of lawyers in Illinois under the authority of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Blandin also serves as an American Bar Foundation Fellow. Less than one percent of lawyers in each State are considered for the honor which consists of a review of their legal and civic contributions. The American Bar Foundation is recognized nationally as the premier institute for social science research on law.
Heavily involved in the community, he has served as a board member of several nonprofit organizations, including the Knapp Burn Foundation, Salute Inc. and West Side Mentally Retarded Children’s Aid Inc.
After graduating from DePaul University with his Bachelor of Arts in political science, Mr. Blandin went on to earn his Juris Doctor in 1986 from DePaul University College of Law. He is admitted to practice in Illinois and Arizona as well as before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
LEGAL ACTIVITIES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- 2013-Present, The Best Lawyers in America©
- Member, Esteemed Lawyers of America (2014)
- Member, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission Hearing Board (2010-Present)
- Ranked by other attorneys in Illinois as a Super Lawyer ® and a member of the Leading Lawyers Network (Top 5% in Personal Injury)
- An AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a testament to the fact that his peers have ranked him at the highest level of professional excellence. A lawyer must be admitted to the bar for 10 years or more to receive an AV rating
- Memberships: Illinois State Bar Association, Public Justice, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Society of Trial Lawyers, American Association for Justice, Motorcycle Injury Trial Lawyers Association
- Past trial advocacy instructor at DePaul College of Law
- Founding Member, Illinois State Bar Association Law & Leadership Institute
LEAD TRIAL ATTORNEY
$30,000,000 settlement – medical malpractice.
A family was awarded $30 million dollars in a settlement reached with Mark J. Holterman, MD. and a Major Chicago Area Teaching Hospital after their son was left permanently disabled and brain injured as a result of 25 experimental surgeries. This is the fourth largest medical malpractice suit for a minor in the state of Illinois, and is the largest settlement for a child born with esophageal atresia in Illinois.
$22,300,000 verdict-medical malpractice. A Cook County jury awarded the parents of a ten-year-old boy with a $22.3 million verdict in a medical negligence case arising out of the care and treatment on May 29, 1999 at Advocate Christ Medical Center/Hope Children’s Hospital, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. The negligence resulted in the loss of the boy’s left leg and other disabilities.
$17,600,000 verdict-police car chase. A police car chase on the expressway leaves a bystander with incomplete quadriplegia.
$7,500,000 settlement. As a result of an industrial accident, a 45 year old boiler maker suffered crush injuries when an object fell on Plaintiff. His injuries included: a right orbital blow–out, multiple facial bone fractures, a thoracic burst fracture and multiple rib fractures.
$5,550,000 settlement. A female construction worker suffered incomplete paraplegia when a more than five foot trench collapsed on to her body.
$5,348,750 verdict. A self-employed roofing contractor, who was heading home on the Dan Ryan expressway, suffered multiple injuries, including leg, pelvis and rib fractures, lung contusions, ruptured spleen and a mild brain injury, when his vehicle was cut off by a CTA bus, and he struck another bus which was stalled in the middle lane.
$4,000,000-plus settlement- Premises Liability $2.5 million settlement for a 20-year old window washer who suffered extensive injuries, including a below the knee amputation of his left leg, after falling 30 feet from a hospital roof where he was working. As part of the settlement, the window washer’s employer waived $500,000 of its workers’ compensation lien and agreed to fund the plaintiff’s future medical expenses, which will exceed $1 million, increasing the settlement value to more than $4 million.
$4,000,000 settlement-wrongful death. In a wrongful death case, the family of a 38-year-old man received restitution upon his untimely death following a post-surgical complication related to a routine gastric bypass surgery. A CT scan revealed a partially obstructed bowel but the hospital physicians failed to follow up. The man became septic and died.
$4,000,000 settlement-wrongful death. Wrongful death occurred while man was on premises of area retailer.
$3,689,733 verdict-medical malpractice. In a record chiropractic malpractice verdict, a man suffered a sudden onset of paralysis from the chest down due to a growth in his thoracic spine which completely compromised his spinal cord. The chiropractor ignored x-rays of his lumbar spine which revealed this progressive, degenerative disease and performed chiropractic manipulations on that area of his back.
$3,500,000 verdict-bus accident. A male, who was intoxicated at the time, suffered severe injuries to his left leg when he was knocked down and his leg run over by a bus. The bus driver violated standard CTA operating procedures by failing to maintain a three-foot clearance between the bus and the pedestrian.
$3,500,000 verdict. A truck driver fell and sustained brain injuries while exiting his semi-tractor cab. The trucking company owner had failed to replace a missing driver’s side safety grab bar, which the plaintiff contended would have prevented or lessened the severity of the fall.
3,350,000 settlement – construction accident
A 50-year old male died as a result of an alleged failure to provide the worker with fall protection in an industrial accident. His family received a settlement for $3,350,000 plus a workers’ compensation lien waiver.
$3,375,000 settlement. The plaintiff, a 36-year-old truck driver, was helping to unload steel off his truck, when his right hand and wrist were crushed by a load of steel after the straps from the crane broke. The defendant in the case was a steel company.
Appellate Court Ruling. Appellate reverses trial court and reinstates wrongful death case against City of Peru, Illinois. A 14-year-old boy was killed while riding a dirt bike when his neck struck a cable. City workers had strung the cable neck high along a path owned by a railroad. The trial court ruled that the City was immune from prosecution and dismissed the case. The Appellate court reversed the ruling because the cable was not on the City’s property and they were not authorized to string the cable. The boy is survived by his parents and siblings.
$2,750,000 settlement-car accident. A 35-year-old male worker suffered aggravation of his prior spinal injury after being rear-ended by a semi-truck. Prior to the collision, plaintiff had undergone two spinal fusions. At the time of the subject collision, he was asymptomatic. As a result of the collision, plaintiff aggravated his prior back conditions and developed chronic pain syndrome. As a result of the chronic back pain, he has undergone three surgical procedures for a spinal cord stimulator, one temporary, one permanent, and one repair.
$2,500,000 settlement-motorcycle accident/brain injury. A motorcyclist lost control of his bike at an intersection, resulting in orthopedic injuries and a traumatic brain injury. Our investigation uncovered improper warning signals and raised manhole covers at the intersection.
$2,500,000 settlement – construction accident
A certified elevator mechanic was working to install two elevators at a commercial construction project in downtown Lake Bluff, Illinois when the project manager ordered a change in the direction of the work. Subsequently he twisted his leg and tore the meniscus in his left knee while carrying a 20-foot long, 100-pound hydraulic pipe on his shoulder. The plaintiff underwent surgery to repair the meniscus and afterwards, developed complex regional pain syndrome in the leg – which he continues to receive treatment for to this day.
$2,500,000 verdict. The plaintiff, a 50-year-old Bosnian immigrant working as an iron worker, fell while on the job at a construction site. He suffered bi-lateral pelvic fractures and underwent surgery for the insertion of plates and screws to stabilize the pelvic rim.
$2,000,000 settlement-wrongful death. In a wrongful death suit, a deliveryman’s decedents received compensation for his death, resulting when he was hit by a street sweeper’s vehicle as it improperly merged from a highway median.
$2,000,000 settlement – medical negligence
A 41-year-old female complaining of shortness of breath and chest pains that radiated from her chest wall, down the left arm and abdomen lost her life following a delayed diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. She died while waiting to undergo surgery to repair the aortic dissection at University of Chicago Medical Center, after spending over eight hours in the hospital.
$1,900,000 settlement-pharmacist dosage error-wrongful death. Prior to litigation commencing, the wife of a 50-year-old man received restitution upon her husband’s untimely death after he was a prescribed a lethal dosage of morphine. Her husband, who was recently given a good prognosis after finishing rounds of chemotherapy for treatment of his tongue cancer, died after being given six times the normal dosage of morphine by the pharmacy.
$1,500,000 settlement-Verdict. While working at a construction site on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue, our client – a 50-year-old male laborer – sustained a crushed leg when a stacker was improperly loaded onto a delivery truck. His leg became entangled in a loose cable, and the stacker rolled back, pulling the cable taut and causing numerous leg fractures.
$1,300,000 settlement. A 24-year-old man’s vehicle was stalled on the expressway when he was rear-ended by a Coca Cola truck traveling at high speed. The family was compensated for the loss of the male head of household and breadwinner.
$1,250,000 settlement-medical malpractice. Our client died from inoperable prostate cancer as the result of a doctor’s failure to take a sufficient tissue sample during a biopsy. The doctor continued to rely on a negative test, despite the plaintiff’s persistence of high PSA levels.
$1,000,000 settlement-medical malpractice. Our client suffered a stroke as a result of the doctors’ failure to follow up with his transitory ischemic attacks. He is now permanently impaired.
$1,000,000 settlement-medical malpractice. The family of a deceased man received a settlement of $1 million, arising out of the failure by his physician to perform a cystoscopy that would have diagnosed late-stage muscle invasive bladder cancer.
$925,000 settlement. A male HVAC worker sustained extensive injuries to his wrist, shoulder and ankle, which required a total of 13 surgeries, after falling from a hospital roof where he was working. As part of the settlement, the HVAC worker’s employer waived $787,452 of its workers’ compensation lien, increasing the settlement value to about $1.69 million.
$925,000 settlement – medical negligence
A dedicated 51-year-old electric worker and family man lost his life after his aortic dissection was allegedly not timely diagnosed by Ira Asher, MD and La Grange Memorial Hospital in La Grange, Illinois. According to the American Heart Association, aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood leaks from the aorta. The leak is often caused by a tear in the inside wall of the aorta. The most common symptom of aortic dissection is sudden and severe chest pain or upper back pain. The mortality rate is as high as 80% if untreated, and increases 1-5% per hour over the first several hours, making early diagnosis and treatment critical for survival. His family received a settlement of $925,000.
$900,000 settlement. As our client and his wife were crossing the street under the “el” tracks in Chicago’s Loop, a 16-foot-long piece of fiberglass angle guard, weighing approximately 25 pounds, fell from the track, striking the man in the occipital region of the head and the left shoulder, causing a traumatic brain injury and partial rotator cuff tear.
$900,000 settlement. A 59-year-old woman died when her physician misdiagnosed the patient’s paralysis as Bell’s palsy when, in fact, she was suffering from a stroke.
$800,000 settlement. A worker for Nicor Gas Company suffered injuries and traumatic arthritis due to an injury caused by an explosion resulting from an improperly marked gas line.
$750,000 settlement. While recovering from a stroke, a 73-year-old female developed decubitus ulcers to her spine, necessitating debridement and skin grafts.
$700,000 settlement – wrongful death
A new mother lost her life following childbirth after experiencing postpartum hemorrhaging and suffering from an amniotic fluid embolism. In rendering their care and treatment of the patient, the physicians and a Chicago-area hospital failed properly and timely to recognize, diagnose, and treat the symptoms of amniotic fluid embolism; to properly monitor the patient’s post-partum condition; to properly communicate the patient’s medical care needs; to properly hand-off the medical care of the patient, and more which denied the patient from receiving the appropriate medical care.
$610,000 settlement-wrongful death. In a wrongful death case, the family of a 14-year-old boy whose neck was broken in 2001 after running into a neck-high wire while riding his dirt bike, received a settlement
$500,000 verdict-nursing home liability. An elderly nursing home resident, undergoing rehabilitation following a stroke, fell and fractured his hip. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of the fracture where he began early stages of skin breakdown. He was transferred to a nursing home, where, over six weeks, he became malnourished and dehydrated. Ultimately, he died. The nursing home and physician were found guilty of neglect.
$425,000 verdict. While driving his car, a 27-year-old graphic artist was hit and pinned in his car by a trailer which became detached from its truck. Our client sustained an inoperable lumbar disc herniation and suffered numerous other injuries including facial lacerations, numerous cracked teeth requiring repair and root canal work, post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder.
$325,000 settlement-wrongful death. The family of a 47-year old man received restitution upon his untimely death following a fall off the stairs of a nursing home. The man suffered multiple fractured ribs, left shoulder fracture, facial and skull fractures, wrist fractures, vertebrae fractures, multiple contusions, and closed head injuries, which caused his death. Many other settlements are “confidential” and therefore not listed on this page.
- J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1986
- B.A., Political Science, DePaul University, 1983
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- Illinois, 1986
- Northern District of Illinois, 1987
- Arizona, 2012
Admitted to bar in Wisconsin and Arizona
SELECTED TO SUPER LAWYERS 10 YEARS
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