The numbers are in…

The 2017 JVR Settlements Report has familiar faces, new insights

The 2017 JVR Settlements Report has familiar faces, new insights
October 2017
By Paul Dailing

Each year, Chicago Lawyer and Jury Verdict Reporter — a sister product of Law Bulletin Media — have teamed to break down the top reported settlements of the year.

The 2017 JVR Settlements Report is based upon settlements of Illinois cases submitted to Jury Verdict Reporter between July 1, 2016, and June 30 of this year. The report includes confidential settlements for which Jury Verdict Reporter editors were able to verify details between both parties. Settlements included in prior reports were not included. The law firms listed in the rankings are based on where the lawyers involved worked at the time of their settlement, not based on where they’re currently working. Firms that reported the same dollar amounts were given the same ranking. The quotes through the report came from Chicago Daily Law Bulletin coverage of cases included in the results.

In 2016, the threshold for consideration was reduced to reported settlements of $500,000 and up, rather than the previous years’ threshold of $2 million or more. This was to give a more robust view of the industry as a whole rather than running a tally of the big wins.

Here are a few key points from the 2017 report:

Familiar faces

As it has for the last eight years, Power Rogers & Smith is at the top of the list, reporting 29 cases that totaled nearly $163.7 million. That’s more than double the $81.5 million the second firm in the report brought in during the year considered.

Power Rogers & Smith also had the largest single settlement of the year and set a record among medical-malpractice settlements in Illinois. In April, two area hospitals settled a medical-malpractice case with the family of a quad-amputee 4-year-old boy for $47.5 million. The settlement ended a lawsuit filed by the parents of a boy who, at age 2, was rendered a quad-amputee after a bacterial infection allegedly went undiagnosed by medical staff over a 32-hour stay in the care of a suburban hospital.

Our sister publication the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin was able to independently confirm details in the case. Given the age of the plaintiff and privacy interests cited by both sides in the case, Law Bulletin Media has chosen not to include additional identifying information in any of its publications.

A $1.6 billion deal

One class-action settlement brokered by Robbins, Geller, Rudman & Dowd in June amounted to more than every other case in the report put together.

In June, HSBC Finance Corp. agreed to pay out nearly $1.6 billion to end a 14-year-old shareholder class-action suit. Plaintiffs alleged that from October 1997 to August 2002, Household International — which HSBC had since purchased — and its former executives engaged in securities fraud by making false and misleading statements to inflate the stock price. There had been a $2.4 billion verdict in 2013, which the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals remanded for a new trial.

Due to the dollar amounts normally associated with business class-action suits, they have been separated into their own category. They can be found on Page 25.

Submit your settlements

To get your recent settlement victories into the 2018 report, visit and let us know.