| Practice Description: |
Mr. Kopriva represents clients in the defense of medical malpractice cases for physicians and hospitals, motor vehicle and trucking accident injury cases; as well as related general defense litigation. He is a member of the firm's medical malpractice and personal injury teams, having tried more than 35 cases to verdict dealing with varied medical issues such as cardiac defects in congenital anomaly syndromes, obstetrical and/or newborn brain-injured baby cases, lower limb ischemia and amputation cases, child death cases arising from congenital heart disease and other conditions, employment discrimination, and numerous auto and truck accident cases.
He received an AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois before working for the Illinois State Medical Society as a field representative and liaison with physicians and county medical societies. He attended law school at Lewis University College of Law (now Northern Illinois University College of Law). He is a longtime member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, the Illinois Bar Association and has served as President of Illinois' oldest ethnic bar association, the Bohemian Lawyers Association of Chicago. Mr. Kopriva now serves as a member of the Illinois Defense Council's Civil Practice Committee. He directed the young lawyer education efforts of Cassiday Schade for a number of years and has presented a variety of litigation topics to physicians and nursing groups on the litigation and deposition processes, EMTALA and medical malpractice cases.
Notable Cases and Results:
- Had a successful defense verdict on behalf of the lead defendant neonatologist and geneticist in a five week trial dealing with allegations of failure to diagnose a congenital heart defect (central AV canal) in a newborn with suspected Treacher Collins Syndrome. The child died at age 1 after cleft palate surgery, and the plaintiff's attorney asked the jury to return a verdict of $15 million.
- Litigated a number of high-profile cases involving claimed brain injury in children relating to prenatal, obstetrical and newborn care issues, including issues of fetal distress, infection, congenital anomalies, neonatal care issues, brachial plexus injuries, newborn death and cerebral palsy.
- Defense of a case involving the death of a five-month-old girl following surgery for repair of tetralogy of Fallot, a complex congenital heart syndrome. One of the main issues in the case related to interpretation of the preoperative cardiac catheterization. The plaintiff asked the jury for a verdict of $14 million, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of both the defendant surgeon and the defendant hospital.
- After winning the initial motion to dismiss a claim against an infertility clinic claiming wrongful death for the loss of a preembryo scheduled for cryopreservation, a Cook County Circuit Judge reversed the prior rulings and held in favor of plaintiff's claim that the preembryo represented a human being under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, a decision drawing front page headlines and attention in the national media. This included an appearance by the plaintiff's attorney on "Good Morning America" and drew amicus participation by a number of religious and reproductive medicine groups. Mr. Kopriva's approach in the appellate court utilized the legislative history of the legislative debate on the provision at issue in the late 1970s and refuted the court's reliance on the Illinois Abortion Law and interpretation of the Renslow case, leading to reversal of the decision in the First District Appellate Court, followed by the Illinois Supreme Court's denial of the plaintiff's petition to appeal.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, including the Trial Bar
Date of Birth: 1951
Law School: Lewis University College of Law, J.D.
Undergraduate School: University of Illinois, B.A.
Cassiday Schade LLP is a law firm sought after for its attorneys' trial experience and case preparation acumen. With experience in virtually all areas of civil litigation, it has a diverse client base, representing corporations from a variety of industries including health and long-term care; insurance, financial services, manufacturing, construction, professional services and transportation. The firm takes pride in working with its clients, and not just for them. This results in a mutual understanding of client needs in terms of cost and litigation philosophy.
The firm's attorneys handle lawsuits throughout the Midwest and act as national or regional counsel for clients facing nationwide exposures. In addition to trial and appellate work, Cassiday Schade attorneys are often retained before litigation arises so that risks can be analyzed and prevented.
Analysis of a client's needs is the basis for determining how best to proceed in a given matter -- this is what Cassiday Schade delivers. In many situations, this may mean aggressive preparation for trial. In others, it may involve seeking an early resolution through alternative means, such as mediation or arbitration. Ultimately, clients receive the benefit of having their matters handled with maximum efficiency because the firm's lawyers listen to their needs and concerns and act accordingly.