Theresa focuses her practice on defending medical professionals in both medical malpractice claims and civil rights litigation. She defends civil rights claims filed by inmates within the Illinois Department of Corrections, and the clinical psychology facilitators at the State of Illinois sex offender treatment facility in both civil rights and state law claims.
She also defends law enforcement officers in civil rights and employment law claims. The civil rights matters range from claims of excessive force to allegations of deliberate indifference under the 8th and 14th amendments. Theresa has also spent time with local law enforcement officers attending TASER training and tactics to assist in defending these claims.
Theresa also has experience defending employment law involving age, gender and race discrimination claims. She successfully defended a sex discrimination claim filed by a female physician against an area hospital after defeating a preliminary injunction. Her experience also involves handling retaliation and interference claims under FMLA as well as workers compensation based retaliation claims. Her employment law litigation clients include hospitals, public school districts and nationally known corporations.
Theresa has extensive litigation and trial experience in these matters. She has tried 30 cases with most resulting in verdicts for her clients or in verdicts for the plaintiff well below the amounts offered prior to trial.
Theresa has been with Heyl Royster since 1998 and became a partner in 2004. She also works with the School of Medicine and serves as a presenter for the medical school in conducting mock depositions for medical students. She has presented to various medical groups and clinical psychologists regarding litigation issues.
- Orr v. Wexford et al - Theresa was successful in obtaining a voluntary dismissal with prejudice of two multi-million dollar class action claims against her client where plaintiff was unable to respond to defense motions asserting plaintiff lacked evidence to support any of the factual allegations in his case on behalf of the named plaintiffs. This case was dismissed in the summer of 2011 and is still pending today against the remaining defendants.
- Bailey v. Sangamon County - In this claim alleging deliberate indifference against the Sangamon County jail nursing staff, Theresa and her associate obtained a defense verdict in 33 minutes where the jury found that the plaintiff failed to prove that the jail detainee suffered from a serious medical need at the time of her encounter with the nurse.
- Gay v. Chandra - Verdict in favor of Dr. Chandra in well publicized trial in Southern District of Illinois. Plaintiff alleged that Dr. Chandra was deliberately indifferent to his mental health needs when he ordered that plaintiff be kept in restraints for numerous hours following plaintiff's repeated claims that he would cut himself if allowed to be free to do so. Plaintiff also asserted that he should have been placed in restraints at times to prevent him from cutting on himself while incarcerated.
- Washington and Jenkins v. City of Springfield, et al No. 07-3075, USDC-CDIL, December 7, 2010 - Defense verdict in a highly publicized federal jury trial in Springfield, Illinois. The Plaintiffs alleged that Springfield Police Detectives conspired and falsely arrested them. Plaintiffs' home was searched after Springfield Detectives searched their trash and found evidence of drug activity. Over half a pound of cocaine was found in the home during the search. Plaintiffs alleged the Defendants planted the cocaine and falsified documents used to obtain the search warrant. Following a two week trial, the jury returned verdicts in favor of all defendants. The Plaintiffs' final settlement demand before trial was $1,600,000.
- Johnson v. D 433 F.3d 1001 (7th Cir. 2006) - Decision to provide conservative course of care for hernia rather than surgery is not deliberate indifference as a matter of law in light of evidence that hernia was regularly monitored by the defendant physicians.
- Duckworth v. A 532 F.3d 675 (7th Cir. 2008) - Delay in referring patient to outside physician did not constitute deliberate indifference where physician, Dr. Kayira treated patient's complaints based on clinical and diagnostic findings; court distinguishes physician's care from facts in Greeno v. Daley wherein physician refused to treat patient after documenting that patient suffered from cancer.
- Taylor v. Walker 537 F. Supp. 2d 966 (C.D. Ill. 2008) - Court finds that nurse lacks personal involvement and/or authority to address plaintiff's complaints concerning exposure to second hand smoke in cell house.
- Follis v. W 367 Ill. App. 3d 548 (4th Dist. 2006) - Plaintiff alleges continuous course of negligent treatment by her dentist; whether the various treatments were part of a continuous and unbroken course of negligent treatment were so related as to constitute one continuing wrong are questions for a jury to decide.
- Rexroad v. City of Springfield 207 Ill. 2d 33 (2003) - Parking lot adjacent to football field at school is not so devoted to recreational activities as to convey immunity under the Illinois Tort Immunity Act.
- “Claims Handling Basics for Recognizing & Handling Civil Rights Torts”
Heyl Royster 2006
- “Don’t Hit the Wall: Chronic Pain Plaintiff”
Heyl Royster 2004
- “Batter Up - Wrongful Death & Survival Act Claims”
Heyl Royster 2003
- Sangamon County Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- State Courts of Illinois
- United States District Court, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
- United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- Juris Doctor, Southern Illinois University School of Law (Cum Laude), 1995
- Bachelor of Arts-Political Science and French (Summa Cum Laude), Eastern Illinois University, 1991
Year Joined Firm