David Gallagher has brought more than 50 jury trials to verdict. And the results for this plaintiff's personal injury specialist have been impressive.
Consider the work he performed while serving as lead trial attorney on a case involving a 17-year-old heart patient who died as a result of medical malpractice. Gallagher earned a $7 million settlement on behalf of the estate on only the second day of trial.
While this is a notable success, it's far from a rarity for Gallagher. This attorney's colleagues say that Gallagher is a tenacious litigator and advocate for his clients. This, combined with his legal talents, has made Gallagher one of the most respected personal injury attorneys working in the Chicago market.
"The most impressive result is the enduring love of his clients," said Steven Hart, partner with Chicago's Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge.
Hart has seen Gallagher's work up close. Gallagher represented an elderly non-English-speaking janitor in a recent case that Hart defended. Hart came away impressed with Gallagher's ability to connect to his client.
"I was amazed how patient he was with his client," Hart said. "He did not let the language barrier get in the way of his relationship with his client. It was a perfect example of his sensitivity and unique qualification for this award."
Gallagher has earned several million-dollar-plus settlements and verdicts during his career. He earned a settlement of more than $4.4 million in Cook County in a wrongful death case of a 62-year-old, $1.6 million in Grundy County for a 28-year-old in a wrongful death case, a $2.75 settlement in a trucking case involving a client who suffered a disc herniation, and most recently $6.75 million for a 60-year-old man who died as a result of medical negligence.
An associate judge with the Circuit Court of Cook County, oversaw a slip-and-fall case in 2019 in which Gallagher represented the plaintiff. The case was unusual in that the plaintiff was helping his next-door neighbor by pushing her inoperable car out of her garage. While doing so, the plaintiff tripped on a stack of wood in the neighbor's garage.
The judge said that the case was filled with pitfalls for Gallagher's client. Gallagher, though, didn't let that stop him from earning a positive verdict.
"Dave did a masterful job of persuasion, both with me on the evidentiary matters and with the jury on the facts," the judge said. "While the verdict was only $300,000, the achievement was far greater. Dave surmounted enormous obstacles that often keep plaintiffs from recovering: uncertainty as to liability, divergence in testimony."
Marni Slavick, an equity partner in the Chicago office of Cunningham, Meyer & Vedrine, said that Gallagher is not only committed to his clients, but that he boasts a deep understanding of the law and an ability to concisely summarize complicated matters.
"David does not seek to exceed the bounds of the witness's knowledge or the specific subject matter. Instead he is able to zone in and get compelling testimony from each medical witness," Slavick said. "David picks up a nugget from each witness he deposes and then has the ability to weave those nuggets together into a compelling theme at the time of trial. His ability to see well beyond what is currently happening in the litigation is his greatest strength."