Pretzel & Stouffer
Matthew J. Egan

Matthew J. Egan
Equity Partner

Recognition and Appointments
Highest Martindale-Hubbell rating, AV
Illinois Super Lawyers®
Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter’s Trial Lawyer Excellence award

Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, B.A. in English
University of Stirling (Scotland)

Bar Admissions
U.S. Supreme Court
Illinois Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, General and Trial bars
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Professional Affiliations
Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Professional Liability Underwriting Society
Chicago Bar Association

Representative Cases

Mr. Egan was the local trial counsel for the plaintiffs in a jury trial in Cook County Circuit Court that resulted in a $387.4 million verdict, the largest recorded verdict in the circuit court’s history. This nationally followed lawsuit against a Fortune 500 company arose from an explosion and fire at the client’s oil refinery in Lemont, Ill., due to a defectively manufactured pipe fitting that took the refinery out of service for several months. For further details, see Cook County Jury Verdict Reporter, Volume YY, Issue 10, page 1.

Mr. Egan served as the lead trial counsel for a Fortune 500 company in a product liability lawsuit in federal court. The suit involved injuries sustained by the operator of multivehicle automobile carrier after a fall from an allegedly defective upper deck. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict for our client while finding the client’s co-defendants liable.

Mr. Egan was the lead counsel for a construction materials testing firm in a multimillion-dollar construction defect case in Cook County Circuit Court. He successfully brought a motion to dismiss all claims against the client, which were filed by a subcontractor who had allegedly relied on the client’s test results to provide materials and perform work on the construction project. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the dismissal.

Mr. Egan served as the lead counsel for a law firm in an extensive evidentiary hearing in federal court. The hearing involved a former client of the law firm, which sought to disqualify the firm from representing an adverse party in multimillion-dollar property damage, personal injury and environmental recovery actions. Mr. Egan successfully opposed motions to disqualify the law firm in three separate cases.

Mr. Egan acted as trial counsel for appraisers in litigation brought by the buyer of an apartment complex in Rockford, Ill. The suit alleged that the appraisal of the income characteristics of the property was negligently performed, causing the buyer to sustain millions of dollars of damages by paying an inflated price for the property.

Mr. Egan has represented numerous public- and private-sector clients in court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Rights in cases involving charges of discriminatory hiring, discharge, harassment and retaliation on grounds of race, age, disability and gender. He has obtained findings of no cause and a lack of substantial evidence, resulting in the dismissal of charges against his clients before the EEOC and the Department of Human Rights, and has successfully defended clients in employment discrimination and wrongful termination cases in state and federal courts.

Mr. Egan defended a foreign manufacturer of nationally distributed ceiling fans in a product liability case in Cook County Circuit Court. The suit alleged that a manufacturing defect in the mechanism that secured the fans to the ceiling resulted in serious injuries. Mr. Egan obtained the client’s dismissal by successfully contesting personal jurisdiction in Illinois Appellate Court on a permissive appeal after a trial court denied a motion to dismiss.

Mr. Egan served as trial counsel for mortgage brokers who allegedly engaged in fraudulent and deceptive practices by placing residential customers in option ARM and other mortgages. After successfully challenging several claims with motions to dismiss, Mr. Egan reached confidential settlements with favorable terms for his clients.

Mr. Egan was the trial counsel for a carpentry subcontractor facing a personal injury case over a residential construction project. The suit sought damages in excess of the client’s insurance coverage for severe injuries sustained by plaintiff, who fell through an unguarded opening at the project to the basement. Mr. Egan obtained summary judgment for the client by challenging a claim that the client voluntarily undertook the duty to barricade the opening. The ruling was affirmed on appeal.

Mr. Egan represented the Chicago Housing Authority in multiple cases involving death or serious personal injury. He successfully defended the client in several cases in Cook County Circuit Court, representing the client at trial through verdict or summary judgment, as well as during appeals in Illinois Appellate Court.

Representative Reported Decisions

Rojas Concrete Inc. v. Flood Testing Laboratories Inc., 406 Ill.App.3d 477 (1st Dist. 2010): client’s dismissal upheld based on the duty owed by the construction materials testing firm to the other contractors on the job site.

Morris v. Halsey, 379 Ill.App.3d 574 (1st Dist. 2008): dismissing product liability claims against a foreign manufacturer client based on the lack of personal jurisdiction in Illinois.

Bakery Machinery Fabrication Inc. v. Traditional Baking Inc., 570 F.3d 845 (7th Cir. 2009): substantial judgment for the client in a commercial case upheld against a challenge under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 (b)(6).

Ivory v. Specialized Assistance Services Inc., 365 Ill.App.3d 544 (1st Dist. 2006): dismissal of wrongful termination claims against the client upheld based on the terms of the employee handbook.

Lange v. Midwest Carpentry, 358 Ill.App.3d 962 (1st Dist. 2005): summary judgment for the client, a construction subcontractor, upheld against a claim under the voluntary undertaking doctrine.

Laramore v. Ritchie Realty Mgmt. Co., 397 F.3d 544 (7th Cir. 2005): affirming the dismissal of all claims against the client under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

McCoy ex rel Jones v. Chicago Housing Authority, 333 Ill.App.3d 305 (1st Dist. 2002): summary judgment for the client in a wrongful death case upheld against a challenge of voluntary assumption of a duty.

Stickler v. American Augers Inc., 325 Ill.App.3d 506 (1st Dist. 2001): circuit court’s approval of additional settlement terms adverse to the client in a wrongful death case were overturned under the Contribution Act.

Stickler v. American Augers Inc., 303 Ill.App.3d 689 (1st Dist. 1999): circuit court’s approval of settlement terms and set-off adverse to the client were overturned.

Engram v. Chicago Housing Authority, 304 Ill.App.3d 570 (1st Dist. 1999): judgment entered in favor of client in a wrongful death case, overturning adverse ruling by the circuit court.