Timothy Cavanagh

Founder

Timothy Cavanagh
Biography

Timothy J. Cavanagh, founding partner of Cavanagh Law Group, is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients including some of the largest personal injury victories in Illinois history. For more than a quarter of a century, Cavanagh has successfully represented victims in personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases in the Chicago area and around the United States. Since launching Cavanagh Law Group in 1997, Cavanagh has obtained more than 55 verdicts and settlements exceeding one million dollars and has a 99 percent success rate. Cavanagh is routinely recognized as one of the top trial and plaintiff lawyers in Illinois and the nation. Every year since 2015, Cavanagh has been selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of medical malpractice and personal injury law. Cavanagh Law Group is recognized as one of Best Law Firms in America©. Cavanagh also was selected one of the top 500 leading plaintiff’’ lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine.

Cavanagh has a reputation for taking on and winning the most challenging cases including a recent $20 million landmark settlement with the City of Chicago in the high profile “Code of Silence” wrongful death case. In Cazares vs. Frugoli, a drunk, off-duty Chicago Police Officer drove and fatally struck another vehicle with two passengers inside. During the federal court trial, Cavanagh uncovered evidence the City of Chicago failed to disclose crucial and damaging information during discovery. Cavanagh successfully compelled the City and Police Department to acknowledge its long-entrenched “Code of Silence,” resulting in a settlement split between the two victims’ families.

During his career, Cavanagh has obtained numerous record verdicts and settlements for his clients. Among them, a $55 million railroad crossing verdict recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top 100 verdicts in the country in 2002 and an Illinois record. Since then, Cavanagh has successfully represented other victims in railroad crashes obtaining a $9.1 million railroad crossing settlement for a severely injured woman, a $7.5 million settlement for a woman who was struck by a Metra train and suffered a brain injury and a $1.8 million settlement for a woman injured in a Metra derailment. Cavanagh has also become a nationally recognized advocate for Positive Train Control technology which would have prevented these tragedies.

Cavanagh also successfully represented clients injured or killed by trucks. He obtained a record $9.75 million-dollar settlement when a truck hit and severely injured a female triathlete riding her bike in downtown Chicago. It was the largest settlement in Illinois history for a case involving a vehicle and a bicyclist. Cavanagh obtained a $5.9 million settlement in 2017 on behalf of Mary Kriete-Green against Adan’s Trucking.

Green’s 38-year-old husband was struck and killed by a semi-truck. Cavanagh also obtained a confidential $10 million settlement in another trucking incident.

Other major legal victories for Cavanagh and his clients include a $14 million settlement for a five-year old Chicago boy who suffered a severe brain injury during birth after staff members at Northwestern Memorial Hospital mixed up his heart rate with his mother’s pulse. A seven minute lapse without oxygen caused the child to suffer cerebral palsy, leaving his arms and legs paralyzed. Cavanagh obtained $6.65 million wrongful death verdict for the family of an Arlington Heights man killed at the Kuwait Airport while helping to transport American troops there. Cavanagh was able to move the case to a Cook County courtroom. It was one of just a few times when a wrongful death case that occurred overseas was litigated in an American courtroom. Cavanagh also obtained a $5.75 million settlement for a twenty-eight-year-old, Mundelein police officer who was severely injured when a limousine driver rear-ended her squad car. She suffered an amputation of her right leg above the knee, multiple fractures of her left leg and the loss of her unborn baby weeks later. The award is the highest reported uninsured motorist award in Illinois history.

Cavanagh’s legal victories have also prompted changes in safety procedures and public policy. A $2 million-dollar verdict Cavanagh obtained for the family of an innocent motorist killed in a Chicago police chase prompted the department to revise its policy regarding police chases in the city.

Honors for Cavanagh and his law firm include

Best Lawyers Magazine

  • Best Lawyers in America-Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Litigation – 2015 to present
  • Best Lawyers: Cavanagh Law Group, Best Law Firms – 2016 to present
  • Cavanagh also was selected one of the top 500 leading plaintiff’’ lawyers in America by Lawdragon Magazine.
  • Selected to Super Lawyers by Thomas Reuters every year since 2005
  • Named a Leading Lawyer by a Division of the Law Bulletin Publishing Company every year since 2003 (an honor limited to only 5% of lawyers in Illinois).
  • Listed in the Irish Legal 100 by The Irish Voice Newspaper as one of the top Irish lawyers in America from 2010 to present
  • Cited as one of the top 100 consumer lawyers in Illinois.
  • The recipient of two Trial Lawyers Excellence Awards by the Jury Verdict Reporter (one was awarded for a record setting settlement and another for a record-setting verdict).
  • Included by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company on the “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” list in 2001.
  • John Carroll University – “Community Service Award;” December 12, 1999

Cavanagh frequently appears in Chicago and national media outlets including The Today Show, The Abrams Report, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Washington Post to discuss his cases and as a legal expert commenting on a variety of topics. He is also a frequent lecturer and speaker on legal topics around the United States.

Cavanagh earned a BA from John Carroll University in Ohio, and a JD from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, where he currently serves on its Executive Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Ambassadors of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, he is a member of the Board of Directors and vice president of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago, and he is a director of the Western Golf Association Evans Scholars Foundation. Cavanagh lives in Chicago with his wife Stacey and their six children.

Leading Lawyers: Timothy Cavanagh


American Association for Justice President's Club

Notable Cases
  • $55 million railroad crossing verdict recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top 100 verdicts in the country in 2002 and an Illinois record.
  • $7.5 million settlement for a woman who was struck by a Metra train and suffered a brain injury.
  • $1.8 million settlement for a woman injured in a Metra derailment.
  • $20 million landmark settlement with the City of Chicago in the high profile “Code of Silence” wrongful death case.
  • A record $9.75 million-dollar settlement when a truck hit and severely injured a female triathlete riding her bike in downtown Chicago.
  • $5.9 million settlement in 2017 on behalf of Mary Kriete-Green against Adan’s Trucking.
Education
  • IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D., 1987
  • John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio
    • B.A., 1984
Professional Membership
  • Illinois State Bar, 1987
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, General Bar, 1987
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar, 1989
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 1991