Matthew Sims is a shareholder with the firm and a trial lawyer who represents victims and their families in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the country and has tried cases to verdict in several states.
Matthew regularly handles high-profile and complex cases, including traumatic brain injury cases, explosions, product liability cases, trucking accidents, aviation crashes, and construction injuries.
He is currently involved in numerous high profile cases, including the Boeing 737 Max 8 litigation arising out of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, where he serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, the 2019 Henry Pratt Mass Shooting and the 2022 Highland Park Parade Mass Shooting. Recently, he served as court appointed lead counsel in the Husky Superior Refinery explosion litigation, and co-lead counsel in the crash of US Airways Flight 1702, the 2019 Ketchikan Alaska Midair Collision, and the 2020 Soldotna Alaska Midair Collision.
Matthew is a published author and presenter on products liability and aviation crash litigation. He is the author of the Illinois text on Strict Products Liability. He also serves as the Vice-Chair for the American Association of Justice’s Aviation Section.
Some of Matthew’s recent recoveries on behalf of his clients have included:
- $16.7 million judgment for two victims of a mass shooting
- $8.625 million in a product liability suit for a stunt performer injured by a defective motorcycle
- $7.75 million for a worker’s burn injuries
- $7.6 million for workers poisoned by lead in a shipyard
- $6.6 million jury verdict for an ironworker injured at a jobsite
- $6.4 million in a product liability case involving bleeding complications from a defectively designed medical device
- $5.75 million for a passenger who walked away from a commercial airplane crash but later developed back problems
- $4.9 million in a slip and fall that resulted in a fractured leg and eventual death of a woman at work
- $4.3 million record-setting highest hand amputation compensation ever recovered in Illinois following an industrial work accident. The worker’s hand was reattached and he regained function despite the injury.
- $3.875 million for a mild traumatic brain injury
- $3 million first-of-its-kind jury verdict against a global pharmaceutical company for concealing the suicide risks of its drug after a man took his life while on a generic version of the drug
- $3 million in a product liability case where a factory worker was killed while operating a defectively designed machine
- $2.3 million in a case involving the malfunction of an airport service vehicle that pinned a worker against an aircraft.
- $2.25 million record-setting highest personal injury recovery ever for any injury in that jurisdiction for a client who suffered a fractured femur and burns in a car accident.
- $2 million record-setting recovery for an ankle injury in that jurisdiction. The original offer from the defendants before expert discovery commenced was 25 cents.
- $1.075 million record-setting settlement for a 95-year-old woman who suffered a broken hip. The recovery is the highest injury settlement ever for a nonagenarian in the state of Illinois.
- $1 million for the family of a motorcyclist killed in an unwitnessed collision with a truck
- $1 million for a husband and wife struck by a truck in their minivan.
- $939,000 record-setting settlement for a broken ankle in a trucking accident that also set a record as the highest ever in that jurisdiction.
Matthew has also handled numerous airplane and helicopter accidents that resulted in substantial but confidential recoveries on behalf of his clients.
Due to his experience in representing his clients, Matthew has been recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers every year for the last ten years with a distinction limited to only the top 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 in the State of Illinois. Chicago Lawyer Magazine recognized him as one of Illinois’ “Top 40 under 40”. Best Lawyers in America has repeatedly named him as “Ones to Watch.” The National Trial Lawyers has selected him as a “Top 40 Under 40” attorney practicing in the field of plaintiff’s personal injury every year for the last 7 years.
While most of his work is in the trial court, Matthew has meaningful experience with appellate matters, including in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Matthew originally hails from the western suburbs of Chicago where he grew up and attended high school. He received his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, earning a Certificate of Superior Achievement, before returning to Chicago to attend law school.
Matthew graduated from The John Marshall Law School (now known as the University of Illinois Chicago Law School) with his Juris Doctorate, as well as a Certificate in Trial Advocacy, which was awarded to less than 3% of graduating students. In law school, he won the school-wide Dean Herzog Moot Court Competition. His legal brief was also recognized as the best written brief of the competition. During law school, he was also chosen from a select group to study abroad in the field of trial advocacy at The Honorable Society of the King’s Inn in Dublin, Ireland. As a law student, he clerked for the Cook County Public Defender’s Office, as well as the Presiding Judge of the Fifth District of Cook County.
- The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
- J.D. – 2009
- Honors: Certificate in Trial Advocacy
- Honors: First Place – Dean Herzog Moot Court Competition
- Honors: Best Brief – Dean Herzog Moot Court Competition
- Honors: Second Place – American Association of Justice Trial Advocacy Competition
- Honors: Quarterfinalist – Buffalo Niagara Mock Trial Competition
- Honors: Trial Advocacy at The Honorable Society of the King’s Inn – Dublin, Ireland
- Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
- B.A. – 2006
- Honors: Certificate of Superior Achievement
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
- American Association for Justice
- American Association for Justice – Aviation Section
- American Association for Justice – Aviation Section – Executive Committee
- American Association for Justice – Admiralty Section
- American Association for Justice – Traumatic Brain Injury Section
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association – Aviation Section
- Illinois State Bar Association
- North American Brain Injury Society
- National Board of Trial Advocacy – Board Certified in Civil Law
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
- U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States of America
- Illinois Super Lawyer – Rising Star, 2014-2023
- Best Lawyers in America – Ones to Watch, 2020-2023
- National Trial Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40, 2017-2023
- National Aviation Trial Lawyers – Top 10, 2020-2023
- Chicago Lawyer Magazine – Top 40 under 40, 2022
- “Strict Products Liability”, Tort Actions, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education Book, 2022
- The Potential Impact of the Supreme Court’s Ford Motor Company Ruling on Aviation Product Liability and Montreal Convention Cases, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Autumn 2021
- Toxic Cabin Air? New Information Reveals the Potentially Neurotoxic Effects of Contaminated Airplane Cabin Air, Legal Examiner 2021
- Alaska Midair Collision Latest Air Tragedy Involving Tourists, Legal Examiner 2020
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – A Truly Life Changing Injury, Legal Examiner 2020
- Cockpit Voice Recorder Audio Evidence is Centrally Important in Civil Litigation and Discoverable under 49 U.S.C. § 1154: The Flight 1702 Example, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2019
- International Air Accidents Require the Application of Special Laws Governed by the Montreal Convention, Legal Examiner 2019
- Cockpit Video Recorders Still Rare, But Highly Useful In Aviation Crash Investigations, Legal Examiner 2018
- Put the Phone Down! Distracted Driving Deaths on the Rise in Illinois, Legal Examiner, 2016
- Federal Lawsuit Shows Preventable Cases of Lead Poisoning are Still Occurring on the Jobsite, Legal Examiner, 2016
- Important Ride-Sharing Questions Come to Surface in Light of $28.5 Million Settlement by Uber After Lawsuit Alleges Background Checks Were Skipped, Legal Examiner, 2016
- Appellate Court Relies on Subcontract to Save General Contractor from Construction Negligence Claim, Cassiday Schade Blog; 2014
- Post-Ramirez: A Close Focus on the Current State of the 55-Series Illinois Pattern Instructions, IDC Quarterly; 2014
- Retaining Control: Recent 2014 Interpretations of Restatement Section 414, IDC Quarterly; 2014
- Danger: Res Judicata Ahead – Why Construction Contractors Need to Take a ‘Use it or Lose it’ Approach to Express Indemnification, and Other Cautionary Tales Arising from Camper v. Burnside Construction, IDC Quarterly; 2014
- Illinois Appellate Court Broadens Scope of Anti-Indemnity Act to Protect Illinois Contractors, Cassiday Schade Blog; 2013