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David C. Wise







As the founding partner of Wise Morrissey, David Wise has established himself as one of the top Chicago area plaintiff attorneys with more than 15 multi-million dollar verdicts and scores of cases that exceeded $1 million. Since founding the firm in 2002, Mr. Wise has won settlements and verdicts that now exceed $250 million.

Mr. Wise is listed as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association, has been selected as a Leading Lawyer every year since the award's inception, and is rated AV in the Martindale-Hubbell rating system--the highest distinction available. He specializes in product liability, construction site accidents, workplace accidents, plane crashes, crane accidents, gas explosions, railroad accidents, truck accidents, motor vehicle accidents, road design cases, medical malpractice cases and general negligence.

After a long career at another plaintiff's law firm, Mr. Wise has expanded Wise Morrissey from its original three members to its current seven members.

In 2001, Mr. Wise was recognized as one of the "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty To Watch," by Chicago Lawyer when he was only 34 years old. The recognition is based upon review and recommendations of judges, bar leaders, and other lawyers. Mr. Wise has been selected as a Leading Lawyer and Super Lawyer since their inception.

Among others, David has successfully represented tradesmen and women in the following trades and unions to name but a few:

  • Local 1 Ironworkers
  • Local 1 Boilermakers
  • Local 63 Ironworkers
  • Local 150 Operating Engineers
  • Local 13 Carpenters
  • Local 54 Carpenters
  • Local 363 Carpenters
  • Local 17 Pipe Insulators
  • Local 134 Electricians
  • Local 2 Elevator mechanics
  • Local 501 Plumbers
  • Local 597 Pipefitters
  • Local 2 Laborers
  • Local 11 Roofers

Selected Cases and Results

Medical Malpractice

  • $35 Million for a child injured at birth.
  • $2.25 Million for wrongful death after brain surgery

Plane Crashes

  • $24 million in verdicts and settlements for the families of four people killed and one injured on an American Eagle plane crash in North Carolina.
  • $4 Million for deaths in crash of small plane

Train and Railroad Accidents

  • $4.25 Million for a man who lost part of his leg in a train accident.
  • $5 Million for the family of a woman killed in the Amtrak Disaster in Mobile Alabama.

Workplace and Construction Site Accidents

  • $8.8 Million for an ironworker who suffered an ankle injury on a construction site
  • $8 Million for an ironworker who fell five feet down an un-barricaded elevator shaft on a construction site.
  • $6.2 Million verdict for a crane operator injured in a crane mishap on a construction site.
  • $5 Million for an electrician injured on a fall from a ladder on a construction site.
  • $5 Million for a roofer injured on a construction site.
  • $4.15 Million for the family of a man electrocuted while installing wiring at a machine shop.
  • $4 Million for a carpenter injured on a construction site.
  • $3.8 Million for an ironworker injured in bridge collapse.
  • $3.75 Million for a carpenter when a form fell on him at a construction site
  • $3.28 Million for a boilermaker injured on a construction site.
  • $3.1 Million for an ironworker who slipped on ice on a construction site.
  • $2.25 Million for a carpenter who lost his footing on a form at a construction site
  • $2.2 Million for a pipefitter injured when he slipped on a pneumatic canister on a construction site.
  • $2 Million for an ironworker with a shoulder injury in a fall from a scaffold

Crane Operation Negligence

  • $5 Million for a man electrocuted on a construction site.
  • $5.2 Million for family of man killed by bearing failure in railroad gantry crane collapse.
  • $2.25 Million for an ironworker injured by a tower crane on a construction site.

Road Construction / Design Negligence

  • $5.6 Million for a motorcyclist injured due to unsafe road construction work.

Truck Accidents

  • $5.5 Million for a man hit by a truck.
  • $3 Million for pedestrian injured by turning truck.
  • $2 Million for the family of a child hit by a turning truck

Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • $4 Million verdict for the death of a mother hit by a school district van.
  • $2.5 Million verdict for siblings of man killed by limousine.
  • $2 Million for a man in a motor vehicle accident, broken legs and pelvis

Product Liability

  • $11 Million verdict for a man injured from fall off ladder due to defective design.
  • $5.2 Million for family of man killed by bearing failure in railroad gantry crane collapse.
  • $5 Million (policy limit) for man paralyzed in fall from exercise equipment.
  • $3 Million for the family of a child strangled in a defective crib/playpen.
  • $2.5 Million for a man injured when improperly packaged lumber fell on him
  • Confidential Settlement for man paralyzed due to defective seatbelt in auto accident; $8,000,000 past and future medical bills.
  • Confidential Settlement for a woman paralyzed due to defectively designed roof in Nissan pick-up truck rollover. $14,000,000 past and future medical bills.

Gas explosions

  • $5 Million for family of woman and son killed in natural gas leak and explosion in residential home.

Airport Accidents

  • $1.75 Million verdict for pilot who slipped on ice at O'Hare airport.
  • Confidential Settlement for woman airline passenger injured in slip at Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris, France.

Negligent Security

  • $1.4 Million for woman assaulted at Merchandise Mart.
  • Confidential Settlement for man shot three times at a Chicago Housing Complex.


  • $4.5 Million for the family of a man killed when he was hit by falling ice while walking on the sidewalk on Michigan Avenue.
  • $2.6 Million verdict for concertgoer injured in slip and fall at Soldier Field.
  • $2 Million for a trip and fall on an improperly constructed step
  • $1.5 Million for a worker struck by a forklift

When not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

Areas Of Practice

  • Wrongful Death
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Aviation and Aircrashes
  • Construction Negligence
  • Workplace Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Transportation Negligence
  • Premises Liability
  • Vehicular Negligence
  • Trucking Accidents
  • Maritime Actions
  • Railroad Liability
  • Federal Employee's Liability Act (FELA)
  • Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit


  • The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D.
  • University of Illinois, Illinois
    • B.A.

Representative Cases

  • Budrik v. R.C. Wegman Construction Company
  • Farmer v. Turner Construction, et al.
  • Tinney v. The Fitness Experience
  • McLenighan v. MC Sports
  • Bartos v. Gallant
  • Yamashiro v. Harmony Nursing Home
  • Keeney v. Morris Tice, et al.
  • Kubicek v. Central Intermodal
  • Wojtecki v. Wegman Construction
  • Owens v. Rochford
  • Livingston v. Lotus Consulting Services, Inc.
  • Bowen v. Smykal & Assoc., et al
  • Kandemir v. LePetre
  • Arkebauer v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Munoz v. Mayfield
  • Lecat v. Wilmette School District 39
  • Robak v. Citgo Petroleum Company
  • Bolin v. Schroeder
  • Parker v. American Airlines
  • Peters v. American Airlines
  • Lewis v. American Airlines
  • Stellato v. American Airlines
  • Johnson v. American Airlines
  • Norris v. Cessna
  • Mezydlo v. Filip Metal
  • Booth v. Nieman Marcus
  • Abrogast v. Illinois Central Railroad
  • Ginzel v. Kolcraft
  • Pennington v. Tech Sales, Inc.
  • Griffin v. Commonwealth Edison
  • Kennedy v. Nissan
  • Pickett v. General Motors


  • John Marshall Law School
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Illinois State Bar Association
  • DePaul Law School, Guest Lecturer
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

Honors and Awards

  • Illinois Super Lawyers (personal injury plaintiffs, product liability and general)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers (aviation law, general personal injury law, personal injury transportation law)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Managers
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice