Stephan D. Blandin learned early that you must work hard and fight for what’s most important. He attended Chicago for public grammar and high school and started working when he was 12 and has been working hard since then. He left home at 16, supported by great friends, and was blessed with people who helped and loved him. His admission to DePaul University was a fortunate next step, where he met his wife. After they both graduated, he continued to DePaul University College of Law. They started their family in Edison Park and now live in a suburb of Chicago.

Mr. Blandin and co-Founding Partner Antonio Romanucci were young gun associates together and then formed Romanucci & Blandin in 1998, while sitting at the Palace Grill lunch counter on Madison Street in Chicago. Like the two attorneys, most of the firm's clients come from working-class backgrounds. Some of these clients have been victims of medical malpractice. Other clients' children have suffered birth injuries due to obstetric negligence. Fathers have been electrocuted at work, while other clients are immigrant moms and dads who have been treated as expendable and suffered fatal burns, amputations or crush injuries.

Much of the suffering Mr. Blandin sees in his clients is due to corporate greed. Sometimes, human carelessness or indifference has caused injuries or loss of life. All this conduct is referred to as Civil Tort liability. Romanucci & Blandin is also proud to fight in support of victims of clerical, educational and institutional abuse. We have taken on those that have caused cancer by dumping their chemicals into the soil, air and water. We have brought class actions against corporations that rip off consumers. We fight for civil rights victims and litigate for mass shooting victims.

His current cases include the fight for justice for residents of Union, Illinois, who were made sick after being unknowingly exposed to the toxic chemical TCE for years. He is proud to represent numerous members of the community with claims of cancer and other major health conditions. In 2023, Mr. Blandin and his co-counsel filed dozens of lawsuits against former OB/GYN and convicted sex offender Fabio Ortega for years of sexual abuse of patients. Our legal team believes Ortega's employer, NorthShore University HealthSystem, had notice of Ortega's alleged misconduct and continued to let him see patients. Also, in 2023, Mr. Blandin led a medical malpractice team that secured a $35 million birth injury settlement against Ortega. Additionally, he serves as co-lead counsel on the class action lawsuit on behalf of Commonwealth Edison customers in Illinois following the admission of bribery of state lawmakers by electrical utility Commonwealth Edison. He is also involved in mass shooting litigation, has authored blogs and spoken to the media about these high-profile cases. 

Mike Tyson is credited with saying that everybody has a plan until they get in the ring, and then when they are punched in the face, it becomes a street fight. As an advocate for his clients, Mr. Blandin understands this thinking and often refers to litigation with insurance companies and corporations as a "street fight."

Since that lunch counter meeting over 25 years ago when Romanucci & Blandin was formed, the firm has secured more than $1 billion in jury verdicts and settlements for our clients. We always fight like hell because our clients' lives depend on it. We take our clients' and their families' suffering personally. It is our motivation for the fight to come.

Mr. Blandin has committed his career to delivering justice for those harmed by victims of negligence, abuse and wrongful death. Mr. Blandin has focused his practice on catastrophic plaintiffs' cases arising from medical malpractice, environmental pollution, corporate corruption, construction and workplace accidents, birth injuries, transportation and airplane crashes, product liability, civil rights violations and nursing home negligence. He is a founding partner of Romanucci & Blandin LLC, a Chicago-based national trial firm. As the law firm has passed its 25th anniversary, he takes pride in its impact litigation for clients around the country, and the firm's contributions to legislation related to the firm's cases to improve safety in communities.

At Romanucci & Blandin, Mr. Blandin strives to serve clients with passion and preparedness. His commitment and attention to detail have contributed to the firm's success, obtaining more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for clients – dozens of results in excess of $1 million, including: a record-breaking $50 million settlement for the wife of a worker who died following a workplace injury in the Chicago area in 2016; a record-breaking $44.7 million verdict on behalf of a young man left bound to a wheelchair and with permanent brain damage following a gunshot wound to the head; $40 million awarded by a jury for a child paralyzed due to a spinal cord stroke that occurred during heart surgery; a $35 million settlement for following a three-week trial for a birth injury resulting in cerebral palsy; a $30 million settlement for a family after their son was left permanently disabled and brain injured as a result of 25 experimental surgeries; a $22.3 million award in a medical malpractice case which left a ten-year-old boy with disabilities; an unprecedented $17.6 million jury award in a police chase case where a bystander was left with quadriplegia; a $14 million settlement on behalf of a middle-aged female worker who had multiple fingers amputated while operating a metal fabrication machine at a factory in the Chicago area; and a record-breaking $12.35 million settlement on behalf of the family of a client whose doctors failed to diagnose her breast cancer in a timely manner, which ultimately led to her death at 37-years-old.

Mr. Blandin continues to be selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© - a list he has been on for over a decade. He has been repeatedly named a Top 100 Super Lawyer in Illinois and a Leading Lawyer since 2004. In 2022, he was named a Top 10 Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer by Leading Lawyers, and a Top 25 National Trial Lawyer by the Brain Injury Trial Lawyers Association. He is a member of America's Top 100 Medical Malpractice Litigators. Additionally, Martindale-Hubbell has awarded Mr. Blandin its AV-Preeminent* rating for his superb record and ethical standards. Crain's recognized him as a Top Litigators and Trial Attorneys member in its The Book 2024.

Mr. Blandin is a member of many professional organizations, including the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice and the Illinois State Bar Association. Mr. Blandin also serves as an American Bar Foundation Fellow. Less than 1% of lawyers in each state are considered for the honor, consisting of a review of their legal and civic contributions. From 2012 to 2019, he served as a Hearing Board Commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC). Mr. Blandin was one of more than 75 hearing board members who would make recommendations in disciplinary matters of lawyers in Illinois under the authority of the Supreme Court.

Heavily involved in the community, he has served as a board member of several nonprofit organizations, including the Knapp Burn Foundation, Salute Inc. and West Side Mentally Retarded Children’s Aid Inc. Mr. Blandin also volunteers his time working with Legal Prep Charter Academy – a high school on the West Side of Chicago where students use a unique law themed curriculum to prepare for the future. Most recently, Mr. Blandin spearheaded an ongoing effort within the legal community to support the important work being done by Frontline Foods Chicago and World Central Kitchen as these organizations support restaurants and keep them working by making meals, which are given to healthcare workers and community members in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mr. Blandin is called upon by the media as a legal expert who provides context on his cases and national legal trends. His remarks and cases have been featured in the New York TimesChicago TribuneWGN TV and RadioWTTW-TVNBC 5—ChicagoCBS 2—Chicago, the Madison—St. Clair RecordThe Chicago Crusader, and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

After graduating from DePaul University with his Bachelor of Arts in political science, Mr. Blandin earned his Juris Doctor in 1986 from DePaul University College of Law. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Arizona and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Practice Areas

Education & Certifications

  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1986
  • B.A., Political Science, DePaul University, 1983

Awards & Recognition

  • Member of the Crain's Chicago Business Notable Litigators and Trial Attorneys List, 2023
  • Advisor Board Member, Leading Lawyers, 2023
  • Speaker, DePaul University College of Law Racial Justice Initiative, 2023

  • Leading Lawyer's Top 10 Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers, 2022
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 25: Brain Injury, 2022-2023
  • America's Top 100 Medical Malpractice Litigators®, 2021-Present

  • Named one of The Best Lawyers in America©, 2013-Present
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as an Illinois Super Lawyer, 2005-Present
  • Illinois ‘Top 100’ Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2014, 2017-Present
  • Named a Leading Lawyer by Law Bulletin Publishing Company’s Leading Lawyers Division, 2003-Present
  • AV Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell™, 2005-2023
  • Member, Esteemed Lawyers of America

Notable Cases

$50,000,000 settlement – workplace injury

A record-breaking $50 million settlement was awarded to the wife of a worker who died following a tragic workplace injury in the Chicago area in 2016. The case was extremely complex as the multiple Defendants were represented by several different law firms. 

$44,700,000 verdict – police misconduct

A record-breaking $44.7 million verdict was awarded to a young man who suffered life-threatening and permanent injuries following an off-duty Chicago police officer’s service weapon discharging into the back of his head. Officer Patrick Kelly was found responsible for shooting the client and the City was responsible for failing to investigate its officers and having no early warning system, thus perpetuating this officer’s reckless behavior. Kelly was found to be within the top 2-5% of Chicago police officers with the largest number of citizen complaints. This is the largest verdict ever returned in a police misconduct lawsuit involving the city of Chicago and in the state of Illinois.

$40,000,000 verdict - medical malpractice

A jury awarded a child damages for paralysis resulting from a spinal cord stroke that occurred during heart surgery. At the time of his surgery, the child was three months old, and he is now paralyzed for life. The trial team established that the pediatric heart surgeon and perfusion team did not adequately protect the baby’s spinal cord after a lower extremity blood pressure line was reported as not working properly.

$35,000,000 settlement – birth injury

A family was awarded a $35 million settlement reached with NorthShore University HealthSystem and Dr. Fabio Ortega for a girl whose cerebral palsy occurred after medical malpractice and negligence by the doctor overseeing her delivery.

$22,300,000 verdict – medical malpractice

A Cook County jury awarded the parents of a ten-year-old boy with a $22.3 million verdict in a medical negligence case arising out of the care and treatment on May 29, 1999, at Advocate Christ Medical Center/Hope Children's Hospital, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn. The negligence resulted in the loss of the boy's left leg and other disabilities.

$17,600,000 verdict – police car chase

A police car chase on the expressway leaves a bystander with incomplete quadriplegia.

$14,000,000 settlement - workplace injury

A settlement on behalf of a middle-aged female worker who had multiple fingers amputated while operating a metal fabrication machine at a factory

$12,350,000 settlement – medical malpractice

A record-breaking settlement was secured on behalf of the family of a client whose doctors failed to diagnose her breast cancer in a timely manner, which ultimately led to her death at 37 years old. The client, a young mother, was a high-risk breast cancer patient with a family history and a sister with breast cancer. The patient had lumps in her left breast and armpit that were ignored for two years. The health system and specialists misread ultrasounds and mammograms, failed to order timely biopsies and failed to communicate with each other, resulting in late-stage breast cancer when it was finally diagnosed in 2014. She died in 2016. The settlement is the largest in Illinois for an untimely diagnosis of breast cancer case.

$8,000,000 settlement – medical malpractice

An $8 million settlement was secured on behalf of our client who was born with a mild form of Hirschsprung’s disease, which affects the nerve cells in the large intestine and a baby’s ability to pass stool. Following a standard surgery shortly after birth to cure the disease, the child could function fairly normally until being treated by the defendant physician who performed an experimental bowel surgery--which failed, leading to complications when she was four years old. 

$7,500,000 settlement – workplace injury

As a result of an industrial accident, a 45–year–old boiler maker suffered crush injuries when an object fell on Plaintiff. His injuries included: A right orbital blow–out, multiple facial bone fractures, a thoracic burst fracture and multiple rib fractures.

$6,000,000 settlement – workplace injury

A union plumber was assigned to a construction site where an add-on was being built at an existing industrial building. In January 2011, the plaintiff was on the job site completing interior plumbing work when he was told by the general contractor to complete some work requiring him to go to the roof. When he got outside, he encountered a snow and ice-covered TPO roof. Within minutes of stepping on the roof, our client slipped and fell, significantly injuring his back, resulting in a laminectomy and fusion, and ultimately ending his career. 

$5,550,000 settlement – workplace injury

A female construction worker suffered incomplete paraplegia when a more than five-foot trench collapsed onto her body.

$5,348,750 verdict – auto collision

A self-employed roofing contractor, who was heading home on the Dan Ryan expressway, suffered multiple injuries, including leg, pelvis and rib fractures, lung contusions, ruptured spleen and a mild brain injury, when his vehicle was cut off by a CTA bus, and he struck another bus which was stalled in the middle lane. 

$4,000,000-plus settlement – premises liability 

$2.5 million settlement for a 20-year-old window washer who suffered extensive injuries, including a below-the-knee amputation of his left leg, after falling 30 feet from a hospital roof where he was working. As part of the settlement, the window washer’s employer waived $500,000 of its workers’ compensation lien and agreed to fund the plaintiff’s future medical expenses, which will exceed $1 million, increasing the settlement value to more than $4 million.

$4,000,000 settlement – wrongful death 

In a wrongful death case, the family of a 38-year-old man received restitution upon his untimely death following a post-surgical complication related to a routine gastric bypass surgery. A CT scan revealed a partially obstructed bowel but the hospital physicians failed to follow up. The man became septic and died.

$4,000,000 settlement – wrongful death 

Wrongful death occurred while a man was on the premises of an area retailer.

$3,689,733 verdict – medical malpractice 

In a record-breaking chiropractic malpractice verdict, a man suffered a sudden onset of paralysis from the chest down due to a growth in his thoracic spine which completely compromised his spinal cord. The chiropractor ignored x-rays of his lumbar spine which revealed this progressive, degenerative disease and performed chiropractic manipulations on that area of his back.

$3,500,000 verdict – bus accident 

A male, who was intoxicated at the time, suffered severe injuries to his left leg when he was knocked down and his leg run over by a bus. The bus driver violated standard CTA operating procedures by failing to maintain a three-foot clearance between the bus and the pedestrian.

$3,500,000 verdict

A truck driver fell and sustained brain injuries while exiting his semi-tractor cab. The trucking company owner had failed to replace a missing driver’s side safety grab bar, which the plaintiff contended would have prevented or lessened the severity of the fall.

3,350,000 settlement – construction accident

A 50-year-old male died as a result of an alleged failure to provide the worker with fall protection in an industrial accident. His family received a settlement for $3,350,000 plus a workers’ compensation lien waiver.

$3,375,000 settlement

The plaintiff, a 36-year-old truck driver, was helping to unload steel off his truck when his right hand and wrist were crushed by a load of steel after the straps from the crane broke. The defendant in the case was a steel company.

Appellate Court Ruling

Appellate reverses trial court and reinstates wrongful death case against City of Peru, Illinois. A 14-year-old boy was killed while riding a dirt bike when his neck struck a cable. City workers had strung the cable neck high along a path owned by a railroad. The trial court ruled that the City was immune from prosecution and dismissed the case. The Appellate court reversed the ruling because the cable was not on the City’s property and they were not authorized to string the cable. The boy is survived by his parents and siblings.

$2,750,000 settlement – auto collision

A 35-year-old male worker suffered aggravation of his prior spinal injury after being rear-ended by a semi-truck. Prior to the collision, the plaintiff had undergone two spinal fusions. At the time of the subject collision, he was asymptomatic. As a result of the collision, the plaintiff aggravated his prior back conditions and developed chronic pain syndrome. As a result of the chronic back pain, he has undergone three surgical procedures for a spinal cord stimulator, one temporary, one permanent, and one repair.

$2,500,000 settlement – motorcycle accident/brain injury

A motorcyclist lost control of his bike at an intersection, resulting in orthopedic injuries and a traumatic brain injury. Our investigation uncovered improper warning signals and raised manhole covers at the intersection.

$2,500,000 settlement – construction accident

A certified elevator mechanic was working to install two elevators at a commercial construction project in downtown Lake Bluff, Illinois when the project manager ordered a change in the direction of the work. Subsequently, he twisted his leg and tore the meniscus in his left knee while carrying a 20-foot-long, 100-pound hydraulic pipe on his shoulder. The plaintiff underwent surgery to repair the meniscus and afterward, developed complex regional pain syndrome in the leg – which he continues to receive treatment for to this day.

$2,500,000 verdict – workplace injury

The plaintiff, a 50-year-old Bosnian immigrant working as an ironworker, fell while on the job at a construction site. He suffered bilateral pelvic fractures and underwent surgery for the insertion of plates and screws to stabilize the pelvic rim.

$2,000,000 settlement – wrongful death

In a wrongful death suit, a deliveryman’s decedents received compensation for his death, resulting when he was hit by a street sweeper’s vehicle as it improperly merged from a highway median.

$2,000,000 settlement – medical negligence

A 41-year-old female complaining of shortness of breath and chest pains that radiated from her chest wall, down the left arm and abdomen lost her life following a delayed diagnosis of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. She died while waiting to undergo surgery to repair the aortic dissection at the University of Chicago Medical Center, after spending over eight hours in the hospital.

$1,900,000 settlement – pharmacist dosage error-wrongful death

Prior to litigation commencing, the wife of a 50-year-old man received restitution upon her husband’s untimely death after he was prescribed a lethal dosage of morphine. Her husband, who was recently given a good prognosis after finishing rounds of chemotherapy for treatment of his tongue cancer, died after being given six times the normal dosage of morphine by the pharmacy.

$1,500,000 settlement – workplace injury

While working at a construction site on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue, our client – a 50-year-old male laborer – sustained a crushed leg when a stacker was improperly loaded onto a delivery truck. His leg became entangled in a loose cable, and the stacker rolled back, pulling the cable taut and causing numerous leg fractures.

$1,300,000 settlement – auto collision   

A 24-year-old man’s vehicle was stalled on the expressway when he was rear-ended by a Coca-Cola truck traveling at high speed. The family was compensated for the loss of the male head of household and breadwinner.

$1,250,000 settlement – medical malpractice 

Our client died from inoperable prostate cancer as the result of a doctor’s failure to take a sufficient tissue sample during a biopsy. The doctor continued to rely on a negative test, despite the plaintiff’s persistence of high PSA levels.

$1,000,000 settlement – medical malpractice  

Our client suffered a stroke as a result of the doctors’ failure to follow up on his transitory ischemic attacks. He is now permanently impaired.

$1,000,000 settlement – medical malpractice  

The family of a deceased man received a settlement of $1 million, arising out of the failure of his physician to perform a cystoscopy that would have diagnosed late-stage muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

  • Illinois, 1986
  • Northern District of Illinois, 1987
  • Arizona, 2012
  • Wisconsin, 2015


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