Fourth-generation attorney Ted Meyers discusses a life immersed in law
By Mike Danahey firstname.lastname@example.org January 29, 2013 2:40PM
The law firm of Meyers and Flowers, LLC; (first row, left to right) Brian Perkins, Ted Meyers, Pete Flowers, Craig Brown and Ryan Theriault, (second row, left to right) Gladys Santana, Sean Hendrick, Michael Colwell, John Harp, Bob Sandner and Sheri Brown. Photo taken on Thursday, January 24, 2013. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
For more information, visit www.foote-meyers.com.
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:32AM
ST. CHARLES — Attorney Ted Meyers sees himself as more of a writer than a litigator.
While that trait has meant best-selling novels for John Grisham and Scott Turow, Meyers’ prose is more about interpretations of insurance provisions than character development.
While that might not lead to Harrison Ford or Tom Cruise starring in a movie adaptation of his work, it’s served Meyers well in an almost genetically predetermined law career that recently turned a page into another chapter.
From 1999 through 2012, Meyers was part of the firm Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers, which this year amicably split in two: Foote, Mielke & Chavez in Geneva and Meyers & Flowers, for short (add Brown, Perkins and Theriault for the long version) in St. Charles and Chicago.
The former specializes in class-action and employment-related cases, and has seven attorneys. Meyers said his firm has 13 lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice, personal injury, product liability and workers’ compensation cases.
Of the new alignment, Meyers, 52, said, “The newly made partners are younger and bring an energy to the firm. I’m excited about being able to continue to expand our reach while taking care of our established clients.”
Meyers said he comes from a family four generations deep in lawyers, and his father — William T. Meyers — had a general practice for about 50 years in Elgin with an office in downtown’s Tower Building.
Like his dad, Meyers said, “I see myself as more of a transactional guy” (lawyers who specialize in contracts, regulatory law, corporate law, securities regulation, bankruptcy, real estate and such — compared to attorneys who head to court) and liken what he does to the work of a family doctor.
Meyers said he was drawn to shape the firm toward its specialties when, as a young attorney, he saw insurance companies all too often willing to find ways to use the system not to pay claims.
“Lawyers get a bad reputation. The reality is we don’t sue unless there is a huge problem. For every 50 medical malpractice cases that come our way, we wind up taking one,” Meyers said.
Meyers, who lives only a mile from his office, is the married father of three young children. A member of the Kane County and Illinois State bar associations, Meyers also works with the Mary Gardner Foundation, which supports the McHenry County Youth Orchestra and Camp Algonquin.
“There’s never really a day off, as there’s so much to do,” Meyers said. “It’s fun, though, with a lot of variety, and it’s very gratifying when you get some justice.”
To that end, Meyers’ firms have been involved with some headline-making cases in recent years, both here in Kane and across the country:
In April, 2011, Peter Flowers filed nine new suits against DePuy Orthopaedics, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, and its distributor, Premier Orthopedics, on behalf of Illinois residents whom the suits say were injured by DePuy’s ASR artificial hip replacement device (which was recalled in 2010).
According to the website, the suits were filed in Cook County and alleged DePuy did not adequately test the ASR device before bringing it to market and it “had risks which exceeded the benefits.” The latest filings were part of a growing number of lawsuits brought against DePuy by the firm, which is representing about 700 plaintiffs nationwide, with other firms bringing thousands more lawsuits against the manufacturer.
In July 2006, a Kane County jury ruled that Provena Saint Joseph Hospital must pay $24.7 million to the family of Elgin resident Narin Bun, who was left incapacitated because of a nurse’s mistake.
At the time of the decision, a hospital spokeswoman said Provena would not appeal the decision, and the hospital’s insurance company would cover the cost of the award.
Bun suffered a heart attack and stroke at the hospital June 8, 2002, after a nurse improperly removed an intravenous tube from her body, which led to severe brain damage and left her in need of constant professional care. Bun had been admitted to the hospital suffering from toxic shock syndrome.
In May 2012, the Ohio Court of Appeals overturned a 2011 decision ruling that the Ford Motor Co. had to pay $2 billion in a class-action lawsuit that accused it of overcharging more than 3,000 commercial truck dealerships over an 11-year period.
According to the Foote-Meyers website, in the 2011 ruling (on a case filed in 2002) the judge agreed that Ford made dealers pay a total of $800 million more than they should have for nearly 475,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks, including tractor-trailers and bulldozers.
According to news reports last year, the court of appeals ordered a new trial, finding the contract Ford had with dealers was ambiguous and that evidence Ford wanted submitted was wrongfully excluded from the proceedings.