Medical Malpractice

Robert B. Sickels

Senior Shareholder

Direct Dial (248) 746-4588
Direct Fax (248) 936-2165
Email rsickels@sommerspc.com
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For more than 30 years, Robert Sickels has successfully represented plaintiffs involved in complex personal injury, medical negligence, and products liability matters.

He has developed particular expertise in cases involving injuries to baby and mother during birth, brain damage during medical procedures, death or catastrophic injury due to other forms of medical negligence, defective products, and defective premises. His thorough investigation and zealous advocacy has enabled him to engineer numerous settlements and jury verdicts, resulting in many millions of dollars in compensation for his clients.

In addition to his courtroom accomplishments, Mr. Sickels proudly serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Michigan Association for Justice, working to advocate for the rights of those injured by the wrongful acts of others.

Currently, Mr. Sickels is pursuing compensation for over 30 victims of contaminated steroid injections supplied by a Boston drug manufacturer to four different pain clinics in Michigan. Also, as the recipient of two prosthetic hips, he has taken a particular interest in defective hip devices, representing more than 50 individuals who have been damaged by recalled devices manufactured by DePuy Orthopedics, Stryker Orthopedics, Wright Medical Technologies and Biomet.

Education

  • Wayne State University Law School, Juris Doctor
  • Michigan State University, Bachelor of Arts

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Claims

Areas of Practice

  • A $925,000 settlement for an 87-year old widow who was injured when another driver failed to yield to oncoming traffic, colliding with the her vehicle. The collision trapped the plaintiff in her car, requiring first responders to extricate her so that she could be airlifted to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor. There, her right leg was amputated and she later underwent surgery to replace a fractured left hip. She continues to suffer from a foot drop that requires a brace.
  • A $5.3 million settlement for a three-year-old boy who became brain damaged during a medical procedure to repair a bleeding blood vessel in his throat following a simple tonsillectomy. The defendants were ear, nose, and throat surgeons who failed to repair the vessel despite three visits to an emergency room with complaints of coughing up blood and an anesthesiologist who failed to timely intubate the boy.
  • A $1.9 million pre-suit settlement for a man who became paralyzed from the waist down when a resident at a hospital attempted to fix a broken neck with a Halo device and traction. During the procedure, the resident applied more and more traction until the Halo device caused a whiplash type injury to his spinal cord.
  • A $1.1 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case involving an obese man who had undergone a second weight loss surgery. After the surgery, a leak developed in a portion of the esophagus the surgeon had sewn to the newly downsized stomach, and which caused widespread infection. The Northern Michigan county in which the trial took place had not had a medical malpractice verdict in favor of a plaintiff in the previous twelve years.
  • A $2.9 million settlement for the family of a young woman who died due to the failure of a hospital's nursing staff and staff neurologist to timely detect and treat an evolving stroke that caused fatal brain damage.
  • A $2.5 million settlement for a brain injured Pennsylvania infant whose doctors should have induced labor and accomplished delivery at least one week before the delivery finally occurred.
  • A $2.1 million settlement in a case involving the collapse of a large steel structure at a Detroit steel manufacturing facility, killing two workers.
  • A $2.5 million settlement for a 20 year-old man who presented to the emergency department of a large hospital with signs and symptoms consistent with bacterial meningitis. The ER physician misdiagnosed the condition as being a simple ear infection and released the man with a prescription for oral antibiotics. He returned 24 hours later, disoriented and unable to walk, and lapsed into a coma lasting two months. Although he regained consciousness and left the hospital eight months after his arrival, he sustained a complete loss of vision.
  • A $1.2 million judgment against a surgeon whose post-operative orders caused the patient to suffer a moderately severe stroke, depriving the patient the enjoyment of his retirement years.
  • A $1.3 million settlement for a client whose breast cancer was not timely diagnosed due to the failure of her surgeon to biopsy a palpable lump that a radiologist had called "benign" in a mammogram report.
  • Michigan Association for Justice – Member, Executive Board of Directors
  • American Association for Justice
  • Stryker Rejuvenate Litigation Group (AAJ)
  • Biomet Litigation Group (AAJ)
  • Wright Technologies Litigation Group (AAJ)
  • DePuy ASR Litigation Group (AAJ)

You told me that I did not have to thank you. You are correct, I do not have to thank you but I want to thank you. First, I want to thank you for the many hours you spent researching and compiling all aspects of Bill's life and premature death. Second, I want to thank you for those few days in an Emmet County courtroom where you told Bill's story to total strangers in such a way that allowed them to know how special he was and how senseless it was that he wasn't there to speak for himself. Your ability, understanding, compassion and at time dispassionate way of speaking for those who no longer can speak for themselves are truly remarkable. Finally, I want to thank you for the support and sometimes reality checks you have given me during the last several years. God know I needed the reality checks especially when wheels of justice turn. May your next client have more patience and understanding of the system.

Honors/Awards

  • Best Lawyers – Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice, 2010 to Present
  • SuperLawyers – Michigan, 2006 and 2008 to Present
  • DBusiness Top Lawyers – 2013
  • AV Preeminent Lawyer – Peer Review Rating of 5.0 out of 5.0 (Martindale-Hubbell)

Seminars/Lectures

  • Medical Device Litigation: Hips, Knees, Mesh and More, Michigan Association for Justice Seminar in the Snow, March 2013
  • Medical Device Litigation in Michigan, Michigan Association for Justice Rapid Fire Seminar, May 2011
  • Updates Regarding Daubert and Edry, Michigan Association for Justice, November 2010
  • Proving Damages in Malpractice Cases, Michigan Association for Justice, 2008