(1945 - 2007)
Dan Cullan grew up on a wheat farm near Hemingford, Nebraska. His academic career began in a one-room schoolhouse, and it led to degrees in law and medicine. He graduated from Regis College in 1967 and earned a law degree at Creighton University in 1971. He earned his medical degree at Creighton in 1982 and later served there as adjunct professor of medicine.
Early in his law career, Dan worked as a Douglas County public defender, but he made his name representing people who had been seriously injured or had lost loved ones.
Dan went on to become a nationally renowned physician and trial lawyer who was a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society. Most importantly he was a relentless advocate for children. He dedicated his life to helping children who were injured by medical negligence and dangerous products. Dan was one of the first lawyers to advocate that manufacturers place child protective caps on poisonous products. His work was instrumental in saving, preserving, and enhancing hundreds of thousands of lives.
In 2003, Nebraska's med mal cap for recoverable damages in medical malpractice actions was $1,250,000. Dan brought suit on behalf of Lisa Gourley who received prenatal care from Obstetricians-Gynecologists, P.C. (OB/GYN Group). OB/GYN Group performed an emergency cesarean section, and Lisa gave birth to two boys, one of whom suffered brain damage. At trial the jury awarded the Gourleys $5,625,000. Based on this case, the district court found that the cap was unconstitutional, in violation of the right to a jury trial, and the equal protection of the laws. Accordingly, the district court entered judgment in the full amount of the jury award.
Dan a very talented lawyer but an even more impressive human being. He was extraordinarily humble - a "class act" who taught by his example how we should live and treat others.