(1933 - 2020)
Gene Pavalon graduated from Von Steuben High School in 1950 and went to the University of Illinois at Navy Pier. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1956. Immediately after law school, Gene served in the United States Air Force as a JAG officer. He loved the Air Force and would have remained, but family responsibilities brought him back to Chicago.
Gene's legal career began in labor law, but he soon found a passion in representing those harmed by faulty products or substandard medical care. He became an active leader in the fight for justice for consumers and patients. He began devoting his energies to personal injury and wrongful death cases during the 1960s when the law on behalf of the plaintiff was expanding dramatically. Since that time, he focused primarily on these areas, winning numerous record setting verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients.
In 2006, Gene brought in the largest single settlement amount in a Illinois med mal case. The $35 million settlement was reached on behalf of Neveen Morkos, an Egyptian immigrant and mother of two who suffered brain damage when her oxygen supply was cut off during appendectomy surgery. The anesthesiologist failed to secure and seal an intubation tube causing the injury. After being in a persistent vegetative state for about four weeks, Neveen recovered some cognitive functioning and motor functions. Gene turned down a number of offers, and ultimately settled on the eve of trial.
Gene was a noted teacher and lecturer is an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University School of Law teaching Trial Advocacy. In his quest to empower consumers, Gene authored the book "Human Rights and Health Care Law" in 1979 and co-authored the book "Your Medical Rights" in 1990. He also made numerous television and radio appearances, where he advocated for greater consumer protections, as well as greater self-advocacy for patients.