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Matthew Sims

Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C.
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Matthew Sims
Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C.


Matthew Sims is a shareholder with the firm and a trial lawyer who represents victims and their families in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the country and has tried cases to verdict in several states.

Matthew regularly handles high-profile and complex cases, including traumatic brain injury cases, explosions, commercial trucking accidents, defective product cases, construction injuries, medical malpractice, and commercial aviation crashes.

Currently, he is serving on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the Boeing 737 Max 8 litigation arising out of the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and recently, he served as co-lead counsel in the crash of US Airways Flight 1702. Matthew is a published author and presenter on aviation crash litigation and also serves on the Executive Committee for the American Association of Justice’s Aviation Section.

Some of Matthew's recoveries on behalf of his clients have included:

• $7,600,000 recovery for workers poisoned by lead in a shipyard

• $6,400,000 settlement in a product liability case involving bleeding complications from a defectively designed medical device

• $5,750,000 recovery for a passenger who walked away from a commercial airplane crash but later developed back problems

• $4,900,000 settlement in a slip and fall that resulted in a fractured leg and eventual death of a woman at work

• $3,000,000 first-of-its-kind jury verdict against a global pharmaceutical company for concealing the suicide risks of its drug after a man took his life while on a generic version of the drug

• $3,000,000 settlement in a product liability case where a factory worker was killed while operating a defectively designed machine

• $2,300,000 award in a case involving the malfunction of an airport service vehicle that pinned a worker against an aircraft.

• $2,250,000 record-setting highest personal injury recovery ever for any injury in that jurisdiction for a client who suffered a fractured femur and burns in a car accident.

• $2,000,000 record-setting recovery for an ankle injury in that jurisdiction. The original offer from the defendants before expert discovery commenced was 25 cents.

• $1,075,000 record-setting settlement for a 95-year-old woman knocked down by a grocery store clerk who suffered a broken hip. The recovery is the highest injury settlement ever for a nonagenarian in the state of Illinois.

• $939,000 record-setting settlement for a broken ankle in a trucking accident that also set a record as the highest ever in that jurisdiction.

Matthew has also handled numerous airplane and helicopter accidents that have resulted in substantial confidential recoveries on behalf of his clients.

Due to his experience in representing his clients, Matthew has been selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star for seven years straight - 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 - a distinction limited to only the top 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 in the State of Illinois. He has also been repeatedly selected by the National Trial Lawyers as a "Top 40 Under 40" attorney practicing in the field of plaintiff's personal injury, in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

In addition to representing the injured and their families in the trial court, Matthew has experience with appellate matters in the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Matthew originally hails from the western suburbs of Chicago where he grew up and attended high school. He received his bachelor's degree from Purdue University, earning a Certificate of Superior Achievement from the Department of History, before returning to Chicago to attend law school.

Matthew graduated from The John Marshall Law School with his Juris Doctorate, as well as a Certificate in Trial Advocacy, which was awarded to less than 3% of graduating students. At The John Marshall Law School, he won the school-wide Dean Herzog Moot Court Competition. In addition to winning the overall competition which included oral arguments, his legal brief was also recognized as the best written brief of the competition. Supplementing his formal education during law school with practical experience, he clerked for the Cook County Public Defender's Office, as well as the Presiding Judge of the Fifth District of Cook County.

Areas of Practice

Aviation Accidents

Product Liability

Trucking Accidents

Construction Injuries

Medical Malpractice

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Bar Admissions


U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana

U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar

U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin

U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit

Supreme Court of the United States of America

Court Admissions

U.S. District Court Western District of Texas

Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Circuit Court of Brown County, Wisconsin

Circuit Court of Dane County, Wisconsin

Fairfax County Circuit Court, Virginia

Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland

Lake County Superior Court, Indiana

Maryland Court of Special Appeals


John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois

J.D. - 2009

Honors: Certificate in Trial Advocacy

Honors: First Place - Dean Herzog Moot Court Competition

Honors: Best Brief - Dean Herzog Moot Court Competition

Honors: Second Place – American Association of Justice Trial Advocacy Competition

Honors: Quarterfinalist – Buffalo Niagara Mock Trial Competition

Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

B.A. - 2006

Honors: Certificate of Superior Achievement

Published Works

"Cockpit Voice Recorder Audio Evidence is Centrally Important in Civil Litigation and Discoverable under 49 U.S.C. § 1154: The Flight 1702 Example", Issues in Aviation Law and Policy, Spring 2019

"International Air Accidents Require the Application of Special Laws Governed by the Montreal Convention," Legal Examiner 2019

"Cockpit Video Recorders Still Rare, But Highly Useful In Aviation Crash Investigations," Legal Examiner 2018

"Put the Phone Down! Distracted Driving Deaths on the Rise in Illinois," Legal Examiner, 2016

"Federal Lawsuit Shows Preventable Cases of Lead Poisoning are Still Occurring on the Jobsite," Legal Examiner, 2016

"Important Ride-Sharing Questions Come to Surface in Light of $28.5 Million Settlement by Uber After Lawsuit Alleges Background Checks Were Skipped," Legal Examiner, 2016

"Appellate Court Relies on Subcontract to Save General Contractor from Construction Negligence Claim," Cassiday Schade Blog; Year: 2014

"Post-Ramirez: A Close Focus on the Current State of the 55-Series Illinois Pattern Instructions," IDC Quarterly; Year: 2014

"Retaining Control: Recent 2014 Interpretations of Restatement Section 414," IDC Quarterly; Year: 2014

"Danger: Res Judicata Ahead - Why Construction Contractors Need to Take a 'Use it or Lose it' Approach to Express Indemnification, and Other Cautionary Tales Arising from Camper v. Burnside Construction," IDC Quarterly; Year: 2014

"Illinois Appellate Court Broadens Scope of Anti-Indemnity Act to Protect Illinois Contractors," Cassiday Schade Blog; Year: 2013

Honors and Awards

Illinois Super Lawyer - Rising Star, 2014

Illinois Super Lawyer - Rising Star, 2015

Illinois Super Lawyer - Rising Star, 2016

Illinois Super Lawyer - Rising Star, 2017

Illinois Super Lawyer - Rising Star, 2018

Illinois Super Lawyer - Rising Star, 2019

Illinois Super Lawyer - Rising Star, 2020

National Trial Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40, 2017

National Trial Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40, 2018

National Trial Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40, 2019

Professional Associations and Memberships

Illinois Trial Lawyer Association

American Association for Justice

American Association for Justice – Aviation Section

American Association for Justice – Aviation Section – Executive Committee

American Association for Justice – Admiralty Section

American Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association

Chicago Bar Association – Aviation Section

Illinois State Bar Association

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