Dean M. Athans Of Counsel




Dean Athans concentrates his litigation practice on general insurance defense and has jury trial experience in large, high-exposure cases. Dean has tried a dozen cases to verdict and focuses in the areas of general, premises and construction liability, trucking liability, product liability and warranties, and medical malpractice and other professional liability.

Dean has handled jury trials in Cook County (Chicago), IL and in federal district court for the Northern District of Illinois. His trial practice has been centered in the suburban counties of Will, Kane and DuPage, where he was selected by the chief judge as one of only 30 court-appointed mediators. He also has experience in many counties in downstate Illinois.

Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Dean was in-house counsel at Fireman’s Fund Insurance for three years handling general liability and medical malpractice claims. Having worked on the inside, Dean fully understands the insurance company’s need for early case assessment and is able to align his approach with the client’s expectations regarding claims resolution, whether through settlement or litigation.

View Dean's exemplar trial experience.

Areas of Focus

General Liability
Dean concentrates much of his practice in the defense of general liability claims, premises liability and security, and construction litigation. Throughout his career, he has successfully handled catastrophic injury cases brought against hotels, condominium associations, high-rise apartment buildings, retail chains and recreational facilities arising from accidents and crimes on an insured’s premises.

In addition, he regularly represents general contractors and subcontractors in complex, multi-party personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits involving injuries sustained by workers on large construction projects.

Product Liability/Warranties
In the product liability area, Dean has successfully handled catastrophic injury cases brought against manufacturers and distributors of industrial machinery, construction equipment, water sports equipment and various other products.

Dean also has experience with warranty claims in Illinois state and federal courts involving vehicle extended warranties, credit life insurance, credit disability insurance, GAP coverage and other related products sold through automobile dealerships.

Medical Malpractice and Other Professional Liability
Dean has defended hospitals and clinics, internists, and general practitioners in numerous medical malpractice lawsuits, including several in which he has won not-guilty verdicts for his clients. His experience in this area also includes the representation of anesthesiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, general surgeons, oncologists, obstetrician/gynecologists, neurologists, otolaryngologists, pediatricians and psychiatrists, as well as non-physician medical specialists such as dentists, psychologists, physical therapists and nurses.

In addition, Dean has handled professional liability claims against insurance brokers and agents.