Phillip Corboy passed away early Tuesday in Chicago, with his wife Mary Dempsey at his side. He was 87.
There are few trial lawyers who have ever fought more ferociously for his clients than Mr. Corboy. Over a legendary 50 year career, he successfully represented countless victims of medical malpractice and product liability. He was a champion of people’s rights. Indeed, he only lost one (1) case at trial in the past thirty years, and, even that one was later reversed by the appellate court.
Mr. Corboy once said, “Personal injury trial lawyers are in the rare position of being able to level the playing field to help people in the war against organized money: insurance companies, corporations, healthcare providers, common carriers, manufacturers, cities, states and government."
As you consider this, think about how right he was. It doesn’t necessarily make trial lawyers “heroes”. It is simply our job. It is what we do. The ever-present threat of litigation for wrongdoing, and having to answer for wrongs in the form of compensation paid to the injured victims, is the mechanism that keeps us safe in our homes, in our cars, in the places we go, in the clothes we wear and in the food we eat. If there were no laws to punish wrongdoers, or no professionals to enforce the laws, where would we be?
We will miss Phillip Corboy, for as much as who he was, as what he did.
As a trial lawyer, I am proud for the victims who had him as a champion of their rights.