Birth Injury Information
Dov Apfel.
Attorney Dov Apfel

Dov Apfel and L&P Birth Injury Team Secure One of Top 10 Jury Verdicts in Illinois in 2022!

Recognized for his national reputation and success as a child advocate, Dov Apfel has investigated and litigated birth trauma and obstetrical malpractice claims involving children with cerebral palsy and other neurological and intellectual disabilities throughout the United States.

Those in the legal profession who have worked with Mr. Apfel consider him to be the premier "lawyer's lawyer" in the area of birth trauma litigation. When families and lawyers need someone to help them figure out whether a child's brain damage could have been prevented, they call Mr. Apfel.

Mr. Apfel's lifetime of achievements in birth injury litigation, education and advocacy were recognized by the Executive Board of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice in 2011, an organization consisting of thousands of trial lawyers throughout the United States, when he received the Dan Cullan Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award.

Judges, too, have recognized Mr. Apfel as both a committed advocate and a source of scientific and medical knowledge in birth trauma cases. He was an invited speaker at the New York State Judicial Seminars, "Medicine for Judges" Programs in 2008, where he taught judges about the criteria for determining the timing and causes of brain damage in babies and newborns.

Nationally Recognized

Dov Apfel.

Dov Apfel and his partners at Levin & Perconti secured a $20 Million Dollar verdict for a brain damaged boy and his family against Advocate Christ Hospital in Chicago
Mr. Apfel, a passionate advocate for his clients and for all those who suffer injuries as a result of negligence and preventable injuries, has dedicated his career to holding negligent hospitals, drug companies, physicians, obstetricians, nurses, midwives, family practitioners, and other providers accountable for their failures to keep patients safe and out of harm's way.

Mr. Apfel's outstanding record of success spans across the United States. He has the unique distinction and privilege of helping families and lawyers, and participating in the successful resolution and litigation of obstetrical cases, in the following jurisdictions:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
Mentor and Educator

Mr. Apfel has more than four decades of experience handling complex medical malpractice and personal injury matters. Among other things, Mr. Apfel's outstanding record of success can be attributed to his unmatched understanding of the medical principles and science involved in the cases he handles. Beginning in 1991, when the Birth Trauma Litigation Group was established, Mr. Apfel has written extensively to expose junk science and litigation-driven literature, and has taught both experienced and inexperienced lawyers how to evaluate medical issues and determine when a bad outcome could have been prevented.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Apfel has trained and mentored many lawyers and paralegals who have developed great expertise and skills in handling complex medical malpractice cases. For example, Seth Cardeli, a partner at Levin & Perconti, and a lawyer who has worked with Mr. Apfel for the past 9 years, has received multiple national honors and is currently recognized by his peers as one of the top birth trauma lawyers in the United States. Kim Martel, a paralegal at Levin & Perconti, who has worked with Mr. Apfel for the past 12 years, received national recognition for her outstanding work, when she was selected as the 2020 Paralegal of the Year by the American Association of Justice, a national organization of trial lawyers.

Mr. Apfel is regularly called upon to lecture at a range of national conferences (some of which have been attended by obstetricians, nurses, and other health care providers), and publishes extensively on legal and medical issues arising in Cerebral Palsy litigation, including the use of expert testimony in cerebral palsy litigation, electronic fetal monitoring, hypoxia, ischemia, asphyxia, meconium stained amniotic fluid and meconium aspiration syndrome, maternal and fetal infection in pregnancy, chorioamnionitis, fetal inflammatory response syndrome, antepartum fetal testing, placental pathology, vaginal birth after cesarean, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, trauma, forceps, vacuum extractors, shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus, and the clinical markers establishing a causal connection between the events of labor and delivery and cerebral palsy.

Mr. Apfel is the author of a landmark Law Review article, "Using a Differential Diagnosis to Prove that Intrapartum Asphyxia is a Significant Cause of Cerebral Palsy," that helped set the standard in how causation issues in cases involving cerebral palsy are litigated by lawyers representing brain damaged children in the U.S. He currently chairs an annual 2-day program to teach lawyers the fundamentals of electronic fetal monitoring and the criteria that can be used to identify babies who may not be getting enough oxygen and are at risk of developing brain injury during labor and delivery.

Awards and Honors

Mr. Apfel is the former chairperson of the Medical Negligence Section of the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association and the former co-chair of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. He has been regularly named one of the Best Lawyers in America for Medical Malpractice Law - Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs, and listed as a Maryland Super Lawyers¨. Washingtonian Magazine identified Mr. Apfel as one of the top lawyers in the Washington area and he was featured as one of America's Premier Lawyers in Fortune Magazine. Recognizing his national prominence and integrity, the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system has awarded Mr. Apfel a score of 5.0 out of 5 stars with the highest ethical standing.


Mr. Apfel has achieved multiple eight figure settlements during his career and has litigated multiple other cases that resulted in seven figure results. Many of the cases resolved with outstanding results shortly after the trial started and Mr. Apfel and his trial team called some witnesses and presented their case. Most of these settlements are subject to confidentiality agreements and may not be disclosed. However, two recent cases, which are not subject to confidentiality, involved claims against the United States for the negligent care provided by doctors employed by the US in hospitals in Guam and Hawaii. In the Guam case, the Government resolved the case for $11.5 million. In the Hawaii case, the Government paid $13 million.

Other Interests

Mr. Apfel met and married his wife, Sharon, when they both attended law school in Washington, D.C. After Sharon left the Appellate Court division of the National Labor Relations Board, Dov and Sharon worked together for 17 years in private practice. They have been married for 42 years and have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Mr. Apfel is an avid basketball player, who still plays competitively. In May 2019, Dov competed in the ("over 50") Masters Basketball Tournament in Coral Springs, Florida, a competition including former Division I college and international players, where he was selected to be on the all-tournament team in the 65+ division.

September, 2019 - For Immediate Release:

United States Agrees to Pay $11.5M in Settlement of Medical Malpractice Case.

The federal government has agreed to pay $11.5 million to settle a medical negligence lawsuit involving the negligent resuscitation of a baby at a military hospital in Guam.

On September 13, 2019, a federal judge in Virginia approved the settlement, which will help the parents provide care for their child, who suffered severe and permanent brain damage.

The family was represented by Dov Apfel and Seth Cardeli, partners at the law firm of Janet, Janet & Suggs in Baltimore, Maryland. The parents were referred to Mr Apfel because of his extensive experience investigating and litigating claims involving Cerebral Palsy.

Mr. Apfel has been involved in the investigation and litigation of cases in 27 states, including: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.

He has been invited to lecture to lawyers, doctors, and nurses about the issues arising in cases involving brain damaged children

He also is the recipient of the prestigious Dan Cullen Lifetime Achievement Award for his excellence in advocacy.

He can be reached either by e-mail at or by phone at 312-332-2872.

Additional reporting: The Virginian-Pilot and The Washington Post

Dov Apfel was selected by his peers to be included as one of the
top Medical Malpractice Lawyers in the 2016 to 2020 Editions of Best Lawyers in America

May, 2015 - For Immediate Release:

Trial Magazine, May 2015.In his latest article "Birth Injury Litigation Criteria Exposed", appearing in the May 2015 issue of TRIAL, Dov Apfel emphasizes that developing new patient safety initiatives and changing the culture of health care delivery so that it is more dedicated to reducing medical errors are necessary to protect pregnant women and their babies. He also analyzes the latest causation criteria adopted by the obstetrical community and its supporters and explains why they are still self-serving and should not be admissible in obstetrical malpractice litigation involving children with cerebral palsy. Dov Apfel is the recipient of the 2011 Dan Cullan Memorial Award, a national lifetime achievement award conferred by the Executive Board of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, for his passionate and unwavering commitment to excellence in advocacy and devotion and service to the children and families he represents. He works with lawyers and families throughout the United States to help them investigate and litigate cases involving preventable brain damage and other injuries.

Dov Apfel Receives National Birth Injury Litigation Award

AAJ Award.Maryland attorney, author, and lecturer Dov Apfel is this year's recipient of the Dan Cullan Memorial Award, a national lifetime achievement award conferred by the Executive Board of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. Apfel was honored at a dinner held on July 10, 2011 at the AAJ convention in New York City, for his passionate and unwavering commitment to excellence in advocacy, for his devotion and service to the children and families he represents, and for his service to the organization.

Former group co-chair, Brian McKeen, who presented the award, noted that for more than 20 years, Apfel has played a "unique" role educating lawyers throughout the United States about how to prove when negligent care caused brain damage in a newborn, as well as educating medical professionals about how to improve and comply with standards of obstetric care. Read more >>>>

Fortune Magazine.
Best Lawyer.
Washingtonian Magazine.
Best Lawyer.
Best Lawyer.

Press Release:

Dov Apfel Receives Receives Lifetime Achievement Award [PDF]

Dov Apfel has been named as a Maryland Super Lawyer. [PDF]

Dov Apfel to Speak at New York State Judicial Conference

Dov Apfel Is Named One of "America's Premier Lawyers" [PDF]

Click here to hear Dov Apfel interviewed on the American Airlines Sky radio network.

Click here to hear Dov Apfel interviewed on the Northwest Airlines Sky Radio network.

Click here to hear Dov Apfel interviewed on the ABC Radio Network's HD Radio program
The Lawbusiness Insider: America's FInest Trial Lawyers Series.

Click here to hear an interview with Dov Apfel playing currently on American
and Northwest Airlines' Sky Radio.

Dov Apfel   •   Levin & Perconti, LLP   •   325 North LaSalle Drive, Suite 300   •   Chicago, Illinois 60654
(312) 332-2872   •   (312) 332-3112 facsimile

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