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Chicago, IL


Areas of Practice

  • Medical Malpractice
  • Nursing Home
  • Professional Liability


  • Marquette University Law School, J.D., 1985
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with honors, 1982


  • United States Supreme Court
  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court (inactive)
  • U.S. District Courts for the
    • Northern District of Illlinois
    • Eastern District of Wisconsin (inactive)
    • Western District of Wisconsin (inactive)

Practice Description

Susan A. Wagener focuses her practice on the defense of medical malpractice, nursing home litigation, personal injury, and health care professional licensure cases. She is also experienced in insurance defense litigation. In addition to her active trial practice, she regularly presents and publishes on topics related to malpractice risk management and defense of disciplinary matters.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Wagener was a registered nurse, specializing in orthopedic and medical-surgical nursing care.  

Bar/Professional Associations

  • The American Association of Nurse Attorneys
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association

Professional Association Involvement

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • The American Association of Nurse Attorneys
  • Wisconsin State Bar Association

Law Schools Honors/Involvement

  • “Documentation and Risk,” Momence Meadows Nursing Center (Momence IL, 2017)
  • “Substance Use Disorder/License Defense,” Northern Illinois University School of Nursing (De Kalb IL, 2017)
  • “Running from the Law,” Ambassador Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Chicago IL, 2016)
  • “Running from the Law,” Berkeley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (Oak Park IL, 2015)
  • “Risk in the Electronic Age,” Continental Nursing Home (Chicago IL, 2015)
  • “Running from the Law,” AAOC Quarterly Meeting (Doctors Direct Insurance) (Chicago IL, 2014)
  • “Risky Business,” Illinois Nurses Association Breakfast Seminar (Alsip IL, 2012)
  • “Legal Implications of Nursing Documentation and Communication,” INA Local Unit Conference (Galena IL, 2010)
  • “Write Is Might: Running From Risk,” Illinois Nursing Association – INA Biennial Convention (Lombard IL, 2009)
  • “Risky Business,” Illinois Nursing Association - E&GW Spring Retreat Seminar (Chicago IL, 2009)
  • "Protecting Your License – IDFPR,” Illinois Society for Advanced Practicing Nurses (Oak Brook IL, 2007)

Representative/Recent Case Results

  • Not guilty verdict in physician negligence case involving allegations of failure to diagnose pulmonary embolism/death.
  • Defense verdict in hospital negligence case involving allegations of decubitus ulcers, sepsis, and death.
  • Voluntary dismissal of nursing home case involving allegations of failure to properly transcribe physician order and to properly administer kidney transplant anti-rejection medication.
  • Summary judgment granted in hospital case involving allegations of negligence in performance of arterial blood gas, allegedly causing compartment syndrome.
  • Successful licensure defense of physician assistant before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Matter closed with no disciplinary action taken following hearing on allegations of inappropriate physical contact with a patient.