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Chicago, IL



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


  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Illinois Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illlinois

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

  • International Moot Court Team

Published Legal Writing

  • “Beware of Potential MPL Verdict Appeals,” Inside Medical Liability (Second Quarter 2020). (Co-author) (This article can be read here.)
  • “Fee Shifting Provision Of Illinois Nursing Home Care Act: Insight Into Appellate Court’s Potential Interpretations,” HeplerBroom Blog (July 18, 2019). (This blog post can be read here.)

Legal Lectures & Presentations

  • “Nursing Licensing and Disciplinary Issues,” Ascension Living Lunch and Learn webinar (2021). (Co-presenter)
  • “Depositions: The Good, Bad, and Ugly,” Ascension Living Lunch and Learn webinar (2021). (Co-presenter)
  • “How [Documentation] Best Practices Impact Litigation,” Ascension Living Lunch and Learn webinar (2021). (Co-presenter)
  • “Professional License Discipline Issues,” University of Illinois Chicago third-year nursing students (2020).
  • “Defending A Professional License,” Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), Webinar (2019).

For a complete list of Legal Lectures & Presentations, click here.

Representative/Recent Case Results

  • Significantly reduced award in trial of plastic surgeon accused of negligence in burns to the face following laser hair removal treatment.
  • 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.
  • Defense verdict in retrial (after original resulted in a hung jury) of nursing home defendant accused of negligence involving a patient’s death after a fall.


HeplerBroom LLC COVID-19 Response

HeplerBroom has been diligently working on its response and continuity plan to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our clients as our top priority.

To help ensure everyone's continued health and well-being, effective March 17, 2020, all attorneys and staff began working remotely. We continue to assess the situation and will return to our physical offices when appropriate.

To ensure this, the firm has identified essential personnel in each office who will make certain that critical firm functions that cannot be done remotely continue to be handled. We have put in place protocol for those essential personnel to make sure they are keeping healthy per the CDC cleaning and sanitizing recommendations. All teams have back-up personnel and procedures that we will follow to make sure all deadlines are met and clients receive the same great service and work product that we have always been proud to provide.

HeplerBroom's IT department has been working hard to make sure all remote employees are set up with equipment and access from home to limit disruption to our clients. Maintaining security and confidentiality has remained, and will continue to remain, at the forefront of all processes and procedures, at all levels throughout the firm.

The firm has created emergency communication measures to communicate any changes to this plan to employees and are communicating on a regular basis with any and all new resources and helpful information during this uncertain time.

During these fluid and unpredictable times, HeplerBroom will continue its commitment to great service and results for our clients, all while keeping safe and healthy.

Wishing you and your families good health.

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