Robert P. Fitzsimmons
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
United States District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
United States District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
"Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in an Iraqi War Veteran with Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder who Committed Suicide,"
Neurosurgical Focus, Vol. 31, November 2011
"Emerging Histomorphologic Phenotypes of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
(CTE) in American Athletes,"
Neurosurgery, Vol. 68-1, July 2011
"Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a Professional American Wrestler,"
Journal of Forensic Nursing, September 2010
"Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, Suicides and Para-Suicides in Professional
American Journal of Forensic Medical Pathology,Vol 31, No.1, March 2010
"What These Legal Authorities Expect from the Independent Medical Examiner,"
International Journal of the American Academy of Disability Evaluating
Robert P. Fitzsimmons is a lifelong resident of Wheeling, West Virginia,
and attended Wheeling Central Catholic High School. He received his Bachelor
of Science degree from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Bob
then went on to attend the University of Baltimore School of Law, where
he graduated with highest honors and was inducted into the Heusler Honor
Society while achieving his Juris Doctorate degree. Throughout High School,
College and Law School Bob worked during summer and Christmas vacations
on permit for Local 83 United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters
and Sprinklerfitters of the United States where His father and brothers
were all members.
Bob Fitzsimmons has tried more than 150 trials and has achieved more than
100 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million. His litigation experience
is diversified and involves cases dealing with medical malpractice, construction
accidents, fraud, car accidents, truck accidents, insurance bad faith,
products liability, slip and falls, insurance coverage, college coaches'
and University contracts, NCAA Violations on behalf of Universities, coaches
and players, toxic exposures, employment discrimination, nursing home
abuse, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, train accidents, dog bites,
drunk driving accidents, defective drugs, electrocutions, child molestation,
burn injuries, birth injuries, ATV accidents, mesothelioma/asbestos claims
and class actions.
In 1985, Bob Fitzsimmons was elected to the governing body of the West
Virginia State Bar, the Board of Governors, for a three-year term. He
also was appointed to the committees which rewrote the West Virginia Rules
of Civil Procedure and the Rules of Professional Conduct and has recently
been appointed by the West Virginia Supreme Court to the Committee to
consider revisions to the Rules of Evidence. From 2004 to 2010, he served
as a member of the West Virginia State Bar Lawyer Disciplinary Board Investigative
Panel. He is presently a member of The Judicial Ethics Investigation Panel.
Bob was appointed by Governor Bob Wise as a Boxing Commissioner for the
State of West Virginia's Athletic Commission and served from 2003 to 2007.
In 1997, Bob was employed to represent Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame
Center Mike Webster in his disability claim against the National Football
League (NFL). "Iron Mike" was ultimately awarded total and permanent
disability as a result of football-related concussions. Mike Webster's
lawsuit against the NFL seeking retroactive benefits was reported as the
only lawsuit lost by the NFL on a disability claim and resulted in an
award of additional benefits to Mike Webster.
Bob Fitzsimmons was employed to represent West Virginia University in its
lawsuit against its former football coach, Rich Rodriguez, who left the
university to become the head football coach at the University of Michigan.
WVU successfully sued its former coach for recovery of the full liquidated
damage clause set forth in the employment contract.
Bob Fitzsimmons, together with Dr. Julian Bailes and Dr. Bennet Omalu founded
the Brain Injury Research Institute (BIRI), which is now located at NorthShore
University Hospitals in Chicago, Illinois. These three individuals together
with Dr. Jenn Hammers presently serve as Co-Directors of the institute,
whose purpose is to study and examine the effects of head trauma and concussions,
specifically including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is
a permanent and progressive disease that can be caused as a result of
concussions and head trauma. The institute has autopsied the brains of
more than 40 individuals, including former NFL players, WWE wrestlers,
professional boxers, college and high school football players, and military
veterans. BIRI's research and studies have played an instrumental
role in encouraging the NFL and other contact sports associations to properly
diagnose, manage and treat concussions. Their work has been prominently
featured in the September 2009 issue of
GQ Magazine, as well as
Good Morning America,
HBO Real Sports,
ESPN's Outside the Lines,
Reader's Digest, and theNew York Times.
Throughout his career, Mr. Fitzsimmons has been consistently recognized
as a West Virginia
Super Lawyer. In 2008, Bob was the leading vote getter for all West Virginia
Super Lawyers and he has finished in the top 10 on multiple occasions. In 2010, Bob
was named one of the top 75 plaintiffs' trial lawyers in the country
based upon a survey entitledTrial Lawyer Kingpins conducted by Mark Behrens, partner of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, and Of
Counsel, Cary Silverman. This honor was achieved from a survey of defense
counsel, in-house attorneys, and individuals to create "a list of
worthy attorneys based not only on their legal experience, but their influence
throughout the industry."
In 2011, Bob was selected to serve on a three-person mediation panel with
Attorney Michael Rozen, of Feinberg Rozen LLP, and Don O'Dell, of
Lamp O'Dell Bartram Levy Trautwein & Perry PLLC to mediate the
claims of the 29 miners killed in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster which
occurred in Boone County, West Virginia, on April 5, 2010, together with
numerous personal injury and other types of claims.
In 2012, Bob received the Bishop's Cross Award for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston,
West Virginia, from the Most Reverend Bishop Michael Bransfield.
Mr. Fitzsimmons also has extensive appellate experience, handling in excess
of 50 cases resulting in published appellate decisions, many of which
have changed the laws in West Virginia in order to better protect our
citizens and their rights.
Bob Fitzsimmons is licensed to practice in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
and has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court,
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, United States District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio, and United States District Court
for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia.
Mr. Fitzsimmons' practice has also involved representation of universities
and players for alleged NCAA violations and both universities and coaches
on contract negotiations and related contract issues. Mr. Fitzsimmons'
clientele is varied and over the years has included universities, college
coaches, professional athletes, politicians, lawyers, judges, congressmen,
governor, and numerous businesses.