Hepler Broom, LLC

Illinois Governor Vetoes Initial Bill Providing for Pre-Judgment Interest to Personal Injury Plaintiffs; Revised Legislation is Pending

March 30, 2021

On March 25, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker vetoed HB3360, which sought to expand the time frame for pre-judgment interest to plaintiffs in personal injury cases. That bill provided for 9% annual pre-judgment interest on all personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, or intentional misconduct. The bill also provided that interest accrued as of the date of notice of the injury, not filing of suit, and applied to economic damages, non-economic damages, and future damages (such as future medical care and future wage loss). (Pritzker’s letter detailing his reasoning for vetoing the bill can be read here.)

However, this issue is far from over. A revised version of the pre-judgment interest legislation (SB0072) passed the Illinois House and Senate. (The full text of SB0072 can be found here.) The pending legislation is a slightly scaled-back version of the vetoed legislation. This latest bill sets the interest rate at 6% and limits the time frame for recoverable pre-judgment interest to five years. Interest runs from the date the complaint is filed. Under this revised bill, the accrual of interest is tolled if a case is voluntarily dismissed. It does not apply to punitive damages, sanctions, statutory attorneys’ fees, statutory costs, or the amount of the highest timely written offer. As with the initial bill, public entities are exempt from pre-judgment interest.

While this revised legislation is an improvement over the initial bill, it remains problematic. As with the initial legislation, this proposed bill imposes interest before a liability determination and applies to future damages, non-economic damages, and medical bills.

COVID-19 Updates

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.

Read More >