Mary Perry Carmichael was an employee at Union Pacific Railroad Co. (UPRC). In that capacity, she was being transported by Professional Transportation Inc. (PTI) in a van when it was hit by a vehicle driven by Dwayne Bell. Carmichael filed a lawsuit against UPRC, PTI and Bell; the suits against UPRC and PTI were dismissed. Carmichael settled with Bell for $20,000, the maximum liability coverage under his auto insurance policy.
Carmichael also filed a declaratory judgment suit in chancery against PTI, UPRC and ACE American Insurance Co., PTI’s insurer, alleging that PTI was legally responsible for her injury because it chose not to carry the statutory mandated amount of insurance in violation of Section 8-101(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code.
PTI argued that Section 8-101(c) provided no civil remedy for such a violation and moved to dismiss on this basis. The trial court found that the statute implied a private right of action and denied the motion. PTI also filed a counterclaim for declaratory judgment, seeking Section 8-101(c) to be declared unconstitutional, but this was dismissed.