Illinois State Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Democratic from Chicago, has proposed an amendment to the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure in the form of Senate Bill 1912. The purpose of the bill is to create an enforcement mechanism for civil cases that settle, but in which the defendant refuses to comply with the settlement terms.
The change in law is limited to cases in which money damages are involved in the settlement of cases for personal injury, wrongful death or other tortious conduct. The act would require settling defendants to pay all sums due to the plaintiff within 21 days of the tender of all applicable settlement documents required under this new section.
The procedure is as follows:
1. Requires a “settling defendant” to tender a release to the plaintiff within 14 days of written confirmation of the settlement. If the law requires court approval of the settlement, the plaintiff must tender to the defendant a copy of the court order approving the settlement.
2. If there is a known third-party right of recovery or subrogation interest, the plaintiff may protect the third-party’s right of recovery or subrogation interest by tendering to the defendant:
a) a signed release of the attorney’s lien;
b) any of the following: (i) a signed release of a healthcare-provider lien; (ii) a letter from the plaintiff’s attorney agreeing to hold the full amount of the claimed lien in his or her client-fund account pending final resolution of the lien amount; or (iii) an offer that the defendant hold the full amount of the claim right of recovery pending final resolution of the amount of the right of recovery;
c) any of the following: (i) documentation of the agreement between plaintiff and Medicare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, or the private health insurance company as to the amount of the settlement that will be accepted as satisfaction of right of recover; (ii) a letter from the plaintiff’s attorney agreeing to hold the full amount of the claimed right to recovery in his or her client-fund account pending final resolution of the amount of the right to recovery; or (iii) an offer that the defendant hold the full amount of the claimed right to recovery pending final resolution of the amount of the right to recovery.
3. If the applicable court finds after a hearing that timely payment has not been made under the section, judgment must be entered against that defendant for the amount in the executed release, costs incurred in obtaining the judgment, and 9 percent interest from the date of the plaintiff’s tender.
4. Senate Bill 1912 exempts units of local government, the State of Illinois and Illinois state employees.
The bill was passed by the Senate on May 15, 2013, and is now on the way to the Illinois House for its consideration.
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling nursing home abuse cases and injury cases for individuals and families for more than 37 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Rosemont, Richton Park, Rolling Meadows, Worth, Blue Island, Lake Villa, Park Forest, Park Ridge, Chicago (Lincoln Square), Chicago (Lincoln Park), Chicago (Canaryville), Midlothian and Palos Hills, Ill.
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