The following letter to the editor by ITLA President Larry R. Rogers, Jr. was published in the Effingham Daily News on April 28, 2021.
Legislation concerning prejudgment interest in civil cases, now on the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is a compromise between the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Illinois Hospital Association, the Health Care Council of Illinois and other key stakeholders at the Capitol.
This measure known as Senate Bill 72 will incentivize timely resolution of meritorious claims and lessen the burden on the court system – thereby saving taxpayer money. It also will bring Illinois in line with 46 other states which have some form of prejudgment interest law on the books.
For the select few cases where this measure will apply, individuals who were harmed will be more fully and fairly compensated. This legislation will remove the financial incentive for deep-pocketed corporations, hospitals and insurance companies from dragging out cases that should otherwise be resolved more quickly because they will not profit by delaying just compensation to injured people or their families. Notwithstanding the clear benefits for individual citizens of this state, State Representative Adam Niemerg authored a recent commentary (Hostile business environment stifling growth in Illinois) urging the governor to veto the bill.
But the truth is that negotiations between all concerned parties resulted in a broader base of support for SB 72 than a previous version of the bill. This is a win not only for those wrongly injured, but also for the civil justice system in Illinois as a whole.
We strongly encourage Gov. Pritzker to sign this bill and bring Illinois into line with the majority of states.
Larry R. Rogers, Jr.
President, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association