On Monday, August 26, 2013, Governor Quinn signed SB 1912 into law. It is now Public Act 98-548.
Public Act 98-548 seeks to ensure timely payment of settlements by setting reasonable deadlines. It allows ample time for preparation of documents including the necessary releases and finalization or protection of liens. If payment is not made within the statutory period, the court, after a hearing, can enter a judgment for the plaintiff on the settlement amount plus costs of obtaining the judgment and statutory interest already applicable to judgments.
Effective date is January 1, 2014.
Public Act 98-548 was sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul and Representative Elgie Sims.
On Thursday, August 23, 2013, Governor Quinn signed SB 1898 into law. It is now Public Act 98-519.
PA 98-519, which was backed by ITLA, amends the Illinois vehicle code and includes the following provisions:
Increases the minimum mandatory coverage amounts for liability insurance policies in this State and increases the amounts sufficient to satisfy a judgment following a motor vehicle accident as follows: bodily injury or death to any one person from $20,000 to $25,000; bodily injury or death to more than one person from $40,000 to $50,000; and injury or destruction of property of others from $15,000 to $20,000. Effective January 1, 2015.
Public Act 98-519 was sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss and Representative Laura Fine.
1. Elimination of handbook requirement – The bill directs the Commission to post its informational handbook on its website and removes the mandate that the Commission send a copy of the handbook to each injured worker who is the subject of an accident report. This change represents an elimination of a $62,500 line item in the Commission’s FY14 budget.
2. Elimination of $35 transcript fee paid by employers and employees to appeal cases – The bill eliminates the $35 fee paid by parties
who appeal decisions from the Commission to the Circuit Court. Instead, parties who wish to appeal a Commission decision must file with the Commission a notice of the intent to appeal a decision to the Circuit Court. This change applies to all decisions by the Commission entered after the effective date of the bill.
It also ends an archaic and time-consuming cost calculation for the preparation of records. Remaining monies in the Transcript Deposit Fund will be transferred
to the Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund, which is a fund dedicated to providing benefits to employees who have been injured at a workplace without workers’ compensation insurance.
3. Requirement for Commission to obtain interpreters when necessary for settlement contracts – The bill requires the Commission to furnish
language interpreters for petitioners who do not speak English, do not have an attorney, do not have their own interpreter, and are signing settlement contracts.
4. Requirement for Arbitrators to demonstrate workers’ compensation expertise – Finally, the bill provides that all persons appointed to be Arbitrators must demonstrate their knowledge and experience with the Workers’ Compensation Act in writing. It also eliminates erroneous references to the Personnel Code. Pursuant to Public Act 97-719, all Arbitrators are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.
On Friday, January 18, 2013, Governor Quinn signed HB 5151 into law. It is now Public Act 97-1145. It includes the following provisions:
1. Medical Malpractice Contingency Fee Revision – Provides for a 33 1/3% maximum contingent attorneys fee.
2. Cleanup Language – Simplifies the Code of Civil Procedure and eliminates confusion by removing sections or language held to be unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court.
3. Supersedeas Bonds Limitation – Limits the collective bond requirement of appellants of the Tobacco Settlement to $250,000,000 while the appellate review is completed.