With virtually no time for public debate, a questionable bill has been slammed through the Illinois legislature. The Illinois General Assembly, at the behest of the plaintiffs’ bar, has passed Senate Amendment 1 to HB3360 during the current veto session. Personal injury actions in Illinois will now be subject to 9% per annum pre-judgment interest accruing “on the date the defendant has notice of the injury from the incident itself or a written notice.”
The history is truly amazing. HB3360 started as a bill in 2019 to change the filing fee for the Foreclosure Prevention Program Fund. Suddenly on Monday, January 10, 2021, the bill came up again for Second Reading, and was then placed on the Calendar for Third Reading the very next day, January 11. The Senate Majority Leader then filed a floor amendment that replaced everything after the enacting clause and substituted the pre-judgment interest language amending the Code of Civil Procedure. On Tuesday, January 11, 2021, it was recalled for Second Reading and the floor amendment was adopted and set for Third Reading later in the day and passed the Senate Monday evening on a party-line vote of 38-17 .It was then sent to the House the very same day. It was immediately referred to the House Executive Committee who passed a motion to concur on January 12, 2021. The following morning, January 13, 2021, it passed both Houses. The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.
Apart from the lack of public debate, there are a number of concerns with this bill. There is no accounting for delays caused by the plaintiff during the course of a case or a delay in filing the lawsuit. HB3360 Senate Floor Amendment 1 does not account for delay through no fault of the defendant caused by the plaintiff or third-parties. The bill also does not address situations in which the plaintiff voluntarily dismisses and refiles the case a year later. Additionally, there is no accounting for the situation when a defendant offers to resolve the matter for less than what the ultimate judgment turns out to be.
It appears as no mere coincidence that, according to state campaign finance records, trial lawyers, their firms and political organizations have collectively donated more than $2 million to Friends of Michael J. Madigan, alone, the former Speaker of the House, since 2018. They have also been heavy contributors to the campaign of Governor Pritzker. Nonetheless, we encourage you to contact him to ask him to veto this bill:
The Honorable J.B. Pritzker
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield IL 62706
An email can be sent through an automated form here.