Illinois Pretrial Interest Bill Signed Into Law

By: Geoff Bryce

On May 28, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 72 which provides for pre-judgment interest to plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois.

The new law provides:

  • Interest at the rate of 6% accrues on all damages including pain and suffering (but not punitive damages) from the date suit is filed
  • The interest applies only to the amount of any verdict in excess of the last settlement offer before the verdict
  • The law does not apply to lawsuits filed against the state, local units of government, school districts or any other municipal governmental entities
  • The law goes into effect on July 1, 2021

Gov. Pritzker previously vetoed HB3360, the bill that would impose 9% prejudgment interest per year on future money damages in personal injury actions. Under that bill, interest would begin accruing on the date the claim arose, not when suit was filed. HB3360 also applied interest to the entire verdict, not the amount by which the verdict exceeded the last offer.

The new law raises many questions including whether a typical Comprehensive General Liability Policy will cover the pre-judgment interest.

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