Controversial Prejudgment Interest Bill Passes General Assembly, Impacting Health Care Workers and Small Businesses

On March 25, the  Senate passed Senate Bill 72, which increases liabilities and payouts for all personal injury lawsuits, in spite of the fact that throughout this pandemic Illinois health care workers have answered the call to serve in a time of crisis.

Under this legislation, a prejudgment interest rate of 6 percent is added onto judgment awarded by the court for personal injury or wrongful death cases. Previously, prejudgment interest was only applied to damages in specific cases that did not include personal injury or wrongful death, and was awarded at a 5 percent interest rate.

Senator Fowler says this legislation will negatively impact struggling small-business owners who are trying to get people back to work. Senator Fowler added that without question, people who have been harmed by negligence or wrongdoing deserve to be compensated; however, this legislation puts health care workers and small businesses at risk and unfairly punishes any party who chooses to dispute claims against them.

Senate Bill 72 now heads to the Governor, who is expected to sign it.

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