Latest from HeplerBroom Blog

On March 25, 2021, Illinois Governor Pritzker vetoed House Bill 3360 (H.B. 3360) regarding prejudgment interest on personal injury and wrongful death cases. The Legislature, however, was quick to amend and pass another iteration of the bill, Senate Bill 72 (S.B. 72), which they sent to Governor Pritzker on April 1, 2021. ( S.B. 72 can be read here.) The purpose of H.B. 3360 and S.B. 72 is to amend the Illinois statute 735…
The definition of an insurance producer was part of what an Illinois appellate court analyzed in determining whether a two-year statute of limitations barred a plaintiff’s claim. Austin Highlands Dev. Co. v. Midwest Ins. Agency, Inc., 2020 IL App (1st) 191125. The Austin case provides great insight into the significance of whether a party acted as an insurance producer and any resulting protections such a designation may afford. Trial Court In Austin, Plaintiff, Austin Highlands…
On March 25, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker vetoed HB3360, which sought to expand the time frame for pre-judgment interest to plaintiffs in personal injury cases. That bill provided for 9% annual pre-judgment interest on all personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, or intentional misconduct. The bill also provided that interest accrued as of the date of notice of the injury, not filing of suit, and applied to…
Under the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), any “entity” that makes a settlement or verdict payment on behalf of a health care practitioner in a medical malpractice claim must report that payment and disclose the details to the NPDB. This means that if the practitioner’s insurance carrier or another entity pays a settlement or verdict on behalf of the practitioner, it must be reported. In some instances, however, there may be valid benefits for a…
Illinois’ Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act (EMS Act) provides immunity from civil liability—except in the case of willful and wanton misconduct—to all licensed or authorized EMS providers who provide “emergency or non-emergency medical services” in good faith in the normal course of their duties or in an emergency. 210 ILCS 50/3.150. Determining when the provision of medical services begins is essential to identifying when the immunity is triggered. Preparatory Conduct The provision of medical…
Eight weeks have passed since the Illinois Legislature passed HB 3360, and Governor J.B. Pritzker still hasn’t signed it into law. The Legislation HB 3360 expands and extends the timeframe for allowing pre-judgment interest to plaintiffs in personal injury cases. Under this bill, prejudgment interest begins to accrue the date an alleged tortfeasor has notice of the injury, regardless of when the lawsuit is filed. It also proposes to modify the Code of Civil…
COVID-19 vaccines are proving safe and effective, holding promise as a key to ending the pandemic. As the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations ramps up nationwide, employers want to know whether and how to ensure their employees timely receive the vaccine. This desire is complicated by a shifting vaccine landscape: public health guidance, vaccine availability, and state and local policies are changing rapidly. For example, in an emergency rule published Thursday, Governor Mike Parson authorized businesses…
Closing arguments play a crucial role in a case, and attorneys, judges, and jurors generally agree that it’s the most anticipated part of a trial. It’s the last stage of the case for attorneys to persuade jurors to return a verdict in their client’s favor. However, instead of using closing arguments to summarize the evidence, some attorneys add comments that regrettably can lead to a reversal of the verdict on appeal. That’s what happened in…
In late January, President Biden signed the “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” While climate change is clearly the focus, the new administration’s policies regarding environmental justice are also addressed. (The parts of the order addressing environmental justice amend and update an original environmental justice Order signed by President Clinton in 1994.) Underlying Philosophy In the section on “Taking a Government-Wide Approach to the Climate Crisis,” the order…
In Ideus v. Teva Pharm. USA, Inc., 2021 WL 415774 (8th Cir. Feb. 8, 2021), the Eighth Circuit held that under Nebraska tort law a manufacturer need not warn a consumer directly about the potential risks of using its contraceptive device. This decision may have implications beyond applicability to actions in Nebraska because the Eighth Circuit recognized that the majority position in jurisdictions around the country has been to apply the learned-intermediary doctrine to failure-to-warn…