Larry R. Rogers Jr. Comments on Illinois Bill That Would Award Personal Injury Plaintiffs Prejudgment Interest
Larry R. Rogers Jr., Power Rogers Partner and President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, has been quoted by several media outlets discussing a proposed bill that would allow plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death cases to collect prejudgment interest when they are awarded compensation by a court.
The proposed bill is an amendment of an earlier measure (HB 3360) that had drawn opposition for seeking 9% interest per year on money awarded to plaintiffs from the date a defendant is notified. Although that measure was vetoed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday, March 25, the compromise proposal (SB 72) was approved by the General Assembly and is expected to be signed by the governor.
As part of the compromise, SB 72 cuts the prejudgment interest rate to 6%, calls for interest to accrue from the point at which a lawsuit is filed, and caps prejudgment interest to five years. If signed by Pritzker, SB 72 would take effect June 21. It applies to jury verdicts and judgments awarded in civil injury cases, and excludes government-owned entities.
Larry R. Rogers Jr. was quoted by The Center Square stating that the bill was designed to deter companies who are sued from stalling or delaying cases that would be successful at trial.
“Rather than accepting responsibility for their wrongful conduct and fairly compensating injured people or their families, insurance companies, corporations and other wrongdoers frequently deny timely justice to those injured or killed due to negligence,” Rogers said.
Mr. Rogers was also featured in an article by Crain's Chicago Business discussing the bill:
“The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, which backed both bills, sees the compromise as "a win for all parties, plaintiffs and defendants," said Larry R. Rogers Jr., president of the Illinois Trial Lawyer Association. He said the 6 percent rate and filing date provisions were both fair and negotiated by both the ITLA and the IHA, so he is hopeful Pritzker will sign the bill.
Rogers, who is also on the Cook County Board of Review, wrote in a letter to the editor that the original bill was "necessary to prevent deep-pocketed defendants from dragging out cases in the hopes that injured parties or their families will become so financially desperate they accept a settlement that is far less than they likely would have received after a favorable verdict."
Following the Illinois Senate’s passing of SB 72 on Thursday, The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reported on the bill and discussed Mr. Rogers’ Wednesday appearance before the Senate Executive Committee in which he testified in support of prejudgment interest:
“Again, the issue that this bill addresses is a ‘delay, deny and don’t pay’ perspective that has been incentivized because of the absence of prejudgment interest.”