Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Illinois

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Plaintiffs brought a purported class action to recover damages resulting from an alleged scheme to inflate the interest rate delinquent property taxpayers in Madison County, Illinois, were compelled to pay to those who purchased delinquent taxpayer debt. Former Madison County Treasurer and Collector (Bathon) had purportedly agreed with certain defendants to manipulate the delinquent tax purchasing system, so that delinquent taxpayers were required to pay the maximum allowable interest to the purchasers of their tax debt to discharge the liens and redeem their properties. The purchasers of the tax debt allegedly provided financial support to Bathon. Plaintiffs brought suit against those involved in the scheme, Madison County, and RLI, the entity acting as surety on Bathon’s statutory public official bond under 55 ILCS 5/3-10003 and 35 ILCS 200/19-40. The bond identified “Madison County Government” as the named obligee. The court dismissed, finding that plaintiffs were not proper claimants under the terms of the public official bond or under the statutes. The appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. Private citizens are precluded from making claims on the statutorily mandated public official bond at issue. View "Bueker v. Madison County" on Justia Law

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Bayer, an ironworker with Area Erectors, which was hired by Garbe to build Panduit’s warehouse facilities, fell and is now quadriplegic. Bayer filed a claim against Area under the Workers’ Compensation Act (820 ILCS 305/1). Area began making temporary total disability payments and payments for Bayer’s medical expenses. Bayer also sued Panduit, Garbe, and a structural engineering company for negligence. Panduit and Garbe sued Area under the Joint Tortfeasor Contribution Act (740 ILCS 100/0.01). Bayer's settlement with Area was approved, so Area was discharged from contribution liability. Other claims were resolved, leaving only Bayer’s action for negligence against Panduit. Judgment ($64 million) was entered in Bayer’s favor. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act (820 ILCS 305/5(b)), Area was entitled to recover out of that judgment the amount of compensation it paid or would pay to Bayer, including amounts paid or to be paid under the Act for medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, and temporary partial disability benefits. The court suspended future workers’ compensation payments. The Act provides that where, “the services of an attorney at law of the employee . . . have . . . substantially contributed to the procurement ... of the proceeds out of which the employer is reimbursed, then, in the absence of other agreement, the employer shall pay such attorney 25% of the gross amount of such reimbursement,” 820 ILCS 305/5(b), so Bayer’s lawyers were entitled to fees equal to 25% of the amount Area had paid for lost wages, medical expenses, and other compensable items before payments were suspended. Building on its 1990 holding that the gross amount of reimbursement subject to attorney fees includes both benefits paid before the third-party recovery and the amount of such benefits the employer will be relieved from paying in the future by reason of the third-party action, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the value of future medical care should be included in this calculation. View "Bayer v. Panduit Corp." on Justia Law