Jack J. Casciato, partner at Clifford Law Offices, recently authored an article on punitive damages in Illinois in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
In an article titled, “To make whole, punitive legislation needed,” Casciato wrote in the Oct. 10, 2018 issue about “Illinois courts hold that punitive damages are not recoverable in actions brought pursuant to [the Wrongful Death Act and Survival Act]” for the estate of someone who is killed by a wrongdoer.
Casciato points out how the identical wrongful conduct, though, does allow punitive damages to be awarded to someone who survives. He called for the Illinois legislature to consider amending the statutes to permit punitive damages. He pointed out in the well-written article that, “assessing whether conduct rises to the level of willful and wanton versus whether tortious conduct resulted in death [are] two different issues.”
Other states allow such damages and, as Casciato points out, “no express, unequivocal language exists that outright precludes Illinois courts from permitting punitive damages in wrongful death and survival actions.”
Casciato handles complex medical malpractice, trucking and product liability cases at Clifford Law Offices. Prior to coming to the firm, he defended similar cases that he prosecutes today on behalf of injured plaintiffs and their families.