Illinois House Bill 1798 took immediate effect on May 31 as Governor Rod Blagojevich signed it into law. The bill amends the Wrongful Death Act, allowing juries to award damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering to the surviving spouse and next of kin of the deceased. Illinois now joins 23 other states that consider the pain and suffering of the families of wrongful death victims. A past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association remarked,
“Anyone who has lost a loved one due to tragedy deserves compensation because this is a primary aspect of that loss… when [it] happens as the result of the wrongful conduct of another, it’s a real item of damage.”
Previously, when a person died prematurely as the result of the wrongful conduct of another, his surviving family was not compensated for their loss. This act finally allows grieving families to receive the compensation they deserve for the untimely loss of a loved one.
Click here to view the bill