A Positive Change to the Illinois Wrongful Death Act

Plaintiffs Can Now Obtain Punitive Damages

On Friday, August 11, 2023, Governor Pritzker signed HB0219, which amends the Illinois Wrongful Death Act and allows Plaintiffs to pursue punitive damages in most wrongful death cases. Prior to this amendment, only injured Plaintiffs who were alive had the opportunity for punitive damages. The changes found in HB0219 now provide an opportunity for the estates of those who have died to pursue punitive damages for wrongful conduct.  

This new law will no longer give a corporation or individual who wrongfully killed someone a discount on punitive damages during a civil trial. An injured person and a decedent’s heirs will now be in the same position to pursue punitive damages. However, this law will not allow for punitive damages in medical malpractice cases nor in actions against state or local government.  

This bill effectively puts Plaintiffs whose loved ones have wrongfully died through the hands of others in a better position for full and fair compensation. It will force corporations to ensure they have proper policies and procedures in place and to ensure safety is truly enforced.  If not, corporations will more likely face punitive damages if a lawsuit’s discovery shows repeated safety violations. 

Detractors will view this new law and the threat of punitive damages as a new “burden” on corporations. This viewpoint is misguided. This law will help prevent more deaths and injuries if corporations take the time and effort to review and follow safety policies, procedures and applicable statutes that govern their actions. 

As a Plaintiffs’ law firm, we are fiercely committed to protecting the lives of our clients, our families and our loved ones. This law further helps us fulfill that laudable goal and punishes those who act have conscious disregard for life and safety. 

Free consultation with Chicago-based wrongful death lawyers 

The wrongful death attorneys at Romanucci & Blandin have proven success in these types of cases. Please contact our office at 312-458-1000 or click here for a free evaluation of your case. There is never a fee until you are compensated at the end of the case. 

Disclaimer: The content found on this page is not legal assistance and contacting the wrongful death lawyers at Romanucci & Blandin’s law office for a free consultation regarding personal injury cases and wrongful death claims does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. 



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