Overview of Midwest Sanitary, Inc. v. Sandberg, Phoenix, and Von Gontard, P.C.



Chicago partner, Donald Patrick Eckler, was published in the Winter Edition of Association of Defense Trial Attorneys commenting on the recent decision of the Illinois Supreme Court in Midwest Sanitary, Inc. v. Sandberg, Phoenix, and Von Gontard, P.C., 2022 IL 127327.

The state high Court held that punitive damages assessed against a defendant in an underlying case could be sought as compensatory damages against a defense lawyer in a subsequent legal malpractice action if it could be shown that the defense lawyers’ negligence caused the imposition of punitive damages. This is despite 735 ILCS 5/2-1115 that prohibits punitive damages from being sought against lawyers in legal malpractice actions.

In his role as a Board Member and Legislative Chair of the Illinois Defense Counsel, Pat has spearheaded an effort to overturn that case by proposing a bill, SB 239, to amend Section 2-1115 to put civil defense lawyers on the same footing as plaintiffs’ lawyers against whom unrecovered punitive damages are forbidden to be sought in a subsequent legal malpractice action. See Tri-G v. Burke, Bosselman, Weaver, 222 Ill.2d 218 (2006).

Read the full article here. Contact Donald Patrick Eckler for more information on this topic.