ILLINOIS

Negligence / Personal Injury
2 Years § 13-202. Personal injury--Penalty. Actions for damages for an injury to the person, or for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for seduction, or for criminal conversation, except damages resulting from first degree murder or the commission of a Class X felony and the perpetrator thereof is convicted of such crime, shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued but such an action against a defendant arising from a crime committed by the defendant in whose name an escrow account was established under the “Criminal Victims' Escrow Account Act”1 shall be commenced within 2 years after the establishment of such account. If the compelling of a confession or information by imminent bodily harm or threat of imminent bodily harm results in whole or in part in a criminal prosecution of the plaintiff, the 2-year period set out in this Section shall be tolled during the time in which the plaintiff is incarcerated, or until criminal prosecution has been finally adjudicated in favor of the above referred plaintiff, whichever is later. However, this provision relating to the compelling of a confession or information shall not apply to units of local government subject to the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. 735 ILCS 5/13-202
Toxic Tort
2 Years § 13-202. Personal injury--Penalty. Actions for damages for an injury to the person, or for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for seduction, or for criminal conversation, except damages resulting from first degree murder or the commission of a Class X felony and the perpetrator thereof is convicted of such crime, shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued but such an action against a defendant arising from a crime committed by the defendant in whose name an escrow account was established under the “Criminal Victims' Escrow Account Act”1 shall be commenced within 2 years after the establishment of such account. If the compelling of a confession or information by imminent bodily harm or threat of imminent bodily harm results in whole or in part in a criminal prosecution of the plaintiff, the 2-year period set out in this Section shall be tolled during the time in which the plaintiff is incarcerated, or until criminal prosecution has been finally adjudicated in favor of the above referred plaintiff, whichever is later. However, this provision relating to the compelling of a confession or information shall not apply to units of local government subject to the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. 735 ILCS 5/13-202
Wrongful Death
2 Years

Every such action shall be commenced within 2 years after the death of such person but an action against a defendant arising from a crime committed by the defendant in whose name an escrow account was established under the “Criminal Victims' Escrow Account Act”1 shall be commenced within 2 years after the establishment of such account. For the purposes of this Section 2, next of kin includes an adopting parent and an adopted child, and they shall be treated as a natural parent and a natural child, respectively. However, if a person entitled to recover benefits under this Act, is, at the time the cause of action accrued, within the age of 18 years, he or she may cause such action to be brought within 2 years after attainment of the age of 18. 740 ILCS 180/2

Medical Malpractice
2 Years Medical Malpractice action " whether based upon tort, or breach of contract, or otherwise, arising out of patient care shall be brought more than 2 years after the date on which the claimant knew, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known, or received notice in writing of the existence of the injury or death for which damages are sought in the action, whichever of such date occurs first, but in no event shall such action be brought more than 4 years after the date on which occurred the act or omission or occurrence alleged in such action to have been the cause of such injury or death." 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/13-212.

Under discovery rule, statute of limitations on patient's medical malpractice claim against his family physician in connection with injuries allegedly resulting from an aborted endoscopic diagnostic procedure to determine whether patient had hepatitis C began to run, at the latest, when patient filed initial malpractice complaint against defendants other than family physician alleging medical negligence in connection with same procedure.  Hanks v. Cotler, 355 Ill.Dec. 314 (2011).

Prior knowledge of negligent conduct in surgery which resulted in one type of physical manifestation of injury did not preclude running of separate two-year statute of limitations once physical manifestation of another type of injury was discovered at a later date where no amount of diligent investigation of circumstances at time of discovery of negligence would have revealed the particular breach of duty which ultimately led to subsequent injury and, therefore, claim arising out of subsequent injury was not time barred, even though claim for injuries which occurred immediately after surgery was time barred.  Cuerton v. American Hosp. Supply Corp., 136 Ill.App.3d 231 (1985).

If the injury is an aggravation of a physical problem which may naturally develop, absent negligent causes, a plaintiff is not expected to immediately know of either its existence or potential wrongful cause to trigger two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice, and it is manifestly unrealistic and unfair to bar a negligently injured party's cause of action before he has an opportunity to discover that it exists.  Clark v. Galen Hosp. Illinois, Inc., 322 Ill.App.3d 64 (2001).

As respects the question whether plaintiff's injury was such that she should have known of it on the last date of treatment by defendant dentist, plaintiff's belief in defendant's alleged assurances that her bleeding gums were consistent with her dental habits and his reconstructive treatment was compatible with plaintiff's claims in the trial court and on appeal that this was not the sort of traumatic occurrence for which the injury and her knowledge of it would necessarily be concomitant;  plaintiff may reasonably have believed that the continuing pain in her mouth was a normal result of major reconstructive therapy rather than defendant's failure to treat her preexisting periodontal disease.  Kaufman v. Taub, 87 Ill.App.3d 134 (1980)
Malpractice (Other Professions)
2 Years with Discovery Rule, no action may be commenced after 4 years from act or omission causing injury unless concealment by defendant. Tolls: If plaintiff is under 18, action must be brought within 8 years after date or omission causing injury and never after 22nd birthday.
Products Liability
2 Years

§ 13-202. Personal injury--Penalty. Actions for damages for an injury to the person, or for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for seduction, or for criminal conversation, except damages resulting from first degree murder or the commission of a Class X felony and the perpetrator thereof is convicted of such crime, shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued but such an action against a defendant arising from a crime committed by the defendant in whose name an escrow account was established under the “Criminal Victims' Escrow Account Act”1 shall be commenced within 2 years after the establishment of such account. If the compelling of a confession or information by imminent bodily harm or threat of imminent bodily harm results in whole or in part in a criminal prosecution of the plaintiff, the 2-year period set out in this Section shall be tolled during the time in which the plaintiff is incarcerated, or until criminal prosecution has been finally adjudicated in favor of the above referred plaintiff, whichever is later. However, this provision relating to the compelling of a confession or information shall not apply to units of local government subject to the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. 735 ILCS 5/13-202

Discovery:

The statute of limitations starts running “when a person knows or reasonably should know of his injury and also knows or reasonably should know that it was wrongfully caused.” It starts to run if plaintiff has sufficient information to put a reasonable person on inquiry to determine whether actionable conduct is involved. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-213/ " the plaintiff may bring an action within 2 years after the date on which the claimant knew, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known, of the existence of the personal injury, death or property damage, but in no event shall such action be brought more than 8 years after the date on which such personal injury, death or property damage occurred. In any such case, if the person entitled to bring the action was, at the time the personal injury, death or property damage occurred, under the age of 18 years, or under a legal disability, then the period of limitations does not begin to run until the person attains the age of 18 years, or the disability is removed." Per conversation with attorney, this liberal discovery statute for Illinois begins to run when the plaintiff is put on notice or reasonably should be on notice that the product is causing his injury.

Failure of chemical manufacturers and suppliers to provide safe product or to provide adequate warning of dangers of using product was continuing tort and, therefore, worker's products liability claim against manufacturers and suppliers accrued on date when he last faced chemical exposure, though it was possible that worker knew or should have known earlier that his deteriorating physical condition was or could have been caused by exposure to product.  Meadows v. Union Carbide Corp., 710 F.Supp. 1163 (N.D. Ill. 1989).

Illinois “continuing tort” doctrine did not apply to the one-time installation of temporomandibular joint implants, for limitations purposes in products liability actions against supplier of materials used in those implants.  Ganousis v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 803 F.Supp. 149 (N.D. Ill.1992).

In cases involving a disease resulting from neglect, negligence or defective product, cause of action accrues and statute of limitations begins to run when diseased party discovered or should have discovered that he is ill as result of some neglect or negligence on part of another party or as result of being wrongfully exposed to a defective product.  McDonald v. Reichold Chemicals, Inc., 133 Ill.App.2d 780 (1971).

Two-year limitations period applicable to patient's products liability claim against manufacturer of pain pump installed in her shoulder during orthopedic surgery did not begin to run until patient knew or should have known that the destruction of cartilage in her shoulder joint might have been wrongfully caused by the pain pump, even though patient brought a timely medical malpractice suit against physician who performed the surgery within two years of her injury, where plaintiff did not discover that she might have a products liability claim until years later.  Mitsias v. I-Flow Corp. 355 Ill.Dec. 66 (2011). 

 

Statute of Repose - (b) Subject to the provisions of subsections (c) and (d) no product liability action based on any theory or doctrine shall be commenced except within the applicable limitations period and, in any event, within 12 years from the date of first sale, lease or delivery of possession by a seller or 10 years from the date of first sale, lease or delivery of possession to its initial user, consumer, or other non-seller, whichever period expires earlier, of any product unit that is claimed to have injured or damaged the plaintiff, unless the defendant expressly has warranted or promised the product for a longer period and the action is brought within that period. 735 ILCS 5/13-213

Intentional Torts
1 Year libel and slander SOL: 2 years: All others.
Fraud
5 Years For fraud and tortious misrepresentation, the discovery rule tolls the statute of limitations and the claim does not accrue until the injured party knows or should have known of his injury.735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-205

Under Illinois law, persons have knowledge that an injury is wrongfully caused, triggering five year limitations period for fraud claims, when they possess enough information about the injury to alert a reasonable person to the need for further inquiries to determine if the cause of the injury is actionable at law.  Joyce v. Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., 538 F.3d 797 (7th Cir. 2008).

Under Illinois discovery-rule exception to statute of limitations, plaintiff's mere access to additional information will not, by itself, trigger duty to investigate;  rather, such a duty arises only when reasonably prudent person would be put on notice of having been wronged.  Kolson v. Vembu, 869 F.Supp. 1315 (N.D. Ill.1994).
Municipal Liability/Sovereign Immunity
1 Year ,including Wrongful Death. State has adopted an immunity statute governing when actions against the state or its political subdivisions are permitted. In certain municipal actions, notices of claim are required.
Discovery Rule
See specific rules above for products liability and medical malpractice.
Comparative Negligence
Modified comparative negligence rule. Numerous specific rules apply and should be consulted based on amount of recovery.
Charitable Immunity
Abolished
Disabilities
For infancy (18th birthday), incompetence, and imprisonment, 2 years from removal of disability except in medical malpractice and other actions where specific statutes must be consulted.
Damages
Illinois has a comprehensive scheme of statutes controlling damage recoveries that is based upon a number of variables such as the type of action, amount of the award, and date of occurrence.
Punitive Damages
Plaintiff must show reasonable likelihood of proving facts at trial of willful or wanton standard. No punitive damages unless actual damages recovered. Caps: None
No-Fault Insurance

None

Other Relevant Information
In Illinois there may also be a claim under the Illinois Survival Act (conscious pain and suffering) and a Special Administrator may not bring that claim. An "Administrator" will have to be appointed to bring both claims. A Special Administrator may bring only the death claim.
Consumer Fraud Complaint
Illinois Consumer Fraud Bureau
http://www.ag.state.il.us/consumers/
(800)386-5438 (Chicago)
(800)243-0618 (Springfield)
(800)243-0607 (Carbondale)
Spanish Speaking Language Toll-Free Hotline: (866)310-8398

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