September 2014 Subrogation Newsletter
In 2013, Illinois enacted 215 I.L.C.S. § 5/143.24d requiring mandatory, binding arbitration of smaller property subrogation cases – claims involving less than $2,500 – between all auto carriers, whether they were members of arbitration or not. On December 18, 2013, the Illinois Court of Appeals held § 143.24d unconstitutional. Last month, however, the Illinois Legislature got the last laugh with regard to § 143.24d. Carriers must now arbitrate these claims. Although the decision is non-binding, the likelihood that both parties will simply agree to be bound by the arbitration decision in order to avoid having to litigate in addition to arbitrating the matter is greatly increased.
Many carriers include their insured’s deductibles in their subrogation demands and lawsuits, obviating the need for their insured to take independent action to secure their deductible. It makes for good customer relations and marketing to include an insured’s deductible in any subrogation demand or litigation. However, there is a much more cogent reason to include and recover the deductible on your insured’s behalf. If you don’t, you might lose your subrogation rights altogether.
On June 27, 2013, the D.C. Council enacted emergency and temporary legislation resulting in an amendment to § 32-1535 which narrowed the window a workers’ compensation carrier has to file a third-party action. Here is where the story gets interesting. The new law was signed by the mayor on July 24, 2013 and, because this was an emergency Act, will remain in effect for no longer than 90 days, as provided for with emergency Acts within § 412(a) of the D.C. Home Rule. Why would the D.C. Council enact a law which is in effect for only 90 days? The answer may be more interesting than the amendment itself and goes to the heart of why things are dysfunctional in Washington, D.C.