Significant Appellate Victory in the Illinois Supreme Court

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SmithAmundsen’s appellate attorneys won a significant victory in the Illinois Supreme Court, which upheld the insurance company’s trial de novo provision as part of the underinsured motorist arbitration.  There, the Illinois Supreme Court overruled four appellate decisions which had found the clause to be contrary to Illinois public policy.  A similar clause is required as part of uninsured motorist arbitration under the Illinois Insurance Code.  Because public policy as expressed by the Illinois legislature requires the trial de novo clause in uninsured motorist arbitration, it would have been inconsistent to hold the same provision violated Illinois public policy when it was part of underinsured motorist arbitration.  The de novo clause was not so one-sided as to be unconscionable when both the insured and the insurer have the same right to reject underinsured motorist arbitration awards above the statutory minimum limits of bodily injury liability.


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