Illinois General Assembly

Previous General Assemblies

Full Text of SB1977  97th General Assembly

SB1977 97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY


 


 
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2011 and 2012
SB1977

 

Introduced 2/10/2011, by Sen. Matt Murphy - Kirk W. Dillard

 

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
 
735 ILCS 5/Art. II Pt. 21 heading
735 ILCS 5/2-2101
735 ILCS 5/2-2102
735 ILCS 5/2-2103
735 ILCS 5/2-2104
735 ILCS 5/2-2105
735 ILCS 5/2-2106
735 ILCS 5/2-2106.5
735 ILCS 5/2-2107
735 ILCS 5/2-2108
735 ILCS 5/2-2109

    Re-enacts and changes various provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to product liability actions that were added by Public Act 89-7, which was held to be void in its entirety by the Illinois Supreme Court in Best v. Taylor Machine Works, 179 Ill. 2d 367 (1997). Effective immediately.


LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

 

 

A BILL FOR

 

SB1977LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 1. Purpose.
5    (a) The General Assembly finds and declares that:
6        (1) "An Act to amend certain Acts in relation to civil
7    actions, which may be referred to as the Civil Justice
8    Reform Amendments of 1995", Public Act 89-7, approved March
9    9, 1995, added Part 21 to Article II of the Code of Civil
10    Procedure. Public Act 89-7 also contained other
11    provisions.
12        (2) In Best v. Taylor Machine Works, 179 Ill. 2d 367
13    (1997), the Illinois Supreme Court held that Public Act
14    89-7 was void in its entirety.
15        (3) The provisions of Public Act 89-7 adding Part 21 to
16    Article II of the Code of Civil Procedure are of vital
17    concern to the people of this State, and legislative action
18    concerning these provisions is necessary.
19    (b) It is the purpose of this Act to re-enact the
20provisions of Public Act 89-7 adding Part 21 to Article II of
21the Code of Civil Procedure. This Act is intended to remove any
22questions as to the validity or content of those provisions.
23    (c) This Act is not intended to supersede any other Public
24Act. The re-enacted material is shown as existing text (i.e.,

 

 

SB1977- 2 -LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1without striking or underscoring) except for the changes made
2by this Act to Section 2-2109 of the Code of Civil Procedure,
3which are shown with striking and underscoring.
 
4    Section 5. The Code of Civil Procedure is amended by
5re-enacting the heading of Part 21 of Article II and Sections
62-2101, 2-2102, 2-2103, 2-2104, 2-2105, 2-2106, 2-2106.5,
72-2107, and 2-2108 and by re-enacting and changing Section
82-2109 as follows:
 
9    (735 ILCS 5/Art. II Pt. 21 heading)
10
PART 21. PRODUCT LIABILITY

 
11    (735 ILCS 5/2-2101)
12    Sec. 2-2101. Definitions. For purposes of this Part, the
13terms listed have the following meanings:
14    "Clear and convincing evidence" means that measure or
15degree of proof that will produce in the mind of the trier of
16fact a high degree of certainty as to the truth of the
17allegations sought to be established. This evidence requires a
18greater degree of persuasion than is necessary to meet the
19preponderance of the evidence standard.
20    "Harm" means (i) damage to property other than the product
21itself; (ii) personal physical injury, illness, or death; (iii)
22mental anguish or emotional harm to the extent recognized by
23applicable law; (iv) any loss of consortium or services; or (v)

 

 

SB1977- 3 -LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1other loss deriving from any type of harm described in item
2(i), (ii), (iii), or (iv).
3    "Manufacturer" means (i) any person who is engaged in a
4business to design or formulate and to produce, create, make,
5or construct any product or component part of a product; (ii) a
6product seller with respect to all component parts of a product
7or a component part of a product that is created or affected
8when, before placing the product in the stream of commerce, the
9product seller designs or formulates and produces, creates,
10makes, or constructs an aspect of a product or a component part
11of a product made by another; or (iii) any product seller not
12described in (ii) that holds itself out as a manufacturer to
13the user of the product.
14    "Product liability action" means a civil action brought on
15any theory against a manufacturer or product seller for harm
16caused by a product.
17    "Product seller" means a person who, in the course of a
18business conducted for that purpose, sells, distributes,
19leases, installs, prepares, blends, packages, labels, markets,
20repairs, maintains, or otherwise is involved in placing a
21product in the stream of commerce.
22(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
23    (735 ILCS 5/2-2102)
24    Sec. 2-2102. Effect on other laws. Except as may be
25provided by other laws, any civil action that conforms to the

 

 

SB1977- 4 -LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1definition of a product liability action as defined in Section
22-2101 of this Part shall be governed by the provisions of this
3Part.
4(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
5    (735 ILCS 5/2-2103)
6    Sec. 2-2103. Federal and State standards; presumption. In a
7product liability action, a product or product component shall
8be presumed to be reasonably safe if the aspect of the product
9or product component that allegedly caused the harm was
10specified or required, or if the aspect is specifically
11exempted for particular applications or users, by a federal or
12State statute or regulation promulgated by an agency of the
13federal or State government responsible for the safety or use
14of the product before the product was distributed into the
15stream of commerce.
16(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
17    (735 ILCS 5/2-2104)
18    Sec. 2-2104. No practical and feasible alternative design;
19presumption. If the design of a product or product component
20is in issue in a product liability action, the design shall be
21presumed to be reasonably safe unless, at the time the product
22left the control of the manufacturer, a practical and
23technically feasible alternative design was available that
24would have prevented the harm without significantly impairing

 

 

SB1977- 5 -LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1the usefulness, desirability, or marketability of the product.
2An alternative design is practical and feasible if the
3technical, medical, or scientific knowledge relating to safety
4of the alternative design was, at the time the product left the
5control of the manufacturer, available and developed for
6commercial use and acceptable in the marketplace.
7(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
8    (735 ILCS 5/2-2105)
9    Sec. 2-2105. Changes in design or warning;
10inadmissibility. When measures are taken which, if taken
11previously, would have made an event less likely to occur,
12evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove
13a defect in a product, negligence, or culpable conduct in
14connection with the event. In a product liability action
15brought under any theory or doctrine, if the feasibility of a
16design change or change in warnings is not controverted, then a
17subsequent design change or change in warnings shall not be
18admissible into evidence. This rule does not require the
19exclusion of evidence of subsequent measures when offered for
20another purpose such as proving ownership, control, or
21impeachment.
22(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
23    (735 ILCS 5/2-2106)
24    Sec. 2-2106. Provision of written warnings to users of

 

 

SB1977- 6 -LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1product; nonliability.
2    (a) The warning, instructing, or labeling of a product or
3specific product component shall be deemed to be adequate if
4pamphlets, booklets, labels, or other written warnings were
5provided that gave adequate notice to reasonably anticipated
6users or knowledgeable intermediaries of the material risks of
7injury, death, or property damage connected with the reasonably
8anticipated use of the product and instructions as to the
9reasonably anticipated uses, applications, or limitations of
10the product anticipated by the defendant.
11    (b) In the defense of a product liability action, warnings,
12instructions or labeling shall be deemed to be adequate if the
13warnings, instructions or labels furnished with the product
14were in conformity with the generally recognized standards in
15the industry at the time the product was distributed into the
16stream of commerce.
17    (c) Notwithstanding subsections (a) and (b), a defendant
18shall not be liable for failure to warn of material risks that
19were obvious to a reasonably prudent product user and material
20risks that were a matter of common knowledge to persons in the
21same position as or similar positions to that of the plaintiff
22in a product liability action.
23    (d) In any product liability action brought against a
24manufacturer or product seller for harm allegedly caused by a
25failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions, a
26defendant manufacturer or product seller shall not be liable

 

 

SB1977- 7 -LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1if, at the time the product left the control of the
2manufacturer, the knowledge of the danger that caused the harm
3was not reasonably available or obtainable in light of existing
4scientific, technical, or medical information.
5(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
6    (735 ILCS 5/2-2106.5)
7    Sec. 2-2106.5. Inherent characteristics of products;
8nonliability. In a product liability action, a manufacturer or
9product seller shall not be liable for harm allegedly caused by
10a product if the alleged harm was caused by an inherent
11characteristic of the product which is a generic aspect of the
12product that cannot be eliminated without substantially
13compromising the product's usefulness or desirability and
14which is recognized by the ordinary person with the ordinary
15knowledge common to the community.
16(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
17    (735 ILCS 5/2-2107)
18    Sec. 2-2107. Punitive damages. In a product liability
19action, punitive damages shall not be awarded against a
20manufacturer or product seller if the conduct of the defendant
21manufacturer, seller, or reseller that allegedly caused the
22harm was approved by or was in compliance with standards set
23forth in an applicable federal or State statute or in a
24regulation or other administrative action promulgated by an

 

 

SB1977- 8 -LRB097 07270 AJO 47379 b

1agency of the federal or State government responsible for the
2safety or use of the product, which statute or regulation was
3in effect at the time of the manufacturer's or product seller's
4alleged misconduct, unless the plaintiff proves by clear and
5convincing evidence that the manufacturer or product seller
6intentionally withheld from or misrepresented to Congress, the
7State legislature, or the relevant federal or State agency
8material information relative to the safety or use of the
9product that would or could have resulted in a changed decision
10relative to the law, standard, or other administrative action.
11(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
12    (735 ILCS 5/2-2108)
13    Sec. 2-2108. No cause of action created. Nothing in this
14Part shall be construed to create a cause of action.
15(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
16    (735 ILCS 5/2-2109)
17    Sec. 2-2109. This amendatory Act of the 97th General
18Assembly 1995 adding Part 21 to the Code of Civil Procedure
19applies to causes of action accruing on or after its effective
20date.
21(Source: P.A. 89-7, eff. 3-9-95.)
 
22    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
23becoming law.