Skokie Castings, Inc. v. IL Ins. Guar. Fund

When an insurance company authorized to transact business in Illinois becomes insolvent and unable to pay claims, the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund pays those claims after an order is entered liquidating the company, 215 ILCS 5/532. A cap on individual claims is inapplicable to workers compensation claims under the Workers’ Compensation Act, 820 ILCS 305/1. The plaintiff is the successor to Wells, a manufacturer. A Wells employee was seriously injured on the job in 1985, and, in 1993, the Industrial Commission ordered weekly lifetime benefits for total, permanent disability. Wells began to make the payments directly to the employee. Wells was self-insured, but had excess insurance from Home Insurance. After Wells’ payments to the injured employee reached $200,000, Home paid benefits until Home became insolvent in 2003 and was liquidated. The Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund took over Home’s obligations, but stopped paying the employee in 2005, arguing that payments to an excess, rather than a primary, insurer were not payments of “workers’ compensation claims” exempted from the cap. Wells continued paying the employee and sought a declaration that the Fund’s payments should continue. The circuit court agreed with Wells, awarding summary judgment, and the appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed, rejecting the distinctions made by the Fund between excess and primary coverage and between payments made directly or indirectly to employees. View "Skokie Castings, Inc. v. IL Ins. Guar. Fund" on Justia Law