Illinois Guaranty Fund Gets Setoff From Statutory Dram Shop Limit Rather Than Jury Verdict
Eighteen-year-old boy was killed in a head-on collision with a vehicle driven by an intoxicated person. His parents received $26,550 from the drunk driver's insurance carrier and $80,000 from their own insurance carrier. They subsequently filed a dram shop suit. While it was pending, the dram shop's insurance carrier was declared insolvent, and the Illinois Guaranty Fund assumed the defense. The issue was whether the $106,550 should be set off from a potential jury verdict or from the statutory dram shop limit of $130,338.51. The Fifth District held the setoff should be applied against the jury verdict.
The Supreme Court reversed and held the setoff should be applied against the statutory limit. The Fund's obligation cannot be expanded by a jury verdict. It can only be reduced by other insurance. Rogers v. Imeri, 2013 IL 115860.