Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the civil case Nelson v. Artley and the criminal case People v. Stapinski.
By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams, Montgomery & John Ltd.
The liability of a rental car company who obtains a certificate of self-insurance from the Secretary of State is limited to the same minimum coverage provisions applicable to rental car companies who meet their financial responsibility obligations through purchasing an insurance policy.
Mr. Nelson was injured by an Enterprise rental car driven by Mr. Artley, who was uninsured. Nelson sued Artley, resulting in a default judgment of $600,000. Nelson brought a supplementary action against Enterprise.
Enterprise asserted various affirmative defenses, the most pertinent dealing with its financial exposure. Enterprise argued that because it was self-insured, its total financial responsibility per occurrence was $100,000 (the statutory minimum coverage requirements for insurance). Because $75,000 already had been paid or allotted to other claims arising out of the same incident, the circuit court issued a turnover order of $25,000 to Nelson.