New Law Derails CTA

New Law Derails CTA Notice Requirement

On June 1, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 84 into law, repealing the six-month notice requirement for victims of accidents involving the Chicago Transit Authority. Though the legislation received little attention in the press, it brings about a significant change for people injured due to negligent behavior by CTA employees.

The new law applies to CTA accidents that happened after the bill was signed into law. In the past, injury victims and their attorneys were required to notify the CTA within six months of an accident. In some situations, legitimate claims against the CTA were dismissed because of clerical errors or simple mistakes in pre-suit notices.

The notices required the name and address of the claimant, date and time of the accident, location of the accident, a description of the injury and the names and addresses of all the attending physicians.

The CTA had argued for years that the notice provision allowed them to investigate claims. Critics said the provision served as a barrier to legitimate claims for accident injuries caused by the transit system.

The Illinois Trial Lawyer Association had in a statement declared the six-month notice requirement an outdated, dangerous statute that resulted in dismissals over what was essentially a minor technicality.

The one-year statute of limitations will still apply in all CTA cases. This means a cause of action against the CTA must still be brought to court within 12 months after an incident occurs.

Senate Bill 84 was co-sponsored by Illinois State Senator Ira Silverstein of Chicago and Illinois House Representative Al Riley of Hazel Crest.