The Illinois Appellate Court for the First District reversed and remanded a court decision from the Cook County Circuit Court. In this case, a car driven by Jamie Lichter was rear-ended by the vehicle driven by Donald Christopher on Feb. 27, 2016. On Jan. 19, 2018, Lichter filed a personal injury lawsuit against Christopher. However, Christopher had died in June 2017 and Lichter was not aware of his death. No Letters of Office were ever issued to or on his behalf, so in April 2018, Lichter moved to have the trial court appoint a special representative to defend her action on behalf of Christopher.
Kimberly Porter Carroll was appointed, who is an attorney for State Farm, Christopher’s insurer. Carroll entered an appearance as special representative on behalf of the deceased defendant.
In early March 2020, Porter Carroll moved to dismiss with prejudice, arguing that under Illinois Code of Civil Procedure section 13-209, Lichter was required to sue the personal representative of the estate, not the special representative. Now that it was past the two-year statute of limitations in which Lichter could file the lawsuit, it was argued that the case should be dismissed with prejudice.