Illinois circuit courts in May added “shortened life expectancies” to its measures of damage pattern jury instructions:
30.04.05 Measure of Damages—Shortened Life Expectancy
This instruction is appropriate if there is evidence that plaintiff’s life expectancy has been shortened by the tort. It should appear as a separate element of damages on the verdict form.
The element “shortened life expectancy” can arise when the tort causes a plaintiff to be likely to die prematurely. Dillon v. Evanston Hospital, 199 Ill.2d 483, 500 (2002) supports this element of damages. See DePass v. United States, 721 F.2d 203, 208 (7th Cir. 1983)(Posner, J. dissent) citing out of state cases to support the conclusion that Illinois law does not permit a tortfeasor to get off scot-free because, instead of killing the victim, he inflicts an injury that is likely to shorten the victim’s life. Shortened life expectancy is recognized as a separate element of
compensable damages in Bauer ex rel. Bauer v. Memorial Hospital, 377 Ill.App.3d 895, 920-921 (5th Dist. 2007).