Illinois Section 155 Damages Claim for Refusal to Pay the Settled Amount

In Price v. Universal Casualty Co., 322 Ill. App. 3d 514, 750 N.E.2d 739, 255 Ill. Dec. 822 (2001), the plaintiff's decedent was in a car accident and reported the claim to the defendant-insurer. The case was scheduled for arbitration, but the defendant refused to participate and filed a move to stay. the arbitrator found in favor of the plaintiff and ordered the defendant to pay $ 20,000 plus costs and interest under the policy. The defendant refused to pay this amount and offered to settle for a lesser amount. The plaintiff demanded payment and, eventually, the defendant paid a portion but refused to pay interest on the award. The plaintiff filed a complaint to confirm the arbitration award and for section 155 damages. The trial court confirmed the award and ordered the defendant to pay the remaining balance, but directed a finding for the defendant on the section 155 count. The reviewing court reversed this latter portion of the judgment and remanded the cause for a hearing on the section 155 count based upon questions it found with respect to the defendant's conduct throughout the litigation. See Price, 322 Ill. App. 3d at 520-21.