Is Objection to a Settlement Without Conducting An Evidentiary Hearing Legal ?
In Johnson v. United Airlines, 203 Ill. 2d 121, 133, 784 N.E.2d 812, 820-21, 271 Ill. Dec. 258 (2003), the third-party defendant settled with the eight plaintiffs in the case for $ 1,000 each, plus costs. Johnson, 203 Ill. 2d. at 125-26, 784 N.E.2d at 816.
The supreme court affirmed the circuit court's good-faith finding over the nonsettling defendant's objection that the circuit court abused its discretion in doing so without conducting an evidentiary hearing and where the settlement amount was disproportionately small. Johnson, 203 Ill. 2d at 136, 784 N.E.2d at 822.
The court observed that the circuit court had sufficient information in the record upon which to base its decision, including pleadings and memoranda. Johnson, 203 Ill. 2d at 136-37, 784 N.E.2d at 822-23.
The court also found that where the third-party defendant, a municipality, had claimed absolute immunity from all liability under the Tort Immunity Act, the settlement amounts of $ 1,000 per plaintiff were not unreasonable. Johnson, 203 Ill. 2d at 136-37, 784 N.E.2d at 822-23.