Must Court Conduct An Evidentiary Hearing on the Allocation of Settlement Proceeds ?
In Muro v. Abel Freight Lines, Inc., 283 Ill. App. 3d 416, 419, 669 N.E.2d 1217, 1218-19, 218 Ill. Dec. 691 (1996), the court found a good-faith finding entered without an evidentiary hearing to have been premature. Muro, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 419, 669 N.E.2d at 1218-19.
In that case, the settling parties did not provide the court with any information as to how the proceeds of the $ 75,000 settlement at issue were allocated among the plaintiff's theories of recovery. Muro, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 417-18, 669 N.E.2d at 1217.
At the settlement hearing, the nonsettling defendant objected to the settlement and asked the court to apportion it among the theories of recovery. Muro, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 418, 669 N.E.2d at 1218.
The trial court ultimately entered an order apportioning the settlement in a manner proposed by the nonsettling defendant. Muro, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 418, 669 N.E.2d at 1218.
In reversing that order on appeal, this court found that the circuit court should have conducted an evidentiary hearing to evaluate both the settlement and the method of apportionment. Muro, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 419, 669 N.E.2d at 1219.
Thus, the court reversed the good-faith order and remanded the cause, directing the circuit court to conduct an evidentiary hearing on the allocation of the settlement proceeds. Muro, 283 Ill. App. 3d at 420-21, 669 N.E.2d at 1219.