Non English Speaking Witness Not Testifying Due to Failure to Provide An Interpreter In Arbitration

In State Farm Insurance Co. v. Kazakova, 299 Ill. App. 3d 1028, 1032-33, 234 Ill. Dec. 88, 702 N.E.2d 254 (1998), defendant did not testify because she did not speak English, the arbitrators made a finding of failure to participate in good faith and the circuit court barred her from rejecting the award. This court again reversed, finding that the trial court erred in barring defendant from rejecting the arbitration award. The Court concluded that defendant's failure to provide an interpreter was not a violation of supreme court rules, that debarment was an unjustifiably harsh sanction, and that other sanctions could have been awarded. The standard to be applied was whether the party's conduct was characterized by a "deliberate and pronounced disregard" for the rules and the court. State Farm Insurance Co., 299 Ill. App. 3d at 1034.