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"Prove Up" Against Defaulted Defendant Proves to Hurt Plaintiff

01 May 2003

Plaintiff filed a complaint against two possible defendants, Lupa and Zdunkevich for injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Zdunkevich did not file any pleadings, thus a default judgment was entered against him. The court held a "prove up" hearing to determine plaintiff™s injuries. Zdunkevich™s insurance company paid this amount in full. Since Illinois adheres to a single recovery principle, the plaintiff was precluded from relitigating her damages against Lupa because she had been fully compensated for her damages. The court proposed that the Plaintiff could have waited to present her damage claim until she went to trial against Lupa. However, plaintiff chose to instigate the prove-up hearing and judgments by default have the same validity and force as those rendered at trial, thus she could not recover additional damages from Lupa. Saichek v. Lupa, Nos. 93615, 93774 cons., 2003 Ill. LEXIS 458 (Il. S.Ct. Mar. 20, 2003).

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