Last month, the Appellate Court reversed a $25 million punitive damage verdict against Walgreen’s in an Illinois wrongful death case. The basis of the lawsuit was that the pharmacist had made a medication error and given the man the wrong medication. The medication which he was provided as aresult of the medication caused kidney failure, ultimately ending in the man’s wrongful death. His family then filed an Illinois medication error wrongful death suit.The basis of the puntive damage award was that over a number of years, the pharamcist had stolen thousands of narcotic drugs from the pharmacy and was unfit to work in a pharmacy environment. The damage award against Walgreen’s was based on the failure to discover the thefts and remove the man from his position.The punitive damage award was not taken away because the conduct was not bad enough to support the award — it was taken away because Illinois law simply does not permit punitive damage awards to be sought after the death of the victim. This case was an attempt by the lawyer for the family to expand a very narrow exception to that rule.In our personal injury and wrongful death practice, we have a number of cases where punitive damages would be appropriate but for the death of the client as a result of the misconduct of the defendant. Hopefully, further appeals of this case will result in reinstatement of the punitive damage award and a change in the law for punitive damages and wrongful death in Illinois.