ICJL urges people to protest anti-business bill

Ann Knef Mar. 12, 2007, 10:57am

Ed Murnane

The Illinois Civil Justice League (ICJL) is urging people to call their state senators in protest of an anti-business bill picking up speed in Springfield.

Ed Murnane, president of the ICJL, said Senate Bill 1296 is an "attempt by trial lawyers to shift the burden of compensation to the party with the most money rather than the most responsibiity."

The bill, which has been called a trial lawyer "money grab," is sponsored by Sen. John Cullerton, (D-Chicago). It would increase a defendant's liability and responsibility to pay under joint and several liability by changing the formula for determining apportionment.

Murnane said the trial-lawyer backed bill disregards responsibility for wrongdoing and shifts it "almost totally to the size of the pocket."

As the bill nears passage in the Senate, the ICJL has set up a website, www.DeepPocketsIllinois.com, to help build opposition to the legislation which, Murnane says, would further build trial lawyers' litigation industry at the expense of Illinois employers.

Murnane said the website allows visitors to learn about the legislation and to contact their legislators to urge a "No" vote on the bill.

Steven M. Puiszis, president of the Illinois Association of Defense Counsel, wrote in a recent commentary that SB1296 is bad public policy that should not be passed.

"If enacted, Senate Bill 1296 will put Illinois further out of step with its neighbors, out of step with fairness, out of step with common sense and drop Illinois deeper into the tort 'hellhole' category that drives businesses out of Illinois," Puiszis wrote.

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