Illinois mayors issue proclamations against lawsuit abuse, I-LAW says

Ann Knef Oct. 19, 2009, 11:27am


Mayors from across Illinois are joining Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW) to officially declare Oct. 19-23 "Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week" in Illinois and are calling on citizens to recognize the tremendous burden lawsuits place on taxpayers and consumers.

According to a press release from I-LAW, some mayors are issuing official proclamations recognizing that "the abuse of Illinois of Illinois courts hurts taxpayers who have to pay the cost for the endless lawsuits brought against city and county governments."

The mayors explain that taxpayer funds that could be spent on schools, parks or police are instead spent on fighting frivolous lawsuits. The proclamations also recognize how lawsuit abuse adversely impacts cities' abilities to create new jobs.

"Cleary, Illinois' status as the 'Lawsuit Abuse Capital of the Midwest' is costing our state badly-needed jobs," said Travis Akin, Executive Director of I-LAW.

"Instead of having a reputation as a state that is friendly to job creation, Illinois has a national reputation as a state that is friendly to lawsuit creation."

As part of its Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week Activities, I-LAW will be traveling across the state to meet with local leaders regarding lawsuit abuse.

Some of the mayors who have signed Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week proclamations include Herrin Mayor Vic Ritter, Flora Mayor Bob Tackitt, Mt. Carmel Mayor Bob Meeks, Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole, and Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz.

Akin said he and the mayors involved in this effort hope it will spur a grassroots movement to pressure state legislators to pass common sense lawsuit reforms.

The mayoral proclamations also focus on the important role judges play in either allowing or stopping lawsuit abuse.

Specifically, the proclamations state: "Good judges do matter and with more common-sense minded members of the judiciary can vastly improve the litigation climate throughout the state of Illinois."

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