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New report confirms need for lawsuit reform in Illinois

Their View

By Travis Akin, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch | Dec 20, 2016

While many Illinois businesses continue to struggle, a new recently released report shows the lawsuit industry is alive and well in Illinois.

The annual “Judicial Hellholes” report from the American Tort Reform Foundation has named Cook, Madison and St. Clair Counties among the “Top Ten Worst Judicial Hellholes” in the country and named McLean County to the “Judicial Hellholes Watch List.” The report defines a “judicial hellhole” as “a place where judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner.”

Travis Akin, executive director of Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch | Courtesy of Travis Akin

Illinois has the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest and only seven states and the District of Columbia have a higher unemployment rate than Illinois.

For far too long, Illinois has been exporting jobs and opportunities and importing lawsuits from all over the country. Lawsuit tourists have made Illinois a destination of choice as they come here hoping to strike it rich playing our state’s plaintiff-friendly lawsuit lottery. Greedy personal injury lawyers have turned the “Land of Lincoln” into the “Land of Lawsuits,” and that is hurting job creation efforts throughout Illinois.

The answer to the problems in Illinois is lawsuit reform. The 2016 “Judicial Hellholes” report notes that, “Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has for two years consistently advocated civil justice reforms, including limits on forum shopping, strengthening the reliability of expert testimony, reducing the opportunity for fraud and double-dipping in asbestos litigation, and providing jurors with more information to ensure that damage awards accurately reflect the plaintiff’s medical expenses. But the governor remains on a long-running stalemate with legislative leaders of the opposing party. And legislation relating to lawsuit reform rarely get a hearing or, even if they do, they’re rarely advanced.”

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed meaningful lawsuit reform legislation but the legislative leaders continue to block these reform efforts. We need to create jobs in Illinois, not more lawsuits, and Governor Rauner’s reasonable, common sense lawsuit reforms will create jobs and unclog our courts, which will speed the legal process for those with legitimate claims.

Illinoisans should contact their legislators and ask them if they will stand with the personal injury lawyers, who are the only ones who profit from this unfair system, or the small businesses and individual citizens who are far too frequently targets of unfair frivolous lawsuits and are made to pay for personal injury lawyer greed.

We need to stop the personal injury lawyers from gaming the system at our expense. By standing up to the personal injury lawyers and passing common sense lawsuit reforms, legislators will restore fairness to Illinois courts, stop lawsuit abuse, create jobs, and put money back in consumers’ pockets.

For more information on the “Judicial Hellholes” report and I-LAW’s efforts to restore common sense and fairness to Illinois courts, visit I-LAW’s website at

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