Reform that would even the legal playing field and fix the state’s broken lawsuit system was stalled by Democrat lawmakers in a Senate Committee May 28. The compromise lawsuit reform legislation was intended to put a stop to the frivolous lawsuits that have pushed employers and jobs out of Illinois.
Ranking 46 out of 50 states with one of the worst lawsuit climates in the nation, Illinois is home to two counties deemed “Judicial Hellholes” by the American Tort Reform Association.
The bill is the result of bipartisan working groups organized by Governor Bruce Rauner. The measure would limit the practice of venue shopping (where plaintiffs file lawsuits in courts based on where they are most likely to win, regardless of where injuries actually occurred) by creating a process where locations are prioritized based on the parties involved and location where the injuries were incurred. The legislation would also limit the ability of plaintiffs to legally target wealthy businesses and individuals who may have had significantly less involvement in causing the injury, as well as modifications to ensure a plaintiff only recovers the amount actually paid for medical bills.