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Illinois has long-been a target for junk lawsuits and is home to the third-worst judicial hellhole in the country. Sadly, lawsuit abuse affects workers and their families by taking away jobs and raising the costs of healthcare services and the products we buy.

Here are examples of how lawsuit abuse affects you.

Facts about Illinois' Legal Climate

  • Illinois has been ranked near the bottom - 45th out of 50 - of all state legal systems for civil justice fairness for two consecutive years. Cook County is the second-worst local jurisdiction for legal fairness.
    (2010 State Liability Systems Ranking Study, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, March 22, 2010)

  • Illinois' litigation climate is ranked the worst in the country by a report published in magazine aimed at the board of directors of America's corporations.
    ("Directorship" magazine and the American Justice Partnership Foundation's 2008 Boardroom Guide to State Litigation Climates, June 2008)

  • Cook County is the third-worst judicial hellhole in the country. The report, issued by the American Tort Reform Association, examined courts and legal systems across the country and named Cook County one of the nation's worst havens for lawsuit abuse.
    (2009 Judicial Hellholes Report, The American Tort Reform Association, Dec. 15, 2009)

  • Illinois' legal climate is ranked dead last in the country.
    (Directorship magazine and the American Justice Partnership Foundation's 2008 Boardroom Guide to State Litigation Climates released, June, 2008)

  • Every man, woman and child in Illinois pays a "lawsuit tax" of about $857 per year.
    (2011 Update on U.S. Tort Cost Trends,Towers Watson, Jan. 2012)

  • Illinois is ranked 47th in the country for tort costs and 46th in the nation for tort laws.
    (Pacific Research Institute (PRI), 2008 Tort Liability Index report, Mar. 12, 2008)

  • Illinois has the third highest number of attorneys per dollar output in the nation.
    (Pacific Research Institute (PRI), 2008 Tort Liability Index report, Mar. 12, 2008)


Jobs and the Economy

  • From 2001-2006, the national GDP grew 15 percent while Illinois' GDP grew just 9 percent or 40 percent more slowly. During that same period, the US economy added 4.3 million jobs, while Illinois actually managed to lose 60,000 jobs.
    (U.S. Department of Labor)

  • Illinois ranks #45 in the nation for job growth.
    (U.S. Department of Labor, Jan. 2008)

  • Illinois is in the bottom five in the country for new residents. Only 1.9 percent of Illinois' residents are new people moving to the state.
    (The (Tax) War Between the States, by Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 10, 2007)

  • The U.S. tort system cost $261 billion in 2005, which translates into a "lawsuit tax" of $880 per person.
    ("U.S. Tort Cost: Update 2006," Tillinghast-Towers Perrin, Dec. 13, 2006)

  • Small businesses typically spend about $5,000 to settle a legal dispute - about 10% of a small business owner's average annual salary. Small business owners say being sued is one of the most threatening experiences they encounter.
    ("Use of Lawyers," National Federal of Independent Business National Small Business Poll, Vol. 5, Issue 2, 2005)

  • Asbestos litigation has caused approximately 52,000 to 60,000 workers to lose their jobs due to asbestos-related bankruptcies of the companies that employed them. Illinois courts, especially those in the Metro-East area, have been notorious for huge caseloads of lawsuits filed by out-of-state asbestos plaintiffs and their lawyers. ("Asbestos Litigation Costs and Compensation: An Interim Report, viii," Stephen J. Carroll et al., Rand Institute for Civil Justice, 2002)

Healthcare

  • More than 8-in-10 Illinois residents (82%) are concerned that frivolous health care lawsuits make it harder to get affordable health care for them and their families.
    (Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch, Braun Research, April 2005)

  • Four out of five Illinois residents (83%) agree that personal injury lawyers who file health care lawsuits are more interested in making money than in helping patients.
    (Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch, Braun Research, April 2005)

  • More than 90% of high-risk medical specialists say liability pressures were important in their decision to stop providing certain services.
    (American Medical Association Survey, April 3, 2003)

  • The decrease in vaccine manufacturers in the United States has been attributed to the litigation fears of manufacturers.
    (Health Care News, February 1, 2004)

  • Nearly 7-in-10 Illinois residents (67%) believe that personal injury lawyer advertising encourages uninjured people to sue.
    (Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch, Braun Research, April 2005)

  • More than 40 percent of doctors report avoiding prescribing appropriate medication when they knew the drug might be involved in litigation.
    ("Pharmaceutical Liability Survey," Harris Interactive, July 15, 2003)

Reports and Studies

  • Study shows how legal reforms could dramatically improve the jobs climate in Illinois. Read study.

    Study urging Chicago officials to fight litigation rather than settle lawsuits that cost taxpayers millions

    2010 Judicial Hellholes report

    2010 US Chamber of Commerce State Liability Systems Ranking Study

    ATRA's 2009 Judicial Hellholes Report

    ATRA's 2008 Judicial Hellhole Report

    2008 Update on U.S. Tort Cost Trends,Towers Perrin, Dec. 2008

    ATRA's 2007 Judicial Hellhole Report

    Pacific Research Institute's U.S. Tort Liability Index: 2008 report

    2008 U.S. Chamber of Commerce State Liability Systems Ranking Study

    Center for Medicine in the Public Interest's Insta-Americans: The Empowered (and Imperiled) Health Care Consumer in the Age of Internet Medicine

    Directorship Magazine and American Justice Partneship Foundation's 2008 Boardroom Guide to State Legal Climates



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