Fed up with seeing Illinois transformed from the "Land of Lincoln" into the "Land of Lawsuits," several small business owners and concerned citizens from Marion and Carterville region traveled to Springfield to urge their legislators to pass common-sense lawsuit reforms that will reduce the abuse of Illinois courts by aggressive personal injury lawyers and in turn help create jobs here.
The meetings with legislators were part of the "Rally for Lawsuit Reform" hosted by Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), a grassroots, non-partisan legal watchdog group. The featured event of the day was a meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner, where I-LAW supporters told him personally why they support common sense lawsuit reforms and encouraged him to keep fighting for these reforms in the face of intense opposition from the personal injury lawyers' lobby.
I-LAW Executive Director Travis Akin said Illinois legislators should take notice of what is going on in neighboring Missouri, where legislators this year have passed several lawsuit reform bills that will make Missouri courts more fair and the state more appealing to Illinois businesses.
"The 'Show Me State' is showing Illinois how to make an abused lawsuit system more fair and more attractive to employers," explained Akin. "If Illinois doesn't follow Missouri's lead, we can expect to see Illinois businesses leaving the "Sue Me State" and crossing the Mississippi River for a state where they won't have a lawsuit target on their backs."
Illinois is ranked the third-worst state in the country for legal fairness, according to a recent report from the non-partisan research company Harris Poll. Illinois is also home to three of the nation's three worst "Judicial Hellholes" in the country, according to a report last December from the American Tort Reform Association.