It is mind-boggling that the Illinois Supreme Court might nix the successful medical malpractice reforms enacted in 2005 — just as the Metro East area begins recovering from the damage inflicted by years of crippling tort judgments (“Illinois’ med mal law on trial,” Aug. 18).
Thanks to these reforms, Madison County is off the American Tort Reform Association’s annual list of “judicial hellholes” for the first time in five years. And doctors are starting to return; Belleville Memorial Hospital just announced that one of the region’s top neurosurgeons would re-open his practice after being driven away five years ago by high malpractice insurance premiums.
But Illinois is not out of the woods yet. The Pacific Research Institute’s “2008 U.S. Tort Liability Index,” a study I co-authored, found Illinois has the highest litigation risks in the nation and ninth-highest medical malpractice payouts per health care dollar. With these risks in mind, now is not the time for the Supreme Court to undo the state’s successful tort reforms.
Lawrence J. McQuillan | San Francisco
Director, Business and Economic Studies
Pacific Research Institute