Illinois the ‘Lawsuit Capital of the Midwest’

The evidence is overwhelming. There simply is no denying Illinois’ reputation as the “Lawsuit Capital of the Midwest.”

Just in the past few months, several nationwide studies have been released and have confirmed Illinois’ status as a magnet for lawsuits. One report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Illinois the fifth-worst state in the nation for legal fairness. Another report from the Pacific Research Institute ranks Illinois 47th in the country for tort costs and 46th in the nation for tort laws. In addition, Cook County is the third-worst “judicial hellhole” in the country, according to a report from the American Tort Reform Association.

And if those reports aren’t enough, consider Directorship magazine and the American Justice Partnership Foundation’s 2008 Boardroom Guide to State Litigation Climates, which ranks Illinois’ litigation climate dead last in the country.

Directorship magazine is written for individuals serving on the board of directors of companies across the nation. When they see Illinois’ litigation climate is dead last in the country, these directors are understandably going to be reluctant to invest in Illinois. Companies create jobs where the legal system is fair, so why would a company move to a state ranked dead last in the country for legal fairness?

Good question. The answer is they don’t.

In light of all of the evidence of Illinois’ poor legal climate, how can lawmakers continue to pass up opportunities to reform our legal system?

When lawmakers return to Springfield this fall and next spring, they need to make lawsuit reform a top priority because the longer they wait, the worse our state’s legal climate will become, making it even more difficult to attract jobs and opportunities to Illinois.

The evidence is clear; we need meaningful lawsuit reform now more than ever.

Travis Akin
Executive director
Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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