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August 24, 2005

Chamber Says Illinois Medical Liability Reforms Good First Step

WASHINGTON, D.C.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) today recognized Illinois’ newly enacted medical liability reforms as a good first step toward solving the states lawsuit crisis. ILR also announced the launch of a statewide advertising campaign to highlight the need for additional reforms to restore fairness and balance to the legal system.

“Medical liability reform is a much-needed step in the right direction,” said ILR President, Lisa A. Rickard. “In order to protect jobs and the Illinois economy, the governor and the state Legislature need to finish the job and pass more lawsuit reform.”

Illinois ranked 46 out of 50 states in the most recent ILR/Harris State Liability System Rankings, having fallen 12 spots in three years. Survey respondents ranked three Illinois counties-Cook, Madison, and St. Clair-among the 15 worst local jurisdictions in the country for legal fairness.

In addition, an overwhelming 81 percent of respondents in the poll report that the litigation environment in a state could affect important business decisions, such as where to locate or do business.

“Lawsuit abuse creates a hostile business climate that puts Illinois’ jobs at risk,” added Rickard, who noted that Illinois has lost almost 200,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five years. “That is why the business community will not rest until comprehensive reform is brought to the states legal system.”

The mission of ILR is to make Americas legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

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