WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new national survey released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) finds that Illinois’ lawsuit climate is among the worst in the country at number 46. The survey respondents also named two Illinois counties as among the worst jurisdictions in the country; Cook County was named as the most unfair and unreasonable jurisdiction and Madison Country was named the sixth most unfair county.
The significance of a state’s legal climate on business expansion decisions has steadily increased over the last five years. Seven out of ten survey respondents say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their businesses, a 13 percent increase from survey results just five years ago.
“As our economic downturn has continued, a growing percentage of business leaders have identified a state’s lawsuit climate as a significant factor in determining their growth and expansion plans, and the jobs that come along with them,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “That makes the consequences of this survey even more significant to the economic growth of Illinois.”
Illinois’ lawsuit climate ranked beneath every bordering state including: Indiana (14), Iowa (10), Kentucky (38), Missouri (34), and Wisconsin (15).
“Illinois continues to suffer from the negative reputations of courts in certain counties, like Cook, Madison, McLean, and St. Clair, which still invite lawsuit abuse and produce jackpot jury awards,” Rickard said.
According to the study, Creating Conditions for Economic Growth: The Role of the Legal Environment, completed for ILR by NERA Economic Consulting in 2011, Illinois could save up to $2.4 billion in tort costs and create between 54,000 and 147,000 new jobs by improving its legal environment.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States by telephone and online between March and June 2012. The respondents—general counsels and senior attorneys or leaders in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million—were asked to rank states for their overall treatment of tort, contract, and class action litigation. Among other elements, respondents also ranked states for the impartiality and competence of their judges and the fairness of their juries.
See the entire 50-state list and read a full copy of Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States online at: www.instituteforlegalreform.com/states
For all media information, video clips and press releases on the Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States survey, go to: www.instituteforlegalreform.com/media
ILR 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 the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.