Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, issued the following statement in conjunction with today’s Illinois State Senate hearing regarding SB 1724, a bill reforming the states lawsuit venue rules:
“The national business community is pleased that Senators Dillard and Cullerton sponsored today’s hearing to investigate the need for further reforms to the state’s abusive lawsuit climate. The medical liability reforms enacted last year were a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done before Illinois’ abusive legal system is truly reformed.
“Illinois remains a haven for out-of-state lawyers filing lawsuits in Illinois courts that have little connection to the state of Illinois. This rampant court-shopping has created a hostile business climate that puts Illinois jobs at risk. SB 1724 would reform Illinois’ venue laws to tighten up the rules on where lawsuits can be filed.
“In order to protect jobs and the Illinois economy, the governor and the state Legislature need to finish the job and pass this legislation to end court-shopping by opportunistic trial lawyers.”
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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.