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Study: Tort reform would save Illinoisans nearly $1,900 a year | Illinois


(The Center Square) – A new study claims that lawsuit abuse is threatening the Illinois economy and making life more expensive for every Illinois resident.  

The group Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse reports in 2023, excessive tort litigation cost over 215,000 jobs in Illinois, and cost state and local governments more than $2 million in lost revenue.

“When the state government puts the interests of the trial attorney lobby ahead of small businesses employers, we see higher costs, fewer jobs, lower economic output and higher inflation that impacts everyone,” said CALA Executive Director Phil Melin. 

Melin presented the findings of the Perryman Group report at a recent meeting with state Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, state Rep. Tom Weber, R-Lake Villa, and HM Manufacturing’s President and CEO Nicole Walter at her facility in Wauconda.

The group reports every Illinois resident is now estimated to pay a nearly $1,900 “tort tax” each year to cover the loss in jobs and economic output from lawsuit abuse. The “tort tax” is estimated at $2,497 in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

A report last December said that Illinois is home to one of the worst judicial hellholes in the country. The American Tort Reform Foundation identified Cook County as the second worst in the U.S.

Melin said as a result, Illinois had the fourth highest homeowners insurance premium increase in the country since 2018 at 18.5%.

“How does the next generation afford home ownership with high interest rates, we all know in Illinois we have extremely high property taxes across the state, and now you throw on the fourth highest homeowners insurance increase, it makes home ownership farther away for Gen-Z and every single person,” said Melin. 

Melin added that the Illinois legislature is making things difficult for employers in the state, including a measure that created new punitive damage liabilities on top of compensatory damages for wrongful death claims.

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President Sara Salger issued a statement to The Center Square on the CALA report.

“The CALA study is not new. It’s a recycled, dishonest ‘report’ that has been debunked time and time again,” Salger said. “The goal of CALA is to protect the profits of their big business funders by spreading the myth of lawsuit abuse and pushing lawmakers for tort reform. There is no correlation between our courts and the economy. CALA’s ‘tort tax’ estimates are used to scare citizens and lawmakers into giving up their constitutional right to access the courts and their tax dollars fund, simply for the sake of higher corporate profits.”

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Caleb Alexander

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