Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to advance his radical political agenda by making it more difficult for victims of negligence and medical malpractice to obtain fair and just compensation for their injuries.
Governor Rauner and his friends—big businesses and insurance companies—falsely claim that there is a “lawsuit crisis” in Illinois. However, the fact is that lawsuit filings in Illinois have dropped 26 percent since 2007. Governor Rauner's proposed changes to the tort system in Illinois are designed to benefit the corporate sector, not victims of negligence. This would make it more difficult to sue large companies (including medical and pharmaceutical companies). Governor Rauner's proposals would also limit the power of judges and juries in your community to compensate injured people who were victims of negligence.
The so-called “reforms” sought by Gov. Bruce Rauner, big business, the PAC's that provide his campaign funding and his insurance industry backers, will only undercut the constitutional rights of citizens injured due to the wrongdoing of others and help to boost insurers' bottom line. When a person is brain damaged, mutilated, rendered paraplegic or suffers another grievous harm as a result of another's negligence, but cannot obtain fair compensation from the culpable party through our courts because the laws have been rigged against them, the healthcare and other financial support for that individual and her family will be borne by the taxpayers.
That's not the story that Rauner and his allies want told. The same entities initiating the majority of litigation in Illinois – businesses suing other businesses or individuals for money account for 70 percent of court actions initiated – promote the ruse of “lawsuit abuse” to deflect attention from their motives and, ultimately, to pressure policymakers into remaking our courts to serve only the profit-motives of big business and the wealthy.
Gov. Rauner's attacks on our civil justice system should be seen for what they are: an effort to further undermine the financial security and prospects of middle and lower income Illinoisans by Rauner and the fellow millionaires and billionaires who funded his campaign. The state's budget and pension problems cannot be solved on the backs of those that are injured. That is not the solution. Lawmakers should reject race-to-the-bottom policies that will leave our fellow citizens poorer and more vulnerable, hurt taxpayers and benefit only a few at the very top.
You need to act now to protect your right to a fair justice system. Call or go see your Illinois state senator and representative, and tell them:
- Not holding wrongdoers of tort actions accountable has devastated injured people and their families in states like Indiana, Wisconsin and Oklahoma—Illinois does not want the same fate.
- Weakening our civil justice laws by limiting damages awarded by juries compounds the problems of those hurt and shifts the financial responsibility of caring for the injured to the taxpayers.
- The citizens of Illinois do not want big money to influence who is accountable.
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