Sep 18, 2019 - 3:28pm

What Did People in Illinois Think About Their State’s Lawsuit Climate?

“I’m not surprised.”

That was one man’s reaction when he learned that Illinois ranked dead last on the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States.

It’s not surprising he feels that way. The Land of Lawsui–err–Lincoln was 48th the previous two surveys and 46th before that. In fact, it’s been on a steady decline since 2003. It’s become a pariah for companies looking for fair, reasonable and consistent legal environments. In fact, Chicago or Cook County ranked as the worst jurisdiction in the country.

But this terrible lawsuit climate affects so much more than courtroom decisions. For example, Illinoisans have been shut out of buying some new tech products because of the state’s penchant for suing. Live in Illinois and want the latest Ring.com camera-enabled doorbell? Too bad. How about a new robotic dog? Nope. Major companies won’t sell these products in Illinois over the fear they’ll get sued.

A record 89 percent of survey respondents said a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact their company’s decisions about where to locate or do business. Illinois needs to do some serious work before these folks feel better about their state’s lawsuit climate.

The 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States is the 12th time The Harris Poll has conducted the survey since 2002 for the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. The final results are based on interviews in-house general counsel, senior litigators or attorneys, and other senior executives at public and private companies with annual revenue of at least $100 million.

Read more about the survey here.

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