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IL Poll: “Civil Litigation Reform,” Who Cares?

February 8, 2008

Springfield, IL – Education funding, health care and balancing the state budget are the three public policy problems Illinois residents care about most, according to a recent poll by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At the bottom of the list is civil litigation reform.

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President Bruce Kohen says it's interesting the issue isn't on the public's radar, even though, he says, there is a coordinated campaign to try to limit citizen lawsuits.

"While changing our civil justice system may be a desired goal of big business and the insurance companies, it isn't seen as an important issue by the people of Illinois."

Those who want to make changes to the civil justice system say too many lawsuits hurt businesses. However, Kohen argues, suits that don't have merit don't get far in the system because of built-in checks and balances.

Kohen believes it's good news in a way that only one percent of those polled said they felt civil litigation reform is an important issue for Illinois.

"Ultimately, I think that's a confirmation that the civil justice system is working and does not need to be reformed."

Other concerns rated in the poll include rebuilding state roads, preventing tax increases, lowering gas prices and immigration.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - IL