A recent study highlighting the litigation costs that the city of Chicago endured in 2010 has been called a public relations stunt by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA). A recent study released by a group called I-Law (Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch) claims that Chicago spent almost $85 million for litigation in 2010. The organization’s Executive Director announced that the city’s litigation expenditure of just under $85 million could have been better spent on other things, such as public safety, health, education, senior services, and road projects. The Executive Director claimed that the city has earned a reputation as “The City That Settles” Chicago personal injury lawsuits, rather than the “City that Works.” The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association president aptly called the report slanted, pointing out that the I-LAW is an anti-consumer group and spins very limited information into a conclusion that fits their bias. ITLA president Mr. Latherow addresses that the I-LAW study fails to mention the type of Chicago lawsuits brought against the city and instead highlights one specific case that was a lawsuit between family members.
Of course, such attacks are not new to Chicago personal injury lawyers. Tort reform groups incessantly attack consumers and protect their big corporations avoid any liability, pointing out the most egregious cases and not focusing on the facts. Statistics can be twisted to paint a picture in any way one would like. In this case, I-LAW wants to paint an unfair and inaccurate picture of the courts in Cook County and paint our neighborhood to be one replete with Chicago personal injury lawsuits. But, in fact, as Mr. Latherow pointed out, many of the Chicago lawsuits filed involving the city of Chicago are eminent domain cases, zoning and other business matters totally unrelated to personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims. They also neglect to account for the hundreds of lawsuits filed in response to the police torture from years ago.
Read more about the Illinois personal injury lawsuit report at the Madison Record.