Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (“ITLA”) President Jerry A. Latherow recently responded in the Chicago Tribune to U.S. Chamber of Commerce commentary on McLean County, Illinois. Mr. Latherow addressed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is again attacking our Illinois courts, now setting the sights on McLean County. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers join Mr. Latherow in reminding readers that the U.S. Chamber has previously bred hostility for the courts in Cook, Madison, and St. Clair counties.
For our readers who are not aware, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funded behind the scenes by a “who’s who” of big business, hiding behind a seemingly innocuous title. It should not be confused with your local Chamber of Commerce; its funded by tobacco, big oil, insurance, pharmaceutical companies, and other big business. These corporate special interests are upset that they cannot dominate the judicial system in Illinois. So, every year, they spend millions of dollars provided by these big businesses, such as tobacco companies, waging public relations campaigns in our Illinois counties. They advertise with the intentions of generating negative sentiment for our courts, intimidating the judiciary and prejudicing jury pools. As ITLA President Mr. Latherow states, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is attempting to craft a perception that the Illinois judicial system is too friendly toward plaintiffs and too open to abuse. But we, those of us who actually practice law and live in Illinois, should know better than these corporate interests, because nothing is further from the truth.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce uses the term “jackpot justice” as if our Illinois justice system is being manipulated for profit. As Illinois personal injuries lawyers know, the truth in Illinois is that the system is being manipulated for profit by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their funding groups. They are absolutely notorious for working the system in an attempt to evade accountability when their products injure or kill innocent victims. They are out to protect their large profits, no matter the cost to the consumers.