Justice Karmeier ordered to testify in civil case

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier has been ordered to give testimony in a civil case that accuses State Farm Insurance of fraudulently concealing the extent of its involvement in his campaign.

(Credit: Kuzma)
(Credit: Kuzma)

Karmeier and State Farm had fought against requiring the justice to give a deposition in the case, which was filed in 2012 in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis and seeks $8 billion in damages. But Judge David Herndon rejected those arguments.

Herndon ruled Friday that he plaintiffs can question Karmeier under oath as to his knowledge concerning all aspects of his campaign including his decision-making process for running for the position in the first place and the persons with whom he consulted to make that decision, how the campaign was managed, how the campaign was financed, who was involved in the decision-making and strategy of the campaign.

Herndon noted that without allowing the inquiry, there will never be light on the facts of this case and the federal rules will be thwarted.

Herndon also granted the plaintiffs’ request to depose an attorney for State Farm, Robert Schultz, who served as a member of the judicial evaluation committee for the Illinois State Bar Association when Karmeier was elected to the Illinois high court in 2004. Schultz now works for State Farm.

Karmeier’s opponent in the election had written a lower court opinion upholding a $1.05 billion verdict against State Farm. After winning election, Karmeier cast the crucial fourth deciding vote to overturn that decision.