Survey ranks worst, best states on lawsuit environment

CHICAGO (AP) — A new survey ranks West Virginia, Louisiana and Illinois as the three worst states in perceived fairness of civil courts to businesses. It ranks Delaware, Vermont and Nebraska as the three best.

The 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey was released Thursday by the pro-business U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. Illinois’ Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, was set to speak at a Chicago news conference later in the day about the findings.

The survey’s based on responses from 1,200 company attorneys and executives. Seventy-five percent said a state’s litigation environment is likely to influence business decisions, including where to locate.

The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association has criticized such staunch advocates of tort reform. It says curtailing lawsuits only hurts middle-income Americans who rely on courts to right wrongs by businesses.