Survey ranking states on lawsuit environment called “bogus”

The state’s trial lawyers are responding to Thursday’s news that Illinois is third-worst in the nation when it comes to civil courts’ friendliness to business.

Illinois Trial Lawyers Association president Perry Browder, whose practice is in Alton, says the Metro East’s reputation as a plaintiff’s paradise is fiction.

The people behind the survey “want to say that there are runaway verdicts, which isn’t true,” he says. “There have actually been more defense verdicts than plaintiffs’ verdicts down there. Anytime they can deny people’s access to a courtroom, (they hope) that means those people will just go away and not get their day in court.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner fronted the announcement Thursday, and Browder is no fan of Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda.”

“What the governor is trying to do is say that if we have workers’ comp reform or venue reform, we’re going to solve the state’s problems, and, all of a sudden, there’s going to be this great influx of revenue. That is just not correct,” Browder says. “You can’t balance the budget on the backs of workers that have been injured.”

Browder says the people the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surveyed were corporate defense lawyers; the whole thing, he says, is “bogus.”