CHICAGO – West Virginia, Louisiana and Illinois are the three worst states in perceived fairness to sued businesses, according to a survey released Thursday. It says Delaware, Vermont and Nebraska are the three best.
Among those attending an unveiling of the 2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey in Chicago was Gov. Bruce Rauner, who said the state's legal environment was hindering his ability to recruit businesses and grow jobs.
"It is devastating to many employers," said the Illinois Republican, who has called for tort reform.
The survey, based on interviews with 1,200 attorneys and executives at companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues, was conducted for the pro-business U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
Seventy-five percent of respondents said a state's litigation environment is likely to influence business decisions, including where to locate.
"Businesses cannot and will not invest in Illinois until ... established, deep-rooted and documented problems are addressed once and for all," Illinois Civil Justice League President John Pastuovic told attendees in Chicago.
Later Thursday, the president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association blasted the survey — and Rauner's association with it.
"It's a form of math-washing — using numbers to give the veneer of science and precision to a biased study that found just what it wanted to find," Perry Browder said about figures in the survey.
He said the notion of a lawsuit crisis was a ruse "to saddle the state's taxpayers with the costs of caring for those who are injured or the survivors of those killed due to corporate negligence or malfeasance."
2015 Lawsuit Climate Survey: http://bit.ly/1OgeRQB