In June 2018, Mark Prince, one of our attorneys at Prince Law Firm, spoke with WSIL 3 and gave his thoughts about the calls for lawsuit reform in Illinois.
Prince is the president of the Illinois Trial Lawyer Association (“ITLA”). The ITLA is an organization of over 2,500 attorneys, whose main mission is to protect the rights of individuals who have been harmed by the wrongdoings of big corporations.
While organizations like I-Law want to perpetuate the notion that the legal system is broken, this is not the case. Prince says these notions revolve around the politics of fear. Those organizations want people to believe lawsuits are negatively impacting Illinois in areas like unemployment. The statistics, however, disagree.
Prince goes on to say the system works exactly how it should. The organizations fighting for lawsuit reform are putting profits before people and want to escape their responsibilities with these reforms. They’d rather avoid entering a courtroom to be held accountable for their actions.
The underlying issue that’s being discussed is the seventh amendment – the right to trial by jury. With lawsuit reform, one of the goals is to take away an injured person’s access to the courtroom.
As for an example that the system works, Prince discusses the workers’ compensation proceedings from 2011. Prior to the trials, there were only 30 insurance carriers for workers’ comp. There are now more than 300, the cost of payouts has gone down, and the trial lawyers did their part to help save hundreds of millions of dollars.
While Prince is against lawsuit reform, he does see the need for insurance reform. Even though those millions were saved from workers’ comp, he has yet to see a trickle-down effect to small business and wants to know why.