Report Names Illinois, Missouri Courts as "Judicial Hellholes"The American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF) recently issued its 2018-2019 Judicial Hellholes report, which identifies and documents places where judges in civil cases systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally to the disadvantage of defendants. Courts in Missouri and Illinois listed among the top nine.
The report states that it “shines its brightest spotlight on nine jurisdictions, courts or legislatures that have earned reputations as Judicial Hellholes. Some are known for welcoming litigation tourism or as hotbeds for asbestos litigation, and in all of them state leadership seems eager to expand civil liability.”
The City of St. Louis was named the number four judicial hellhole. According to the report, “The optimism for a more balanced City of St. Louis expressed in last year’s report quickly evaporated in 2018 as judges were reluctant to end forum shopping and allowed plaintiffs’ lawyers to introduce junk science in the city’s talc litigation. “No-injury” consumer class actions continue to fill the courts and the liability-expanding state high court overlooked juror misconduct in a crucial case against a large in-state employer.”
St. Clair and Madison Counties in Illinois were named number eight. The report says, “These counties are notorious for their disproportionate volumes of litigation and large verdicts. St. Clair County is a magnet for “no-injury” consumer class action litigation, while Madison County continues to be the plaintiffs’ favorite jurisdiction for asbestos lawsuits. St. Clair also is experiencing a meteoric rise in asbestos litigation, and a lack of legal reform in Illinois allows the litigation to flourish.”
With offices in Edwardsville (Madison County) and St. Louis, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP regularly represent clients in these courts. Our familiarity with judges and plaintiff’s counsel enables our attorneys to serve as "go to" counsel in these and other challenging jurisdictions.
To review the full report, please visit this link.