Among the more than 500 bills on Governor Rauner’s desk passed this year by the General Assembly is Senate Bill 2481. Currently, damages for most tort claims against the state are limited to $100,000. This bill would increase the cap to $2 million.
The impetus for the bill or (or maybe the excuse for lawmakers all too cozy with trial lawyers) is to allow for appropriate claims by survivors of those who died of Legionnaires disease at the Quincy Veterans’ Home, for whom there’s no doubt widespread, bipartisan sympathy.
But the obvious question is why the bill wouldn’t have been limited to those or similar claims.
A blanket, twenty-fold expansion of the cap probably will encourage any number of new lawsuits against the state. Top plaintiffs’ lawyers turn their noses up at $100,000 claims, and that’s too little for most lawyers to litigate aggressively. Two million dollar claims are a different story.
Rauner opposed the bill as it went through the General Assembly, but it passed both houses by veto-proof majorities.
Remember those ads a few years ago saying Illinois is broke?
Well, the folks you sent to Springfield apparently don’t
–Mark Glennon is founder and executive editor of Wirepoints.