(The Center Square) – A report examining which U.S. states are filing the most lawsuits ranks Illinois towards the top, which lawmakers say is due to an unfair legal environment.
The report by Tribeca Lawsuit Loans looks at U.S. District Courts data to determine which states have the most cases filed per 100,000 people from March 2022 to March 2023.
“There’s a spectrum of reasons for a court case to be filed, ranging all the way to settling finances to serious crime. Therefore, it’s interesting that certain states with similar characteristics are filing so many more, especially when several states in the top ten neighbor each other,” said Tribeca Lawsuit Loans CEO Rory Donadio. “Florida is miles away in filing cases than any other state, and even the Florida courts website attracts more than 300,000 visitors a month.”
Illinois finished fifth on the list with 102 court cases filed per 100,000 people, totaling 13,130 case filings for a population of 12,812,508.
State Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, said the ranking results from a legal system in Illinois that values trial lawyers over litigants.
“What’s driving the ranking for the high number of filings in any state is the fact that we have an unfair system within our state. It is geared towards the trial lawyers,” Ugaste told The Center Square. “It has been designed that way, and unfortunately for years, bills have been passed that allow the trial lawyers to take advantage of the system, rather than having a fair playing system.”
This issue of Illinois’ litigious environment is also affecting the state’s reputation.
“It is doing great damage to our business community,” Ugaste said. “Businesses know where this happens, and they do not want to locate where they are constantly going to be sued and accrue extra costs.”
Earlier this summer, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation allowing for punitive damages in wrongful death cases. Ugaste said such measures could cause companies to declare bankruptcy.
Florida finished first on Tribeca’s list, with Louisiana, Delaware and New York following in that order. No other Midwestern state cracked the top ten.