Stop Cook County's lawsuit lottery
Cook County has long been known as a haven for frivolous lawsuits, so it was no surprise to read about a man who recently filed a lawsuit in Cook County court against Walgreens and McDonald's for mistakenly applying the new soda pop tax to unsweetened sparkling water.
Here we have someone looking to cash in on a mistake that only cost him pennies and was quickly corrected by Walgreens. This kind of junk lawsuit is all too common in Cook County, which is ranked among the worst counties in the country by the American Tort Reform Foundation.
Personal injury lawyers spend millions on ubiquitous TV ads and billboards that encourage people to sue, resulting in a flood of frivolous lawsuits that clog Cook County courts and delay justice for people with legitimate claims. Personal injury lawyers also give millions to Illinois judges in campaign contributions, so perhaps we should not be surprised that the court system in Cook County is so out of balance and so favorable to plaintiffs.
This imbalance incentivizes personal injury lawyers to play the "lawsuit lottery" in Cook County, filing countless frivolous lawsuits with the hope of cashing in with one big jackpot. If these frivolous lawsuits filed against hometown companies Walgreens and McDonald's somehow succeed, the personal injury lawyers stand to win millions, while pop drinkers win pennies, and Walgreens and McDonald's, which employ tens of thousands of people in Illinois, may have to reduce the number of jobs here or raise prices for consumers.
What Illinois needs is jobs -- not more junk lawsuits such as the ones filed recently against Walgreens and McDonald's.
Travis Akin, Executive Director, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch