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Illinois’ Punitive Damage Pandemonium: A Shameless Attack on Businesses

We enter, once again, to the wild world of Illinois politics, where the absurd and detrimental seem to go hand in hand. Today, we bring you an outrageous move by Illinois General Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman that could wreak havoc on businesses and further tarnish the state’s already infamous reputation as a Judicial Hellhole (Cook County, Illinois is currently ranked No. 5). Brace yourselves for a rollercoaster ride through the latest misguided amendment that aims to allow recovery of punitive damages on wrongful death cases.

Illinois, the Notorious Haven for Litigation

We all know that Cook County, Illinois, holds a special place in the pantheon of Judicial Hellholes, and it seems the state is keen on maintaining its notorious status. Just two years ago, the trial bar snuck a pre-judgment interest rate amendment through the back door in the middle of the night during a lame duck session. Now, they’re doubling down by pushing for punitive damages in wrongful death cases. It’s like they’re playing a twisted game of “How can we make Illinois an even less attractive place to do business?”

The Punitive Damage Amendment: A Recipe for Disaster

Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman, a leading figure in this calamity, has filed a last-minute amendment to House Bill 219, and the implications are dire. By adding punitive damages to wrongful death cases, Illinois will witness skyrocketing costs, scaring away potential job creators faster than a coyote in a chicken coop. If there’s one thing businesses love, it’s unpredictability and excessive liability, right?

Selective Punishment: Arbitrary Exemptions

What makes this amendment even more bewildering is its arbitrariness. While it aims to punish defendants for certain behavior, they conveniently exempt state and local governments, as well as medical malpractice cases. If this amendment is truly about protecting victims and holding wrongdoers accountable, why are these exceptions in place? It seems like a classic case of “rules for thee, but not for me.”

The Shell Game: Deception in Action

Enter the shell bill, HB 219, with its innocuous-sounding title, “Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act.” But hidden beneath its deceptive facade lies the true intention: a change to the wrongful death act to allow punitive damages. This is a textbook case of burying controversial provisions in obscure legislation, hoping no one will notice until it’s too late.

Tripping Over Liability: Legal Malpractice Exemption

Interestingly enough, Amendment 2 carves out exemptions for healing art malpractice and legal malpractice cases. The trial bar seems determined to shield themselves from the very liabilities they are trying to impose on other private businesses. We’re left scratching our heads, wondering how legal malpractice could lead to wrongful death situations, but hey, consistency is overrated, right?

The Trial Lawyers’ Top Priority

Leader Hoffman, proud torchbearer of this ill-conceived amendment, boldly declares it as the trial lawyers’ top priority. What a dubious honor! It appears that their agenda is set, and they plan to bulldoze their way through the legislative process, disregarding the consequences for businesses and the state’s economic well-being.

An Assault on Common Sense and Business

Unfortunately, we find ourselves witness to yet another chapter in Illinois’ never-ending saga of misguided policies. This latest amendment to allow recovery of punitive damages in wrongful death cases is a reckless move that will only exacerbate the state’s reputation as a Judicial Hellhole. It’s time for Illinois to prioritize common sense, fairness, and the needs of all Illinois citizens over those of greedy trial lawyers. The future of the state’s economy depends on it.

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