BLOOMINGTON - McLean County is no longer considered a judicial hellhole.
The American Tort Reform Association removed McLean and St. Clair counties from the list this year. Ed Murnane with Illinois Civil Justice League said the only county to make the list is Madison County, while Cook County is on the watch list.
"That could be interpreted as a sign of improvement, the fact that we only have two, but it also may be interpreted as a sign that other states are getting pretty bad, too," Murnane said.
Murnane said Madison County made the list because it's a magnet for asbestos and class action litigation.
“It certainly brings money into the county, having these [litigants] come in, but at the same time, you would prefer, I think, if I was a resident of Madison County, I’d prefer to have my court system spending its time and my money focused on local problems,” Murnane said.
But personal injury lawyer Bob Clifford said this is nonsense, that there’s justice to be found in all Illinois courts, and the tort reformers want to deprive regular people of a day in court when they’ve been wronged.
“The people who are behind the claim of judicial hellhole are trying to take away the rights of people, and deny them access to the jury trial system,” Clifford said.