Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » That bill wasn’t only about the Quincy veterans home
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
That bill wasn’t only about the Quincy veterans home

Monday, Aug 27, 2018

* The Tribune’s headline on this story was brutal: “Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoes larger damages for veterans who died from Legionnaire’s at Quincy veterans home”

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday vetoed legislation that would have increased from $100,000 to $2 million the maximum damage award families of veterans who died due to Legionnaire’s disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy could have sought from the state.

Rauner has come under fire over his administration’s handling of repeated annual outbreaks at the home that began in 2015 with the deaths of a dozen people and illnesses to scores more. Since then, at least two more deaths have been associated with the disease.

At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed since the initial outbreak, claiming negligence by the state. The Republican governor’s Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, has accused Rauner of “fatal mismanagement” at the veterans home, which is now undergoing a reconstruction.

In its legal filings, the state has denied any negligence and Rauner has said the state has followed all recommendations of federal experts at the Quincy home. In April, Rauner’s veterans affairs director resigned.

* The Sun-Times’ headline was equally tough (”Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoes larger damages for Legionnaire’s victims”), but the story was a bit more accurate

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would have boosted the maximum damage awards to people who sue the state, including survivors of veterans who died of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in downstate Quincy.

This bill wasn’t just about Quincy. The bill covered just about everybody who sued the state. So, I think the governor was right that a $2 million cap was a bit much. The cap was originally set at $100,000 in 1971, which works out to about $600,000 in today’s money. Rauner used his AV to change the cap to $300,000. So, where the GA high-balled, he low-balled.

* WBEZ

From the outset, the legislation put Rauner in a political trick box. Embracing the status quo, as Rauner did Friday, carried the risk of making the governor seem unsympathetic to the plight of the veterans’ families at Quincy. Accepting new limits could have been viewed as a tacit acknowledgment the state bungled its response to the outbreaks, something Rauner has never admitted.

Legislators were in the same trick box. It wasn’t easy voting against the bill because of the deceased veterans angle.

* JB Pritzker took full advantage in his own press release…

“I’m disgusted by Bruce Rauner’s callous dismissal of Veteran families in this veto,” said JB Pritzker. “These families lost loved ones because of Rauner’s fatal mismanagement of the Veterans’ home in Quincy. No amount of money will ever bring back a life taken too soon or soothe a family’s grief, but Rauner had the indecency to lower the reparations for those who have paid the ultimate price. It is unconscionable and a disgrace to our fallen heroes. I hope the legislature overrides this bipartisan, veto-proof bill that this failed governor refused to sign into law.”

* From the governor’s veto message…

When citizens are inadvertently harmed by the State of Illinois or State employees performing their duties, they are granted statutory recourse to address those harms through the Illinois Court of Claims. There are approximately eight thousand cases filed against the State of Illinois each year, two hundred of which are for torts. Currently, these tort claims are subject to a cap of $100,000.

I recognize that the current law is outdated and in need of adjustment. However, this adjustment should reflect regional and national averages in order to properly compensate those who, once properly adjudicated, were found harmed by the State of Illinois.

This legislation raises the cap on awards from $100,000 to $2,000,000, effectively ignoring the impact of vastly expanded future litigation on the fiscal position of the State and its taxpayers.

The increase stands out when compared to other large states across America. Among the largest states in the nation, the cap averages about $350,000 for individual claims. As proposed, SB 2481 would make Illinois an extreme outlier when compared to our surrounding states. Wisconsin and Michigan are almost entirely immune from tort liability. Kentucky caps claims at $250,000; Indiana at $700,000 and Missouri at $300,000. Iowa has essentially no cap on tort claims. Further, the increase proposed far outpaces what would be a reasonable increase based on growth statistics available from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, as proposed, this legislation could invite frivolous lawsuits and expose taxpayers to hundreds of millions of dollars of potential damages each year without adequate study or justification.

…Adding… And here comes ITLA, right on cue…

Following the Governor’s amendatory veto of a measure that would have allowed access to justice for all families whose loved ones are injured or die while under the care of the state, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association President Mark D. Prince issued the following statement:

“Senate Bill 2481 is meant to ensure access to adequate and fair compensation for victims and their families when the state is responsible for their injuries or death. Despite the support of strong, bi-partisan majorities in the House and Senate, the Governor’s amendatory veto creates yet another artificial legislative hurdle for our veterans and their families, and put vulnerable children, the elderly, and other future victims that are injured or killed under the state’s care into peril.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

31 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 9:44 am:

    Vetoes, like votes in the General Assembly, are owned by those using those constitutionally able to perform in their elected capacities.

    All that prefaced…

    While the veto has a broader implication, the veto on the micro is exactly as advertised too;

    Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that hurts the families of those Quincy victims, victims who are let down, again, by this governor.

    It may not be fair, but vetoes are owned and interpreted.

    That’s why being a governor is so very hard.


  2. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    Rich -

    There is a flip side to this: when a death occurs involving a state agency and a nonprofit provider, families are dropping their actions against the state and just going after the nonprofit due to the caps.

    The jury is presented with a tragic case where somebody needs to be held responsible, and the only ones they can hold responsible is the nonprofit.

    Caps just shift the burden to nonprofit providers, and I foresee a day when this makes it very, very difficult for us to find human services providers.

    Plus, nobody believes a human life is worth only $600K, or that sum will deter bad actors within the state.


  3. - Dupage Bard - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 9:51 am:

    Politically horrible.
    JB hasn’t even touched the Quincy veteran’s home and he’s up by 16 points.
    Rauner has given the entire script for this storyline with the final scene being an after hours Friday night veto in the shadows.
    If the JB crew doesn’t use this they should all get out of politics.


  4. - wondering - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    Thank you OW. I have to wonder if there should be any caps at all. Negligence is negligence if proven and damage is best left to a jury with appeal if excessive.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 9:58 am:

    –This bill wasn’t just about Quincy.–

    The bill covered more than just Quincy, but Quincy certainly was the sole motivation for the bill.

    Nobody thought they were voting to increase slip-and-sue awards at the Stratton Building.

    There are countless ways to write a lede within the bounds of fair and accurate journalism. Pearson’s way just brought the wood, bark on.

    Splendid behavior.


  6. - phocion - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:03 am:

    No WS, this was all about getting the trial lawyers more cash from claims wholly unrelated to the Quincy Home. That special interest group used this tragedy to try to line their own pockets. Good on Rauner for vetoing the bill. Shame that the media was too clueless to see this for the trial lawyers’ money grab it really was.


  7. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    “This legislation raises the cap on awards from $100,000 to $2,000,000, effectively ignoring the impact of vastly expanded future litigation on the fiscal position of the State and its taxpayers.

    The increase stands out when compared to other large states across America. Among the largest states in the nation, the cap averages about $350,000 for individual claims. As proposed, SB 2481 would make Illinois an extreme outlier when compared to our surrounding states. Wisconsin and Michigan are almost entirely immune from tort liability. Kentucky caps claims at $250,000; Indiana at $700,000 and Missouri at $300,000. Iowa has essentially no cap on tort claims. Further, the increase proposed far outpaces what would be a reasonable increase based on growth statistics available from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

    JB should just admit the obvious. This bill is all about keeping the Trial lawyers happy, who along with the public sector unions run the Democratic party.


  8. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    This is more of the “excellent” response to the veterans Rauner killed?


  9. - Annonin' - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    If GovJunk did not realize this was his dumbest veto before the Tribbie story he should get it now.
    The deaths, cover-up, bungling and scandals are bad enough, but when the Tribbies drag the lead political writer out on a weekend to do a bill veto story the BTIA should realize how dumb this was and get ready for a few more blasts. How dumb can GovJunk be?


  10. - Jocko - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    I’m always tickled by peoples outrage toward trail lawyers, up until the minute they’ve been wronged and seek redress in court.


  11. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:42 am:

    Perhaps an amendatory veto allowing the $2m cap for tort claims resulting in death, and keeping it lower for everything else. Would compensate the Veterans Home families yet preserve fiscal sanity for less dire matters.


  12. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    –No WS, this was all about getting the trial lawyers more cash from claims wholly unrelated to the Quincy Home.–

    Thanks, Q. I guess I just don’t see the Big Picture, like you.

    Wonder why they waited so long to do it?


  13. - Arsenal - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    ==JB should just admit the obvious. This bill is all about keeping the Trial lawyers happy, who along with the public sector unions run the Democratic party.==

    Why on earth “should” he say that? Because Ya Boy was already down 16 points before this unpopular veto and you want JB to throw him a bone?


  14. - Langhorne - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    Its a cap, not all or nothing, winner take all.

    How many $100k awards have been made in recent years? For what type of losses? Does this cap apply to those wrongfully incarcerated, or do they have a different calculation?


  15. - Anon - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    We have the ethics act, but if you really want managers administrators and other appointees to stop ****ing around, making the legal penalties merit a lengthy discovery process would have that outcome.

    Especially with some of the stupid things our public employees put in emails.

    Someone made the call to keep the outbreak quiet. That person stopped patients from getting treated immediately for the illness if they presented any symptoms.

    Aside from Torts, some folks need to never be involved in the practice of medicine ever again.

    If that person isn’t Dr. Nirav Dinesh Shah, then he needs to finger the public official under him — or the Governor’s office who made the decision.

    And if that person doesn’t have a medical license, they need to be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license.

    And every physician or mid-level provider that knew about it and didn’t do anything for the patients under their care needs to also lose their medical license.

    There’s more than one outrage here. This wasn’t just a serious breech in government, it was a serious breech in the practice of medicine, medical ethics, and a violation of the oaths physicians take.

    I get that state government reporters are going to report state government, but this angle might actually be a bigger deal than the standard Rauner administration incompetency.


  16. - anon2 - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    Low caps deter lawsuits since legal costs can eat up so much of the award.


  17. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    ===when the Tribbies drag the lead political writer out on a weekend to do a bill veto story===

    Meh. They just lost their Statehouse reporter, remember?


  18. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    Care to share with us any data that is was an an unpopular veto?

    Unrestrained Government spending is popular with the special interest groups who benefit, not with the taxpayers who pay for it


  19. - Arsenal - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    ==Care to share with us any data that is was an an unpopular veto?==

    Yes, the date and time that Rauner announced the veto.


  20. - walker - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    LPierre @10:04

    Thank you for the additional info. It’s always good to do a little research to back a comment.

    OTOH I read this as more about Rauner/Quincy politically than about rewarding trial lawyers.


  21. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    Do you really think taxpayers will support JB’s unrestrained approach to government spending (raising the cap from $100K to 2 Million?) when they eventually figure out who will be stuck with the bill?

    One more reason why Illinois has not balanced a budget since 2001.

    Too many spending demands from special interests and not enough restraint by legislators so eager to be reelected they won’t aggravate contributors.

    Why do think term limits are so popular?


  22. - Ike - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 11:49 am:

    Lucky Pierre - families of those Quincy veterans who died are pawns of “special interest” groups? No, this is about a governor who lies to these families about doing everything he can to help them while trying to screw them over.


  23. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    –Do you really think taxpayers will support JB’s unrestrained approach to government spending (raising the cap from $100K to 2 Million?) when they eventually figure out who will be stuck with the bill?–

    Like $16B in unpaid bills?

    What’s it take for you to get a reboot? Does Neo have to walk through some door or something?


  24. - Arsenal - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    ==Do you really think taxpayers will support JB’s unrestrained approach to government spending (raising the cap from $100K to 2 Million?) when they eventually figure out who will be stuck with the bill?==

    Do you really think I wouldn’t notice that you’re shifting the goalposts? “Eventually”. Heh.

    It’s an unpopular veto from an unpopular Governor.


  25. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    You are forgetting the famous Kinsey gaffe (accidentally telling the truth) uttered by Rahm a few years back

    “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”


  26. - Arsenal - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    That’s pretty similar to Rauner’s “Crisis creates opportunity. Crisis creates leverage to change.”

    But then, the guys were bros, so it makes sense.


  27. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    I find the cognitive dissonance here very funny. How is it that the same people who constantly complain that government is always the problem and never does anything right are the exact same people now defending the necessity of that same government to pay as little as possible when they inevitably do screw up?

    Shouldnt you fiscal warriors prefer that a serious financial penalty to be in place as a deterrent?


  28. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    I think Rich’s number of $600,000 is about right. That is a little more than service members killed in war get.

    Don’t understand why the 20 year old killed in action is worth $500,000 and the 80 year old veteran is worth $2 million.

    What I really don’t understand is how Laquan McDonald became worth $5 million with millions going to the mother who was so bad she lost custody to DCFS.


  29. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    ==You never let a serious crisis go to waste.==

    You know who else uttered words similar to that? Yep, that would be the Governor.

    ==Why do think term limits are so popular?==

    Ever heard of elections? You can term limit anyone.

    Just because something is “popular” doesn’t make it right.


  30. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    I’m not sure what the right number should be. Notwithstanding that, I would hammer the Governor for this veto. It’s easy to make it about the Quincy Veterans Home and roll it out there as yet another example of how the Governor doesn’t care about the veterans at Quincy.


  31. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Aug 27, 18 @ 5:37 pm:

    ==What I really don’t understand is how Laquan McDonald became worth $5 million==

    Hush money is always more expensive.

    ==with millions going to the mother who was so bad she lost custody to DCFS.==

    I don’t see the relevance.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Two DCFS employees on the AJ Freund case no longer have jobs
* Pritzker administration says Ald. Ervin's proposed delay would do "significant damage" to cannabis program
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Fundraiser list
* Do better
* *** UPDATED x1 *** New laws
* Because... Madigan!
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Hey, UIS! What the heck are you doing?
* Another reason ComEd got what it wanted in 2016
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller