Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - ITLA responds *** Rauner blasts legislators for “major giveaway to the trial lawyers”
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*** UPDATED x1 - ITLA responds *** Rauner blasts legislators for “major giveaway to the trial lawyers”

Friday, Nov 30, 2018


In addressing reporters Thursday, Rauner also spoke out against some pieces of legislation that lawmakers passed over Rauner’s vetoes. In particular, he singled out a bill that would raise the caps on legal payouts for anyone who sues the state.

“Now, the incentive for the trial bar, the plaintiffs bar, to go look for problems, challenge, try to find problems, sue — the risk-reward for them to spend some time proactively suing now that the balance is on the side of, ‘Yeah, go ahead and sue.’”

The push to raise the limit from $100,000 to $2 million came after 11 families sued the state for neglect in the deaths of their loved ones at the Quincy veterans’ home who died during a 2015 Legionnaires’ outbreak. A twelfth lawsuit — filed earlier this year — stemmed from a 2017 Legionnaires’ death at the same home.

* SJ-R

“This is going to be a massive invitation for lawsuits,” Rauner said. “Our taxpayers could be on the hook for many millions, hundreds of millions of dollars.” […]

Rauner said the bill was “falsely sold as a Quincy veterans bill” even though it will apply to all lawsuits filed in the Court of Claims.

“I view this as a major sop, a major giveaway to the trial lawyers who are major funders of many legislators’ campaigns,” he said.

He also said the General Assembly should’ve just passed stand-alone legislation that specifically applied to the Quincy veterans home.

*** UPDATE *** Tim McLean at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association…

Let’s re-visit the outgoing governor’s record on the handling of the Legionnaire’s crises that occurred at the Quincy Veteran’s Home, which caused 14 unnecessary deaths and sickened 70 other residents and staff:

    Delay—his administration delayed notification of the outbreak, which denied families access to potential life-saving information about the well-being of their loved ones, and possibly contributed to the illness and death toll.
    Deny—The governor repeatedly claimed that “our administration did everything right,” despite documented evidence from industry experts and his own staff that the claim is untrue.
    Deflect—The governor tried to blame this tragedy on the weather, on a local river, and on a former director that is now a U.S. Senator from the opposing party.
    Veto—instead of finally seizing the opportunity to begin the healing process for the victims’ families, Rauner AV’d this bill, which was a product of bi-partisan agreement with all stakeholders.

The Governor has clearly learned nothing over the four years of his massively failed tenure, and his sour grapes press conference yesterday only further solidifies his dissonance from voters, and the bi-partisan supermajorities that overrode his reckless veto. It was clear from the outset to all parties that this legislation was prompted by the tragedies in Quincy, but would be applicable to claims brought by other victims as well; that issue was fully vetted in negotiations, and was made abundantly clear in floor debate. If the governor felt so strongly that it should have applied only to the Quincy tragedy, why did his AV not reflect that position?

The truth is that Illinois was an outlier (tied for the lowest among all states) for damage caps at the Court of Claims, and the families of our heroes in Quincy would have been denied access to justice as a result of that antiquated law–as would future victims of the state’s negligence. This law rectifies that issue, and gives Illinoisans a reasonable opportunity to pursue justice when they are harmed. Remember, seventeen (over 1/3) of states have no cap at all.

This month, the voters of Illinois roundly rejected Governor Rauner’s slash-and-burn, political hackery approach to governing with a 15-point defeat. Instead of holding rambling press conferences and vilifying his perceived political enemies (which proved to be a failed approach for 4 years), the governor should embark on an apology tour with victims’ families.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Generic Drone - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:40 am:

    Of course Rauner believes that he is the only one worth more than $100k.

  2. - morningstar - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:41 am:

    Fuming…. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, Governor! There is a long list of actions which should have been taken regarding the Quincy home, and they start with your lack of being forthcoming.

  3. - Huh? - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:41 am:

    “I put taxpayers on the hook for many millions, hundreds of millions of dollars because I covered up the Quincy Veterans Home legionares outbreak.”

    Fixed it for ya.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    The Rauner bloviating is tiring.

    Rauner lost by 15 points.

    In the words of Kelly Clarkson… “You had your chance, you blew it.”

    The very last person to warn anyone about anything fiscally and driving the state down is Bruce Rauner.

    The man refused for a whole General Assembly that the state needs no budget… until labor is destroyed.

    Now, Rauner is concerned about trial lawyers?

    The override speaks volumes. The GOP GA is moving on from Rauner. He should move on too.

  5. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:48 am:

    From the dude who purposely, as a political tactic, ran up $10 billion in unpaid bills for daily operations in 2.5 years.

    Who was he in the tank for? “Vendor assistance” sharpies? Because they’ve scored hundreds of millions in juice, and we’re still on the hook for all the principal.

  6. - PublicServant - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    And on the other hand, the previous outrageously low ceiling allows program underfunders and those who would risk lives in the name of political expediency to do so with relative impunity.

  7. - zatoichi - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    Where was Rauner’s outrage and efforts to fix the problem when the Quincy out break first became known?

  8. - Wow - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    Bruce who???

  9. - Honeybear - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    Arrogance and privilege
    Not in any
    or form
    understanding what regular folk go through
    How they can be destroyed by
    the malignantly callous
    like Rauner
    And the companies they own and control.
    Rauner hates
    Labor- because the many organize and stand up.
    Trail lawyers- because they pursue justice.
    Government- because they regulate him.
    Conservatives- because they oppose his wife.

    Folks we best learn our lesson from this.

  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    So Rauner thinks the incentive for the private sector to find mistakes in government operations should be minimized. Got it.

  11. - Jocko - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    Given Bruce’s track record with running nursing homes, you think he’d have the good sense to keep his mouth shut.

    Just out of curiosity, did Laner Muchin decide to reimburse Bruce the $6 million he spent suing AFSCME and take it on pro bono?

  12. - Name Withheld - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    If the incentive now is for them to try and find problems - I got news for the outgoing Gov: They don’t have to try very hard.

  13. - A Jack - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    Bruce would have just claimed he was being victimized had they passed a stand-alone Quincy bill. It would have played well with his “I am a victim of the GA” campaign that he was trying to run.

  14. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    “I view this as a major sop, a major giveaway to the trial lawyers who are major funders of many legislators’ campaigns”

    What happened to mea culpa and the unity concession speech? Rauner gonna Rauner. He can’t help himself.

  15. - @misterjayem - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    It isn’t in Bruce Rauner’s interest to encourage speculation about people’s motivations vis-à-vis the 14 deaths at the Quincy Veterans Home.

    – MrJM

  16. - Anon221 - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    Taking into account inflation, Rauner must only feel a life is worth $604,988.04 at the most (

    Even other governmental agencies place a higher value-

    Rauner’s true colors show once again with this CEO vulture mentality. His past involvement with nursing homes sure predicted his current behavior.

  17. - Perrid - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    Yeah, using the dead vets to increase the limit for literally any case was an obvious money grab. The guv kinda gave up all credibility on this subject though.

  18. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    Fully compensating the Veterans Home families is a good thing. Since obtaining compensation shouldn’t be hard now, I applaud the trial lawyers in advance for cutting their contingency fees for the work.

  19. - Gohawks123 - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    New phone who dis?

  20. - Baloneymous - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    Glad to see a response from the trial lawyers to rebut and rebuke Rauner’s cynical and petty comments from yesterday. Well said.

  21. - anon2 - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    If a $2 million cap is dangerously high, then how do 17 states survive with no cap at all?

  22. - Concerned - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    Ouch! ITLA’s statement is gonna leave a mark!

  23. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    Are claims decided without a jury?

  24. - @misterjayem - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    To the update: Told ya, Bruce.

    – MrJM

  25. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    McLean nails it.

  26. - Flynn's Mom - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    He will, until his last day in office, do all he can to hurt the regular Joe’s of Illinois. His arrogance and his disdain for others knows no bounds.

  27. - Generic Drone - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 4:01 pm:

    If only the families could sue Rauner.

  28. - Anon - Friday, Nov 30, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    Thanks to the ITLA for helping to make the Governor’s point. I’m sure there are members of his group waiting in line to give “Illinoisans a reasonable opportunity to pursue justice” for just 33-1/3% share of the judgments.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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