Consumer group condemns U.S. Chamber
of Commerce report attacking Illinois
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[April 26, 2007]
CHICAGO -- The Center for Justice & Democracy
on Wednesday condemned a report released by the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform as "dishonest, unfair and
contrary to the evidence about the state's positive business
climate." The report, entitled "Lawsuit Climate 2007: Rating the
States," criticizes the legal climate of Illinois based on nothing
more than the views of corporate lawyers who defend corporate
wrongdoers. It goes on to attack state political leaders because
they have supported consumers' legal rights.
"The U.S. Chamber seems
utterly unconcerned with either protecting the health and safety of
Illinois residents or with being honest about the actual business
climate of Illinois," said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of
the Center for Justice & Democracy.
Illinois' business and manufacturing climate is strong and growing.
In August of 2006, according to the Federal Bureau of Labor
Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security,
Illinois led the nation in the previous month's job growth. That was
the second time in 2006 that Illinois topped the nation in job
growth. It is the first time that happened in recorded history.
According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity, more than 150,000 new jobs have been created in the
state since 2004, the highest total in the Midwest. Also, according
to the department, the unemployment
rate in Illinois has dropped
from 6.7 in 2003 to its current 4.7.
What's more, several objective sources rank Illinois and Illinois
cities as among the best places to locate a business. Site Selection
Magazine ranks Illinois 13th and Chicago as the top place to locate
a business, while Forbes magazine ranks three Illinois cities in
their top 150.
"The U.S. Chamber's attack on Illinois' business environment is
totally inconsistent with the facts on the ground," says Doroshow.
"The chamber believes that holding corporations accountable is bad
for Illinois, when, in fact, the opposite is true. The counties in
Illinois attacked in this report are strong and growing, and one
obvious reason is that these areas are not havens for corporate
abuse of Illinois citizens."
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There is even evidence from the business community that fear of
litigation has minimal impact on a company's business strategy. The
National Association of Manufacturers surveyed corporate chief
executive officers at their most recent conference. Fear of
litigation ranked as the least important factor affecting company
Doroshow adds: "The U.S. Chamber has for several years used its
annual rankings to publicly, dishonestly and inaccurately criticize
the business climate of Illinois, using a questionable survey of
corporate lawyers, including in-house counsel for major
corporations. These surveys reflect nothing more than the chamber's
political agenda to limit legitimate lawsuits and accountability for
corporate wrongdoers in Illinois.
For the Center for Justice & Democracy's fact sheet on the
chamber's attack on Illinois, please see
For accurate information on Illinois' growing economy, see the
Center for Justice & Democracy's fact sheet:
[To download Adobe Acrobat Reader for the PDF
files, click here.]
[Text from file received from the
Center for Justice & Democracy]
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