Madison, St. Clair courts remain on 'hellhole' list

Belleville News-Democrat
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Madison and St. Clair counties are listed again this year on a business-backed interest group's list of the nation's worst "judicial hellholes," but their rankings improved.
Groups on the other side of the debate called the rankings by the American Tort Reform Association "propaganda" that is not based on any scientific measures.
This year, Madison and St. Clair counties are listed Nos. 5 and 6, respectively, on Washington-based tort reform association's list of "judicial hellholes." Last year, Madison and St. Clair counties were listed Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, and the year before that they were listed Nos. 1 and 2.
The report now lists Madison County as being in a judicial "purgatory."

The New York-based Center for Justice & Democracy, a consumer advocacy group, said the metro-east and Illinois enjoy a growing business climate and job market, despite claims by groups that promote so-called tort reform. "In fact, these 'hellhole' reports are based on no scientific data and are contradicted by true economic yardsticks," the group said in a statement.
Ranked worst on the American Tort Reform Association's report is West Virginia , followed by south Florida ; Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast , Texas ; Cook County ; then Madison and St. Clair counties.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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