The Illinois Campaign for Legal Reform ran an ad in today’s Chicago Tribune with the tag line “Who will be the next trial lawyer victim?” The ad asserts that Predatory trial lawyers are pushing legislation that would make it easier to clog our courts with even more frivolous lawsuits that victimize working families and small businesses.”
The ad provides a web address for their site which had a video which ran as a commercial in downstate Illinois last election cycle. One of the small businessmen was Allen Cassens. He owns a trucking company called Cassens Transportation. A little on-line research revealed this about Mr. Cassens.
As a trial lawyer, I was interested in seeing what legislation we predatory trial lawyers was pushing down in Springfield. The ad didn’t say, and neither does the web site.
I was curious about the people who were motivated to participate in the commercial. There were five people in the commercial. I could not readily find information on two of the participants. Two were elected Republican officials, and the last was Mr. Cassens.
Mr. Cassens hardly qualifies as a small business owner. Cassens Transportation employs over 1,000 people and did approximately a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue last year. More to the point, the findings made by the Madiosn County judge shows that way that business is done there is to choose profits over people.
This is the basic MO of tort reformers: to wrap themselves in the mantle of “small business owners” in order to protect choices made by larger businesses to sacrifice the safety of employees, customers, and other people around them.