Small business owners face many challenges – especially here in Illinois where businesses have to deal with onerous regulations, high taxes and fees and a culture of lawsuit abuse.
For example, an owner of a small grocery store told me he often thinks about leaving Illinois and opening up a store in a more business-friendly environment. He said every year his business is the target of litigation.
On one occasion, a woman sued claiming that she had fallen on a wet spot on the floor. After examining security footage, it was discovered that she had taken her foot and dragged it through the water to make it look like she had slipped. She ended reaching a settlement even though she was never even injured.
The grocery store owner is not the only one who is the victim of lawsuit abuse. More than one third of all small owners have been sued at one time or another and seven in ten small business owners say that a lawsuit would force them to reduce benefits for current employees and would cause them to hold back hiring new ones.
In other words, lawsuits limit job growth and job creation. This is why Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch has launched a statewide tour to focus attention on the challenges small businesses face as a result of lawsuit abuse. Small businesses are too often the victims of lawsuit abuse, and just one abusive lawsuit can mean the difference in whether a business succeeds or fails. The purpose of the summer tour is to raise awareness about how lawsuit abuse hurts small businesses and ultimately hurts the Illinois economy.
What Illinois needs is jobs – not more lawsuits.