A national insurance trade association is requesting that the Illinois Supreme Court enact a rule that would set standards for class-action lawsuit certifications that are in line with federal requirements and those in most other states.
In a written statement to the court, the Des Plaines, Ill.-based Property Casualty Insurance Association of America supported the adoption of proposed Rule 225, which would tighten class-action requirements by requiring a court to find that the class action be “superior” to other methods of adjudicating the controversy and would require there be some reason for the class action to be filed in Illinois.
The Rules Committee of the Illinois Supreme Court heard comments at a public hearing yesterday on the proposal, which is supported by several business organizations including the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Business Roundtable, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, and other companies and individuals.
“Rule 225 is a reasonable yet significant proposal,” said Greg LaCost, senior counsel and regional manager for PCI. “It does not seek to change the law in any radical way, but would codify the ‘best practices’ currently followed in many Illinois courts already. The rule would put Illinois class-action certification standards in line with Federal Rule 23 and rules of 38 other states.”
Many Illinois courts do not certify classes that substantially involved residents and laws of other states, but rulings of non-conforming courts make the codification necessary to ensure fair and consistent treatment of class actions throughout the state, LaCost said.
“A class-action suit can be a valuable and appropriate litigation tool in many circumstances, but adopting this rule will prevent the forum shopping that can result in the so-called ‘judicial hellholes’ described by the American Tort Reform Association,” LaCost said. “Rulings of nonconforming courts make this codification necessary to ensure fair and consistent treatment of class actions throughout the state.”