Noted Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball is co-lead counsel on a blockbuster case filed in the Illinois Supreme Court involving State Farm, a $1 billion class action lawsuit, and an allegedly corrupt judge. Former Senator Fred Thompson, who recently led an effort to block "tort reform" liability limits in Tennessee, is co-counsel.
According to the lawsuit, State Farm and its lawyers got an Illinois Supreme Court Justice elected by pumping $2.5 to $4 million into his campaign through PACs, and six months later the judge cast a deciding vote to reverse on appeal a $1.05 billion class action consumer fraud judgment against State Farm involving bogus replacement parts for wrecked cars.
The plaintiffs seek to have the reversal vacated and the original judgement restored to "correct a judgment obtained through fraud and concealment." They allege that "State Farm's extraordinary financial and political support for Justice Karmeier's 2004 campaign created a constitutionally-unacceptable risk of bias such that his participation and vote to reverse the $1.05 billion judgment deprived Petitioners of their due process rights." They had previously requested the judge to recuse himself from the case but he refused.
The case introduces new evidence from an investigation into the campaign contributions by retired former FBI Special Agent Daniel Reece, a Knoxville native who spent his 28-year career investigating public corruption and fraud in California, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Illinois.
In addition to seeking justice for the plaintiffs, this is a good example of why judges should be appointed and not elected.
SEE ALSO: The judge was previously the subject of a misconduct complaint regarding this case and another involving a $10 billion judgement against Philip Morris.
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