An Illinois judge has refused to reinstate a $1.1 billion judgment against State Farm won by Knoxville attorney Gordon Ball. Ball got the judgment in 2001 but the Illinois Supreme Court set aside the verdict. The insurance company was accused of requiring the use of approved body shops who were instructed to use after-market parts for car repairs.
After the U.S. Supreme Court sent a case back to West Virginia for retrial because the judge in the case had received substantial campaign contributions from the coal company that won the suit, Ball sent a retired FBI agent to Illinois last year who discovered that State Farm, State Farm employees, and PAC fronts had given the swing vote on the state Supreme Court almost $4 million in campaign contributions.
Since the case had already been won, it would not have been retried; the court was just asked to reinstate the verdict and order payment. They have now refused.
In mid-month, Ball will file a petition directly to the U.S. Supreme Court under the auspices of the West Virginia case. It will take two justices to decide to take the case, which could be a long shot. Ball is joined by nine other attorneys in the case, including former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson.