Local attorney Gordon Ball has launched a new front in his effort to reinstate a $1 billion judgment obtained against State Farm of Illinois. Ball and co-counsels got the judgment and it was upheld on appeal based on a case of the insurance company colluding with body shops to keep costs low by using generic parts.
Ball has now filed suit, under the RICO statute, accusing the company of a criminal enterprise in recruiting an Illinois Supreme Court candidate and funding his campaign to the tune of $4 million. Once elected he was the swing vote to set aside the $1 billion judgment. After the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated a judgment against a West Virginia coal company for electing a judge to rule in its favor, Ball revived the case and hired a retired FBI investigator to discover the $4 million contributed to the Illinois judge candidate through a variety of front groups. But the Supreme Court declined to take up this similar case.
The new RICO claim accuses the company of conspiring to use front groups and hidden contributions to elect a judge helpful in the case.
Should the original judgment be reinstated, penalties and interest could push the total due the plaintiffs to close to $2 billion.