A Democratic state lawmaker said she wanted to pump a lethal “broth of Legionella” bacteria into the water system of a Republican colleague’s family, during heated remarks on the Illinois House floor over a bill aimed at helping families of more than a dozen residents at the Downstate Quincy veterans home who died of Legionnaires’.
The bill would raise limits on damages in some state Court of Claims cases from $100,000 to $2 million, which could affect the victims’ families, who allege the state was negligent in the deaths that resulted from outbreaks at the veterans home over the past three years. Gov. Bruce Rauner rewrote the proposal over the summer to reduce such caps on damage awards to $300,000, but lawmakers voted Tuesday to override him.
During the House floor debate over the proposal, Republican state Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard questioned some of the plan’s details, contending the state doesn’t know how much it will cost. Breen, the outgoing House GOP floor leader, noted that multiple tort claims could be paid out for the same incident.
“And, yes, we know the personal injury lawyers are going to make out like bandits, which they tend to do anytime they come to the General Assembly,” Breen said.