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Legislation that Reduces Patients’ Rights Fails

An amendment to the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act failed to move past committee as the bill sought to limit the rights of injured persons, including many affected by medical malpractice and negligence. The amendment provided that the Act would “not apply to claims seeking damages for conduct that results in bodily injury, death, or damage to property other than the property that is the subject” of the unlawful practice. Effectively, this amendment would have increased the ease with which businesses, including hospitals, could defraud and deceive their customers, including through misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact. The fact that the amendment failed to reach the Senate floor suggests that the legislature valued the rights of individuals above the rights of companies to defraud consumers through such techniques as bait and switch advertising and the misrepresentation of a product’s effectiveness.

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