ELMHURST, Ill. (AP) — A group that advocates for tort reform in Illinois says “excessive” civil litigation may cost the state billions.

The Illinois Civil Justice League cited a new report Monday that estimates the annual direct costs to the Illinois economy could be more than $4 billion.

The report was prepared by a Texas-based analysis firm, The Perryman Group.

The president of Illinois Civil Justice League, John Pastuovic, says in a statement that reforms to the state’s civil justice system “must be a priority.”

Among the reforms the Elmhurst-based group supports is limiting non-economic damages paid out in lawsuits.

The Springfield-based Illinois Trial Lawyers Association has consistently criticized such reform efforts. Its website says the assertion that lawyers file an excessive number of frivolous lawsuits is “a myth.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.