Louisiana Named a Judicial Hellhole . . . Again

Date: January 17, 2017

NFIB/LA calls on Legislature to make legal reform a top priority in 2017.

For the fourth year in a row, Louisiana landed on the Judicial Hellholes list from the American Tort Reform Foundation (ATRF)—this year, at no. 7.

The report stated: “Louisiana has a reputation for plaintiff-friendly venue laws, permissive judges, double-dipping asbestos lawsuits and trust claims, the highest jury threshold in the nation, abuse of consumer protection laws, and excessive jury verdicts. But it is the governor’s attempt to hire campaign contributors to run multibillion-billion coastal erosion litigation against the state’s key energy industry that ensured the Pelican State’s ranking among Judicial Hellholes this year.”

If energy companies and other industries decide against expanding in or setting up shop in Louisiana because of these massive lawsuits, problems with job creation, economic growth, and a balanced budget could grow even worse for the beleaguered state. 

In response to ATRF’s ranking, NFIB/LA State Director Dawn Starns released a statement asking lawmakers to make tort reform a priority in the 2017 legislative session to ensure that Louisiana has a legal environment where everyone is treated equally.

“The fact of the matter is that small businesses are especially vulnerable to legal attacks,” she said. “Small businesses don’t have staff attorneys to smack down every nuisance suit or bogus accusation. What’s especially frustrating is that it doesn’t necessarily matter whether a small business did anything wrong. When a small business is sued, it often has to spend thousands of dollars to defend itself. Just one frivolous lawsuit can be enough to put a small business out of business, even if the business ends up ‘winning.’”

 Visit http://www.judicialhellholes.org/2016-2017/louisiana/ to read the full ATRF report on Louisiana.

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