NFIB/LA is calling on business-friendly lawmakers to tackle legal reform in upcoming session.
Louisiana has the worst lawsuit climate in the country, according to the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR).
New Orleans specifically was named one of the cities with the least fair and reasonable litigation environments, and the state as a whole scored poorly in all key element categories:
- Enforcing meaningful venue requirements
- Overall treatment of tort and contract litigation
- Treatment of class action and mass consolidation lawsuits
- Proportional discovery
- Scientific and technical evidence
- Trial judges’ impartiality
- Trial judges’ competence
- Juries’ fairness
- Quality of appellate review
In particular, Louisiana has a long history of judicial misconduct and pay-to-pay arrangements, and the state has ranked 49th in the four previous surveys. Now, the survey showed an all-time high of 85 percent of participants saying that legal environment is likely to impact where their company chooses to locate or expand operations.
“Louisiana’s lawsuit climate has hit rock bottom,” ILR President Lisa A. Rickard said in a press release. “The state’s long history of litigation abuse and the questionable integrity of its courts hurt everyone by holding back more robust job growth and investment.”
Dawn Starns, NFIB/LA’s state director, spoke to the Louisiana Record about this latest worst ranking, noting that NFIB/LA advocates for legal reform because it takes just one frivolous lawsuit to force a small business owner to close their doors permanently.
“The silver lining is that this data is black and white,” Starns told the Record. “It gives the business community a way to illustrate why we must begin to pass reform measures. The upcoming legislative session is a general subject one where potential reforms could be passed. We would love to see some of our pro-small-business-friendly legislators take up the torch of legal reform.”