Groups say Louisiana voters back lawsuit reform

Michelle Keahey Oct. 7, 2011, 5:32am


The Coalition for Common Sense and Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch released results of a poll that shows 83 percent of the state's voters believe lawsuit reform is needed.

The survey also found a large majority believe there are too many lawsuits in Louisiana, and that lawsuit abuse costs jobs and hurts the state's economy.

"Louisiana's 'litigation lottery' stalls economic recovery," said Melissa Landry, executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch. "It's time to make Louisiana competitive again and create jobs by moving the legal system back toward the mainstream."

"Voters want state lawmakers to make fighting lawsuit abuse a top priority," said Blythe Lamonica of the Coalition for Common Sense.

"Nearly eight out of ten voters surveyed believe lawsuit reform will attract and keep businesses."

Both statewide lawsuit reform groups will use the poll results as part of a voter awareness program. The outreach effort will include legislative candidate surveys and a targeted paid media campaign and a variety of grassroots activities including the use of social media.

The two reform groups say they hope the outreach campaign will generate additional public and legislative support for the passage of reforms to improve the state's legal environment.

Southern Media and Opinion Research conducted the statewide survey of 600 likely Louisiana voters in late July 2011. The poll has a four percent margin of error.

Key survey findings:

- 65 percent said there are too many lawsuits in Louisiana.

- 69 percent agreed that lawsuit abuse costs jobs.

- 71 percent agreed that lawsuit abuse is hurting the state's economy.

- 83 percent agreed lawsuit reform is needed in Louisiana.

- 85 percent agreed that personal injury lawyer ads encourage people to sue.

- 79 percent agreed lawsuits raise the price for consumer goods and services.

- 76 percent agreed that lawsuit reform will attract and keep businesses.

- 78 percent agreed that lawyers take advantage of disasters to file frivolous lawsuits.

- 75 percent said they would be less likely to support a candidate for public office who took campaign contributions from personal injury lawyers.

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