NEW ORLEANS - A Wall Street Journal editorial published last week noted Louisiana's rising reputation as a litigation friendly state.
The WSJ pointed out a recent movement in Louisiana's plaintiffs' bar, calling the state's trial attorneys "Louisiana tort looters" for actions that circumvent 2012 legislation aimed at limiting damage awards in legacy lawsuits - beyond cleaning up property that was polluted during oil drilling - and have opened up oil producers up to potential multi-million dollar lawsuits. The editorial also mentions a report by LSU professor Dr. David Dismukes that estimated 30,000 jobs and nearly $7 billion in oil drilling investments had likely been disrupted due to the lawsuits.
In addition, the WSJ made note of attorneys who have been soliciting claims from those living in the Gulf South during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill by saying no evidence of actual damage related to the spill is needed in order to collect payments. Notably, BP has been attempting to overturn a settlement agreement alleging it found such claims were being paid out to businesses and inflating the overall settlement amount by billions.
The crux of the piece centered on Louisiana's recent ranking as second on the American Tort Reform Foundation's Judicial Hellhole list and ultimately called for state lawmakers to be more vigilant when it comes to tort law and potential tort reform.