New executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch vows to make a difference

By Glenn Minnis | Jul 12, 2018

Lana Sonnier Venable wants to raise awareness about lawsuit abuse and change the perception of what the state of Louisiana stands for.

“There’s been a lot of positive groundwork laid in the state over the last decade and I just want to continue that progress,” Venable recently told the Louisiana Record after being named executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch.

She replaces Melissa Landry as the face of the nonpartisan, nonprofit, citizen watchdog group dedicated to slowing lawsuit abuse in hopes that it won't further hamper businesses and jobs across the state.

Venable will also be responsible for coordinating and promoting campaigns designed to raise awareness about the costs and consequences of lawsuit abuse in the state. A native of Louisiana, she said she knows her task won’t be an easy one.

Lana Sonnier Venable  

“We were called a judicial hellhole in a recent American Tort Reform survey and we want to change that perception and show what we really stand for,” Venable said. “I will work to educate voters about the impact having a reputation as a litigious state has in terms of being able to attract people and business.”

Venable said she feels her more than 25 years of experience in public relations makes her a strong fit for the post.  

“It’s a good fit with my background,” she said. “I’ve been talking and working with people about this for a while now. I know firsthand how important all this is to the state. I’m looking at the 2019 elections to educate the public in terms of improving our ranking.”

Venable is a graduate of Louisiana State University, and her previous experience includes serving as Louisiana Economic Development press secretary following Hurricane Katrina.

“After moving away for a while, I came back because I really want to make a difference,” she said.  “I want to change the narrative about who we are.”

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