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The president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) is fearful of what the costs and lost jobs stemming from excessive litigation mean for the state's economy.
According to a recent report by the Perryman Group, excessive litigation is costing the state more than $2.5 billion in annual direct and output costs, in addition to costing more than 15,000 jobs.
"Louisiana needs jobs not lawsuits to grow its economy, and LMOGA continues to push for a business and legal climate that promotes job growth for the oil and gas sector," LMOGA President Chris John told Louisiana Record.
Recent lawsuits that have been filed have been done so at the oil and gas industries' expense, he said, such as one that has alleged that coastal erosion is the fault of the energy industry. Lawsuits are being brought forth against all industries, from health care to manufacturing, making it hard to create reform.
Tort lawsuits are one category that is costing the state millions every year, as individuals seek monetary awards from allegations of physical harm. Reforms in the tort category would need to limit what cases can be filed and how much the awards could be in order to bring these lawsuits into check, the legal monitoring groupo Watchdog explains.
According to the Watchdog report on the excessive litigation, companies and individuals alike are moving away from Louisiana and to more friendly states, such as Texas and Tennessee, a fact John echoed in his response.
"This study adds data to our point that lawsuits are driving our jobs away and directly depriving Louisiana of the benefits the oil and gas industry delivers for the state’s economy," John said.