Following several reports citing the poor legal climate of Louisiana, experts on the issue are speaking out on the fact that the state has been branded a "judicial hellhole" and rated the eighth worst in the nation because of frivolous lawsuits and excessive judgments.
Both the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense and the Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch have reported on the issue, specifically the cost that is associated with excessive litigation and the overall litigious climate, as the state economy has lost more than 15,500 jobs as well as $1.1 billion per year.
Jim Harris, president of the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense, recently talked with the Louisiana Record about the lawsuit culture in Louisiana as well as the public's knowledge of the condition.
"Most national polls and several in Louisiana in recent years indicate that generally people are aware that a number of frivolous lawsuits are filed," Harris told the Louisiana Record. "However, I doubt that they have any reason to know the large number filed in Louisiana."
Harris hopes that by publicizing the nature of these excessive litigations residents will start to realize that these costs are directly affecting them.
"What we hope they understand is that those frivolous lawsuits cost every citizen money out of their pocket every year," Harris said.
Businesses that are aware of what the excessive litigation costs mean for their companies are fleeing Louisiana and heading to neighboring states that boast lower lawsuit costs to taxpayers. "Tort reforms passed in recent years in the neighboring states of Texas and Mississippi have made those states more attractive for business to locate and grow jobs and expand their economies," Harris said.
The Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense, as well as other groups in the state, are pushing for tort reform that will hopefully bring more legitimacy to the litigation process in Louisiana.
"Tort reform will send a message that Louisiana is ready to meet the challenges necessary to become a vibrant economic factor in the years to come," Harris said.