Group calls evidence, motives into question over LaPlace chemical plant lawsuit

By Carrie Bradon | Nov 17, 2018

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NEW ORLEANS - A tort reform group disagrees with a federal judge's decision to allow a lawsuit brought by residents near the LaPlace chemical plant to move forward.

Lana Venable, executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, questions the claims of the 13 residents who filed the suit. 

"Our civil justice system is designed to provide a fair and equitable forum for the resolution of disputes among parties, appropriately compensating those that have legitimately been harmed," Venable told the Louisiana Record. "All too often, lawsuits target companies without  providing solid evidence to back their claims."

Venable said these types of cases often lack the proof needed to make such claims.

"In this case, the plaintiffs allege the defendant is the sole source of exposure, while there is no specific evidence to that effect," Venable said.

In addition, Venable said, there is little to back the claims that have been made by the plaintiffs.

"Many of the alleged impacts have not been linked to the chemical in question by any credible scientific research, and according to the Tumor Registry, there are no elevated levels of cancer incidence in the supposedly impacted areas," she said.

She opines the lawsuit could be the work of an attorney seeking a large settlement.

"On its face, this suit appears to be another example of far-reaching litigation backed by out-of-town plaintiffs’ attorneys," Venable said.

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