Louisiana Record

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Louisiana Oil and Gas Association: Legal climate in state is 'robbing taxpayers'


By Carrie Bradon | Jan 16, 2019

General court 09

A recently published article on The Daily Caller website points out the many legal and tort system flaws in Louisiana. 

The article, written by Lana Sonnier Venable of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, said there are a number of factors at play when it comes to the broken legal system, one of the biggest which is the direct costs to the average American household. 

In 2016, the costs and compensation that was paid into the tort system cost each American household $3,329, while only 57 percent of the expenditures were directed to plaintiff compensation, according to the Institute for Legal Reform, the article said. 

Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Gifford Briggs | Photo courtesy of Louisiana Oil & Gas Association

Another issue facing Louisiana is that of attorneys who advise clients to file lawsuits for occurrences ranging from slips and falls to fender benders, which in turn impacts businesses and auto insurance rates, which are some of the highest in the nation.

Additionally, attorneys recently sought legal action against the oil and gas industry alleging that the normal operations of the industry has negatively impacted the coastline of Louisiana.

Gifford Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), recently discussed the litigation crisis in Louisiana and what needs to be done to remedy the problem.

"The data is clear. Excessive and unnecessary litigation is robbing Louisiana taxpayers blind and diminishing economic growth throughout the state," Briggs told the Louisiana Record. "Nowhere are the effects more evident than in south Louisiana." 

While other parts of the country have been able to ramp up their oil and gas operations, Louisiana has been met with a great deal of pushback due to the legal climate in the state. "In the same time frame, the rest of the nation has seen drastic increases in oil and gas activity, South Louisiana has experienced dismal and stagnant rig count numbers," Briggs said. "Excessive tort remains one of the largest hurdles for the oil and gas industry and Louisiana."

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