Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch says opportunistic lawsuits may drive trucking companies out of state

By Carrie Bradon | Mar 19, 2019

The Louisiana Motor Transport Association is on the alert for car accidents that might fake as staged accidents are becoming increasingly common in the state. 

According to an article by TransportTopic, an accident on Nov. 17, 2017, was flagged as suspicious because the driver of an 18-wheeler was informed that he had sideswiped a car, despite the truck having no damage and the data system on the vehicle not recording any impact. 

The employer of the truck driver, Whitestone Transportation, is facing trial in the case  in which they expect to face a number of allegations, all of which will be pointed at the goal of winning a large settlement from the transportation company. 

Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW) has seen these types of schemes in the past and believes that they are one of the contributing factors to the state’s classification as a judicial hellhole, as it has been dubbed by the American Tort Reform Foundation.

Lana Venable   Courtesy of LLAW

“These types of opportunistic lawsuits make the case for Louisiana’s reputation as one of the worst states in the nation to do business,” Lana Venable, executive director of the LLAW) told the Louisiana Record. ”Billboard attorneys blatantly target the trucking industry, which is critical to our state’s economy.”

Many lawsuits similar to case involving the November 2017 accident are brought forward, claiming that trucks struck cars, with the drivers of the cars seeking massive settlements, according to the Louisiana Motor Transport Association (LMTA).

“It’s always the same thing: Four people in a sedan, and there’s always a random witness who gives a loose statement to the cops and has a random appointment and has to get away, “ Chance McNeely of LMTA said, according to TransportTopic.

Venable believes that in order to protect the trucking industry and prevent even higher insurance rates, Louisiana must take a stand against such abuses.

“Louisianans must demand an end to this kind of brazen lawsuit abuse," Venable said. "The resulting high cost of insurance is driving trucking companies to consider moving their operations to more business-friendly states.” 

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