Louisiana Record

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Grow Louisiana Coalition warns high legal costs are driving companies and people out of Louisiana

Reform

By Carrie Bradon | Jul 29, 2019


Lawsuit abuse costs the nation $429 billion, with Louisiana’s portion making up the largest percentage of any state, according to Republican state Senate candidate for District 36, Robert Mills,  in a posting at Shreveport Times. He further pointed out that the total cost to Louisiana was $7 billion, which breaks down to over $4,000 for every Louisiana family.

Grow Louisiana Coalition Executive Director Marc Ehrhardt said this burden affects working class families and businesses across the state.

“The same legal environment that saddles all of us with high car insurance rates impacts all aspects of doing business in Louisiana,” Ehrhardt told Louisiana Record. “While we pay higher prices for what we need, companies are also paying higher costs for items such as legal awards, which results in them cutting jobs and worker benefits.”

Another area of concern for Mills is that of trial attorney advertising, which the American Tort Reform Association reported cost the trial bar $2.6 million in the second half of 2018.

“For context, this amounts to 16 times the number of ads viewers saw for banks,” Mills said. "Trial lawyers also outspent those running for office, with 19 legal services ads airing for every state or local campaign ad."

The targeting of the oil and gas industries also stands to harm the health of the state’s economy, as the industry is one of the most lucrative for the many Louisianans who are employed by these companies, but without the necessary reform, Mills and Ehrhardt say that individuals will continue to seek more favorable legal climates.

“When faced with a choice to invest, companies and people will go elsewhere unless Louisiana changes for the better,” Ehrhardt said.

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