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May 18th, 2012

ATRA Questions Jindal’s Ties to Trial Bar

Reacting to recent endorsements of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal as a possible vice presidential running-mate for Mitt Romney, ATRA director of communications Darren McKinney suggested, in a Daily Caller column published yesterday, that Jindal’s longstanding ties to the personal injury bar may pose an insurmountable hurdle if the governor wants to pursue politics on the national stage.

“For years,” McKinney wrote, Jindal “has been unwilling to side unambiguously with Louisiana’s energy producers against the plaintiffs’ lawyers who’ve created a thriving cottage industry in what are known locally as ‘legacy lawsuits.’ This litigation often fraudulently alleges that environmental damage was caused by past onshore energy production. My organization, the American Tort Reform Association, adduced evidence of this ongoing fraud earlier this year when it obtained and posted smoking-gun video of a consultant shamelessly teaching plaintiffs’ lawyers how to enrich themselves by filing bogus lawsuits. The consultant essentially instructs the plaintiffs’ lawyers to blame runoff from Southern Louisiana’s naturally occurring salt domes on energy producers, while making sure to target defendants with ‘deep pockets.’

“Meanwhile, Jindal’s past obstruction of much-needed asbestos litigation reform, to say nothing of the campaign contributions — reportedly in excess of $500,000 — he’s received from trial lawyers during his political career, do not fill tort reformers with confidence . . . . 

“Assuming Bobby Jindal may wish to seek a political future on the national stage someday, he’ll eventually be forced to choose between seeking support from pro-growth tort reformers or from the growth-sapping, job-killing litigation industry. What’s he waiting for?”

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