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March 18th, 2014

Survey Says 7 in 10 Louisiana Voters Support Lawsuit Reform Legislation

As national news coverage of BP’s effort to do the right thing by compensating those hurt by the 2010 Gulf oil spill continues to expose the incestuous and shameless nature of the civil justice system in the nation’s #2 Judicial Hellhole, 7 in 10 recently surveyed Louisiana voters express support for tort reform legislation.

According to a recent statewide telephone survey conducted by Voter/Consumer Research of Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense, 603 registered Louisiana voters largely agree that too many meritless lawsuits are filed in the state, and that this has a negative impact on Louisiana’s economy, consumers and the courts.

The survey found:

  • 71 percent of survey respondents agree that lawsuit reform will make it easier for Louisiana to attract new businesses and keep existing businesses in the state.

  • 76 percent of respondents agree that state laws need to be strengthened to limit the number of frivolous lawsuits filed.

  • 71 percent of respondents saying that too many lawyers file frivolous lawsuits in the state.

  • 70 percent say frivolous lawsuits hurt Louisiana through higher prices for consumer products.

  • 69 percent agree lawsuit abuse discourages investment and costs Louisiana jobs.

  • 69 percent of the respondents believe their constitutional right to a jury trial trumps other concerns, and a majority of respondents support lowering the jury trial threshold. Of note, lower-income and African-American respondents were MORE likely to support the lower threshold.

  • 75 percent of respondents think that lawsuits should be tried in the jurisdiction where the alleged incident or injury occurred, supporting the spirit of legislation that would prohibit “judge shopping” in asbestos and latent disease cases.

  • 67 percent of respondents favor legislation to regulate companies that finance lawsuits, often with high interest rates.

Melissa Landry, executive director of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, a non-partisan citizen watchdog group, said the economic implications of lawsuit abuse are apparent.

“Clearly Louisiana voters recognize lawsuit reform is not a partisan issue – it is a jobs issue – and we need help from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle,” Landry said. “In essence, the Louisiana people want to see reforms that will support jobs, not lawsuits.”

A white paper issued by the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry supports Landry’s assertion.

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