Coalition For Common Sense

Need for Reform PDF Print E-mail 7-02-18.pdf


Why do we need civil justice reform?

  • The U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform issued the report Costs and Compensations of the U.S. Tort System in October 2018. The report concluded that, in 2016, costs and compensation paid in the U.S. tort system amounted to $429 billion, or 2.3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. 

    Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch released the 2018 Economic Benefits of Tort Reform, an assessment measuring the impact of excessive civil court costs on Louisiana’s economy. The study, conducted by The Perryman Group for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), found that Louisiana is losing jobs and revenue because of the state’s civil justice system.

    The American Tort Reform Association in 2018 named Louisiana as #5 on the list of "judicial hellholes:"
    For the ninth consecutive year, Louisiana has been named a Judicial Hellhole, with one of the worst legal climates in the country. This year, Louisiana moved up three spots in the ranings from number eight to five. According to the American Tort Reform Foundation, "The Pelican State once again appears on this year’s Judicial Hellholes list largely due to former plaintiffs’ attorney and now governor, John Bel Edwards’ (D) aggressive litigation agenda and propensity for hiring campaign donors to manage litigation on behalf of the state.

    The total current impact of excessive tort costs on the Louisiana economy amounts to estimated losses of $1.1 billion in annual direct costs and about 15,556 jobs are lost when dynamic effects are considered."

  • In 2013, Louisiana was named the #2 "Judicial Hellhole" in the nation by the American Tort Reform Foundation. The report can be read here. It cites recent criticisms of the state's attorney general, the state Supreme Court's reversal of legacy lawsuit reform, recent coastal zone lawsuits, ongoing BP litigation and other factors as reason for Louisiana's inclusion on the list.
  • In 2011, the American Tort Reform Association placed Louisiana on its annual "Judicial Hellholes" watchlist because of the conduct of some judges who do not apply the law evenly to all litigatnts and do not conduct trials in a fair and balanced manner.
  • In 2010, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform ranked Louisiana's court system as one of the least fair and reasonable in the United States.
  • In 2008, Public Opinion Strategies found that 89 percent of Louisiana's small business owners think frivolous lawsuits hamper the state's business climate.

Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch launched an online petition <> and social media campaign <> in Spring 2017 with significant financial support from the Coalition for Common Sense.

Through paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter and earned media generated through op-eds, letters to the editor and radio interviews across the state, the “Dear Governor” campaign was designed to engage voters and build grassroots opposition to the Gov. Edwards’ job-killing taxation and litigation policies. 

The campaign, which concluded last month, generated more than 2.2 million impressions and reached nearly 324,500 people. More than 18,000 Louisianians signed the "Dear Governor" online petition. 

The Tort Reform Record is published each June and December and includes a state-by-state summary of the American Tort Reform Association-supported reforms enacted by states since 1986. See the June 2018 report here

The U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform's 2012 Legal Climate Report ranks the states' tort liability systems. For the third year in a row, Louisiana ranks 49th among all 50 states in the fairness of its litigation environment. The entire report can be read here

In its rating of key elements of tort liability systems, the Institute for Legal Reform ranked Louisiana:

  • 47th in having and enforcing meaningful venue requirements
  • 49th in overall treatment of tort and contract litigation
  • 49th in treatment of class action suits
  • 48th in damages
  • 50th in timeliness of summary judgment or dismissal
  • 46th in scientific and technical evidence
  • 49th in judges' impartiality
  • 48th in judges' competence
  • 48th in juries' fairness
According to the Chamber's press release, "The significance of a state's legal climate on business expansion decisions has steadily increased over the last five years. Seven out of ten survey respondents say a state's lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their businesses, a 13 percent increase from survey results just five years ago."

Louisiana small business owner, Mike Carter, knows first-hand the negative impact frivilous lawsuits have on business operations. He is facing more than 100 asbestos lawsuits from 2,000 plaintiffs and he does not even manufacturer asbestos. Click here to read his story.



Louisiana Legislative Session

The 2019 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature adjourned on June 6. A full report of legislation of interest to the Louisiana Coalition For Common Sense can be found under "Legislation."


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