CCS supports legislation that will improve Louisiana's legal climate while opposing measures that seek to further burden the state's judicial system with frivolous lawsuits.
During the 2013 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session, CCS is working toward the passage of the following legislation:
SB 166 by Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge
Lawsuit Lending Regulation
This bill seeks to regulate the practice of lawsuit lending under the state's usury laws, which guard against excessive interest charged on loans. Currently, the interest rates charged by companies lending money to plaintiffs waiting on pending lawsuits are not regulated by the state's usury laws. These interest rates are usually 2-4 percent compounded monthly, totaling 60-150 percent annually.
Lawsuit lending increases the cost and frequency of litigation. The lack of transparency and regulation in this process is harmful to consumers, who are often unaware of the annual percentage rate. Regulating this practice under Louisiana's usury laws would limit the interest rate on these loans to 21-36 percent, depending on the amount of the loan.
HB 481 by Rep. Ray Garofalo, R-Chalmette
Disclosure for Asbestos and Silica Claims
Plaintiffs are not required to disclose if they have filed claims against a bankruptcy trust, so they may recover twice – or “double dip” – for the same injury, which depletes the resources of defendants and their ability to pay future meritorous claims. CCS supports requiring a plaintiff in a claim for injury, death or disease related to asbestos or silica exposure to disclose within 30 days of filing a claim all existing or potential claims against a trust or a fund.
HB 589 by Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans
Venue for Latent Exposure Cases
Currently in Louisiana, plaintiffs suing for asbestos, silica, or other latent disease exposure are able to file suit in any jurisdiction. As a result, court dockets in jurisdictions that are viewed as “more favorable” are overwhelmed, which strains judicial resources and delays hearings for plaintiffs who are truly impaired. CCS supports requiring proper venue in cases of latent disease, including asbestos and silica exposure, to be established only in the parish where the plaintiff alleges substantial exposure occurred.