Stakeholder statement of support for legal reform with logos final 03.31.2014
WE SUPPORT CHANGE NOW TO IMPROVE LOUISIANA’S LAWSUIT CLIMATE.
America maintains the most expensive tort system in the world to the tune of $865 billion
every year, yet studies show victims receive less than 15-cents of every dollar. Within this
broken system, Louisiana ranks #7 nationwide on the Tort Activity Index, #49 for our lawsuit
climate, and #2 on the Judicial Hellholes list.
Excessive litigation affects the economy in numerous ways, but first and foremost, by
increasing the cost of doing business. Companies large and small have no choice but to share
these costs with the consumer, whether through higher insurance premiums or direct costs
of goods and services. This “tort tax” of unnecessary costs and waste is estimated at $9,827
annually for a family of four. Ultimately, society as a whole feels the effect of excessive
lawsuits, a silent weapon against job creation and economic growth. The poor legal climate
in Louisiana costs as many as 50,000 new jobs every year, and changes to our system could
result in $1.1 billion in savings for Louisianans.
An efficient and fair civil justice system is necessary to incentivize safe products and services
and to provide justice to victims when wrongdoing occurs. But Louisianans recognize that is
not what is in place today. Although more than eight out of 10 Louisiana voters believe lawsuit
reform is needed, policymakers have not done enough to recognize and fight the costs of
excessive litigation and a poor legal climate.
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The vast majority of tort lawsuits are filed in state courts, and the laws regulating this system
can be changed by state legislatures. The Louisiana regular legislative session convened
March 10, 2014, and our organizations and companies have come together to support
measures to improve Louisiana’s legal system that incorporate the following principles:
1. Limit the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in Louisiana, preserving a fair and efficient
system for real claims and real victims.
2. Reduce the “tort tax” on every-day Louisianans, conserving resources for more important
priorities for families, businesses, and the economy.
3. Inject transparency and fairness into a closed process, and hold our public entities
accountable for decisions that add to the lawsuit climate in Louisiana.
4. Increase citizen access and input into the legal system.
These partners, organizations, and companies have come together to urge the Louisiana
Legislature and the Governor to take action this session to improve Louisiana’s lawsuit
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