BATON ROUGE— NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says Louisiana’s place the American Tort Reform Foundation’s annual list of “Judicial Hellholes” underscores the need for legal reform in Louisiana.
ATRA’s calls out jurisdictions where it says “civil court judges systematically apply laws and court procedures in an unfair and unbalanced manner, generally to the disadvantage of defendants.”
Louisiana is No. 5 on this year’s list, after California, Florida, New York City, and St. Louisa. ATRA said, “Governor Edwards continues to hire former campaign donors to represent the state in litigation, putting his own personal interests ahead of those of the citizens of Louisiana. The group also cited the state’s decision to file “a barrel of lawsuits” against the oil and gas industry “to shore up the state’s budget.”
Starns said, “This is the last thing small business wants to see for Louisiana.
“We need a governor who will lead the charge in making policy changes to improve the legal climate. John Bel Edward is not the person to do that.
“The situation with oil and gas is just one example of how big business and small business often end up in the same page of issues like tort reform. Sure some of the governor’s policies have been aimed directly at big oil, but in Louisiana, we have a very symbiotic relationship. Many of our oldest family businesses are those who came into being to service the oilfield both directly and indirectly. From equipment companies to restaurants, when the oilfield experiences a downturn, Louisiana small-business owners feel it too.
“Implementing policies to hit the pocketbook of big oil or deter them from doing business here, only negatively impacts Louisiana citizens and business owners.
“The fact is that tort reform will never pass under Governor Edwards as evidenced by his track record so far which is why the 2019 governor’s race will be such an important one for Louisiana small and independent business owners.”
The 2019 session of the Louisiana Legislature begins April 8.
NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy organization. To learn more about NFIB in Louisiana, visit www.NFIB.com/LA