A study claims Louisiana is bleeding jobs and cash due to the state’s worst in the nation TORT policy, that fosters what advocates say is an environment of frequently frivolous lawsuits. Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch Executive Director Lana Venable says the study was conducted by a Texas group who compared our state’s policies to Ohio’s and their formula showed…

“You’ve got more than 15,000 jobs that are lost every year because of that, and we have millions in state and local revenue that are lost because of abuses in our civil justice system.”

The Perryman Group for Citizens against Lawsuit Abuse says TORT policies cost Louisiana 1.1 billion in direct costs, and 140.7 million in combine state and local tax revenue.

Venable says a lot of the problems center on state civil court laws. She says of particular note is the policy that all lawsuits under 50,000 dollars’ worth of claims must be heard by a judge.

“A lot of the judges in Louisiana are elected and then there is that potential relationship between the trial attorneys and the elected judges. It is really unfortunate that we do not have an opportunity to go before a jury.”

She says the next highest state is Maryland at 15,000, and 36 states do not have any threshold.

Venable noted beyond just macro-economic effects, TORT policy can have a month to month impact on the average Louisianan, and used the state’s sky high auto insurance premiums as an example.

“Our average premiums are considerably higher than they are in most other states, and Baton Rouge and New Orleans are in the top ten for highest auto insurance premiums in the country.”

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