Richardson: An End to Jackpot Justice in Louisiana is Long Overdue

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by E&E Legal Craig Richardson
As appearing in RealClear Energy

Thanks to a decades-old system of good-ole boy politics and cozy relationships between elected officials and judges, Louisiana has earned one of the worst reputations in the nation for offering “jackpot justice” in the courts. Frivolous and corrupt lawsuits abound.

For example, many businesses in the state are targeted for minor accessibility complaints concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act. These lawsuits are commonly filed without notice to the business operator. Court costs alone are enough to force many small businesses to close – even after one suit.

Similarly, state trial lawyers are known for working behind the scenes to drive up auto insurance costs, forcing more people to drive uninsured. More than half of Louisiana’s drivers have no insurance coverage – meaning a potentially bigger payday for the lawyers who take these cases to trial…

But the Mardi Gras King of frivolous litigation goes to recent, multiple cases filed against energy companies operating in Louisiana. Separate lawsuits in at least six coastal parishes in Louisiana have been filed against oil companies alleging they are solely responsible for the state’s eroding coastline. The lawsuits ignore dozens of other companies and industries operating along the coast – such as construction, shipping, or other heavy industries.

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