The American Tort Reform Association recently released its 2015-2016 report highlighting what it terms “judicial hellholes.” The term refers to jurisdictions where there is a particularly strong need for tort reform due to the presence of “plaintiff-friendly lawmakers and judges.”
The report is of certainly of interest to businesses. Louisiana business owners will be happy to hear, though, that the group did not rate this state the worst in the nation. That honor went to California, which was termed the “epicenter” for plaintiffs’ lawyers looking to sue small businesses for failing to provide proper disability access, as well as class action lawsuits against businesses in the food and beverage industry.
One of the interesting sections of the report detailed one positive development in the state of Louisiana over the last year—journalistic exposure of the shady relationship between the attorney general and the personal injury bar. Similar concerns have been voiced about Governor John Bel Edwards, who is reported to have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from trial lawyers during his gubernatorial campaign.
Businesses, of course, must work continually work to address their liabilities wherever they might arise, regardless of who is controlling the court system or the governor’s office. Working to prevent business liabilities from arise in the first place becomes particularly important when there is a litigious environment. Working with an experienced legal team ensures that a business will take the proper precautions to avoid liability, and that the business will receive strong advocacy when litigation rears its ugly head.
Judicialhellholes.org, “California Tops Latest List of ‘Judicial Hellholes,” Accessed Dec. 22, 2015.
The Advocate, “Tort reform effort up in the air with John Bel Edwards as governor,” Mark Ballard, Dec. 20, 2015.