A recent survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has identified Louisiana as the worst state in the nation for lawsuit climate. What that means is that businesses are being scared away from Louisiana by the threat of lawsuits. This is purely a policy issue. Changes in policy could improve the state’s standing by protecting businesses and workers against frivolous lawsuits.
In another first for the survey, Louisiana ranked at the bottom nationally. Other perennial bottom-ten states include California (47th) and Illinois (48th).
For the third time since 2010, Chicago/Cook County, Illinois, is ranked as the worst local jurisdiction. 24 percent of those surveyed said it has the least fair courts in the country. Other jurisdictions singled out as among the worst include: Los Angeles, California; Jefferson County, Texas; New Orleans/Orleans Parish, Louisiana; and Detroit, Michigan.
Not only is Louisiana the worst ranked state, but New Orleans is a metro area that receives special attention as one of the worst metro areas for lawsuit climate.
This is just another reminder that Louisiana is often perceived to be a bad place to do business. Just last year it fell into the bottom 13 in one ranking for business climate according to CEOs. Does lawsuit abuse play a role in this? We should be looking for ways to stop “gotcha” lawsuits. These suits target small businesses, alleging noncompliance issues with workplace law.
Our policy should focus on helping Louisiana workers and small business-people, not keeping them on their toes for nonsense lawsuits! We have to get Louisiana back to work by creating a legal environment that stimulates job opportunities, or at the very least does not actively oppose job growth!