LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In praise of Perry's Texas lawsuit reform
Linda McKenna is absolutely right (“Perry bid elevates lawsuit reform,” Commentary, Sept.15), and we in Louisiana present a stark comparison to our neighbors to the west.
While Texas was once known as the “lawsuit abuse capital of the world,” Gov. Rick Perry has worked with lawmakers over the past decade to enact common-sense laws to bring fairness back to the state’s courts.
Because of reforms to curb arbitrary and frivolous claims, excessive damage awards, venue shopping and other abuses, Texas has become a jobs machine, producing four of every 10 new jobs created in the United States since the official end of the recent recession.
Meanwhile, here in Louisiana, state leaders have been reluctant to pass similar legal reforms. What’s the result? Despite the fact that our state is also largely dependent on the oil and gas sector, which is booming right now, we’re struggling with 7.6 percent unemployment and stagnant job creation. Certainly, this is at least partially due to our state’s hostile legal environment.
In the oil sector, abusive “legacy” lawsuits affect 56 percent of on-shore oil exploration and production. The result in recent years has been a stagnating Louisiana on-shore oil business when compared with neighboring Texas, which has a more robust industry and does not have this lawsuit problem. That means more oil jobs for Texas and fewer in Louisiana.
Regardless of whom readers decide to support in the presidential race, we should all take note of what’s happening in Texas and recognize that reasonable lawsuit laws are important to building a sound economy.
Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch
Baton Rouge, La.