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Longhorn State Gets Tougher On Lawsuits; Will Louisiana Follow Suit?

“Loser pays” legislation forces plaintiffs to pay defendant’s legal fees if suit deemed groundless

Texas is rapidly becoming a beacon for sensible government planning and practices. One such area is its reasonable legal climate, as the National Review has documented.

The Texas Senate, in a unanimous vote, passed tort-reform to make a plaintiff pay the winning party’s legal fees if their suit is deemed without merit. This “loser-pays” legislation was quickly approved by the house and signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry.

“Loser pays” laws will severely hamper the will of parties to engage in baseless, cash-grabbing lawsuits. Such suits take a significant toll on companies and small businesses, as well as municipal governments, which often choose settlements rather than engage in a costly trial, no matter how unjustified the lawsuit is.

The article notes that Texas’ legal climate, heralded even by the New York Times, until fairly recently was an “ambulance-chaser’s paradise.” However, by beating back the demands of the lobbyists and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Texas has demonstrated once more why many industries have begun to view it as the best business climate in the nation.

Louisiana can observe Texas’ successes and implement reforms of its own. The group Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch, in an extensive study, determined that from 2006-09, $52 million was spent on lawsuits against local governments in eight municipalities alone. Furthermore, a national survey of companies and attorneysfound Louisiana to have the second worst legal climate in the entire nation.

Fortuitously, Louisiana appears to be taking cues from its neighborhood. As Robert Ross of the Pelican Institute reports, a bill currently in the state Senate would mirror medical malpractice reform in Texas which has helped make the Lone Star State so popular with the medical industry.

It goes without saying that a favorable climate for businesses is good for the state’s economy, and in a state which is struggling mightily to create a balanced budget, our elected officials should take every possible precaution to create such a climate. Emulating the triumphs of Texas is an obvious start, and correcting our legal culture through legislation such as “loser pays” laws should be a logical step.

Cross-posted at The Pelican Post.


  1. Anonymous says:

    About damned time that individual states start putting a stop to frivolous lawsuits– don’t wait on the federal government to do it, because its courts are being rigged to “fail” by the current administration…..
    Now if only more states would also pass the “anti-groping” laws that Texas apparently has chickened out on– that way you’ll have “sanctuary” states that not only prevent “money-grabbing” but “crotch-grabbing” as well!

  2. Msstein701 says:

    Curious as to whether there is a similar law which imposes legal fees on defenadants who lose after arguing specious defenses.

  3. Msstein701 says:

    Curious as to whether there is a similar law which imposes legal fees on defenadants who lose after arguing specious defenses.

  4. Typical chamber of commerce propaganda, and more government intrusion into the private sector

  5.  I would like to see the ACLU in financial flames by charging them when these stupid anti Christianity lawsuits they are so anxious to bring. If this persists it will be illegal to even be a Christian. Liberal judges are killing this country and enough is enough! Good for Texas make some of these folks pick up the tab for being stupid and a perpetual whiners and run to sue someone at the drop of a hat. We not only need tort reform we need judicial reform as well. If a judge is willing to rule his opinion over rule of law he should and MUST be disbarred  and or thrown off the bench!!

  6. [...] I found this post at dealing with the law in Texas, and discussing the possibilit… Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images [...]

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