PCI: Blanco Should Veto La. Work Comp Bill

July 6, 2004

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco should veto Senate Bill 432, which addresses workers’ compensation, as trial lawyers would be the only group that would stand to profit at the expense of deserving consumers, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

“Plaintiff attorneys don’t need any more incentive to collect money,” said David Anderson, PCI assistant vice president of workers’ compensation. “This bill would do nothing to protect consumers, rather, it would rob consumers of compensation they deserve.”

“Furthermore, such a law would send a negative message to the workers’ compensation insurance market, and to carriers who are on the fence of whether to conduct this line of business in Louisiana,” said Greg LaCost, PCI regional manager and senior counsel. “SB 432 would penalize consumers and deter potential market growth, while opportunistic lawyers would stand to gain from this proposal.”

PCI said the current law gives 20 percent of the first $20,000 of a claim and only 10 percent of the remaining portion of the claim to the claimant’s attorney. SB 432 would allow the plaintiff attorney to take 20 percent of the entire claim. For example, under current law, a plaintiff’s lawyer would take a $12,000 payment from the claimant for a claim worth $100,000. If SB 432 were to be enacted, the plaintiff’s lawyer would take $20,000 from the claimant.

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