Ad Campaign Seeks Limits on Civil Lawsuits in Louisiana

September 29, 2011

A coalition of business groups is using an advertising campaign to try to persuade Louisiana’s legislature to limit lawsuits including over asbestos injury claims.

Two organizations representing a list of business lobbying groups and others are putting $70,000 into 30-second radio commercials and online ads to push for attention for what they call frivolous lawsuits hurting Louisiana’s business climate.

The groups — called the Coalition for Common Sense and Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch — announced the ad campaign with the leaders of two companies in the state who have claimed to be hit with lawsuits that have no merit but are draining dollars from their ability to do business.

Each lawmaker and legislative candidate in the state will receive a survey seeking to gauge support for changes to lawsuit statutes, as part of the outreach and advertising effort.

Business groups say plaintiffs’ lawyers drum up cookie-cutter lawsuits and slap companies with them, hoping to push companies into settling for sums of cash rather than facing the expense of going to court.

Opponents of the type of legislation sought say businesses want to limit their liability against legitimate claims and keep people from having legal recourse when they are harmed.

Among the supporters of the civil lawsuit changes are several local chambers of commerce, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Louisiana Chemical Association, the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association and the Louisiana State Medical Society.

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