Business group supports lawsuit reform in Louisiana

WWL Newsroom
February 18, 2020 - 7:24 am
Getty Images

Getty Images


The National Federation of Independent Business has two goals for the upcoming legislative session; lawsuit reform and the simplification of sales tax collection.

The omnibus “tort” reform bill this year would push the jury trial threshold for lawsuits from $50,000 to $15,000.

NFIB State Director Dawn Starns says not passing this is not an option, “A judgment that comes in at $49,999 can put them out of business overnight. Small business owners don’t have large cash reserves like large corporations, and don’t have the wherewithal to fight back.”

71 percent of state NFIB members surveyed support dropping the threshold to $15,000.

Starns says Louisiana’s $50,000 jury trial threshold is the highest in the nation, and that policy emboldens plaintiffs to file more lawsuits, and demand higher damages against businesses.

“Getting Louisiana off of the outlier list is the way to go, and taking it in a measured approach,” says Starns.

The NFIB says 53 percent of all state suits are filed for under $50,000, allowing plaintiffs to avoid a jury trial.

Sales tax collection reforms have become a growing issue, and Starns says it’s begun heavily impacting small businesses as more of their sales are online.

“You have small retailers who are online and have one shop and they have a mess to comply with when it comes to filing their sales tax,” says Starns.

Comments ()