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Posted in Our Blog on April 16, 2014
Last week, we blogged about why Louisiana House Bill 917 should be voted down. We explained what the bill was, what it hoped to accomplish, and why we thought it was a bad idea.
Yesterday, the state House voted 51-49 to “table” the bill, meaning the bill will be set aside for the foreseeable future. This is a victory for everyone who doesn’t want our state’s civil justice system to become even more cumbersome and cluttered with cases. HB 917 hoped to create more jury trials-now, jury trials in civil cases must have in dispute an amount of money over $50,000; the law hoped to remove that $50,000 threshold.
The law would have not only clogged our courts, it would have been a disaster for small business owners and working class people all throughout Louisiana, as more and more of us would be called in for jury duty.
HB 917 was spearheaded by the insurance and business lobbies, on a never-ending quest to make our justice system more crowded, expensive, and burdensome for ordinary people everywhere. Many (myself included) view this tactic as part of a larger plan to dismantle the civil justice system (you might know this movement as “tort reform”), by intentionally flooding our courts with cases, rendering them unusable and worthless. The business and insurance lobbies hope to make our courts so problematic that everyone-ordinary civilians and legislators alike-would move to make drastic, business-friendly changes to the system.
Special thanks go out to the Louisiana Association for Justice, who in their tireless efforts fighting against these two powerful groups helped bring us this good news.
And thanks to everyone who read the Redmann Law Blog and got involved on social media and by contacting their local representatives. This is truly democracy at work.