The ranking marks Louisiana’s third consecutive year in that position and the state has never ranked higher than 47 since the survey’s inception in 2002.
The significance of a state’s legal climate on business expansion decisions has steadily increased over the last five years.
Seven out of ten survey respondents say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their businesses, a 13 percent increase from survey results just five years ago.
“As our economic downturn has continued, a growing percentage of business leaders have identified a state’s lawsuit climate as a significant factor in determining their growth and expansion plans, and the jobs that come along with them,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “That makes the consequences of this survey even more significant to the economic growth of Louisiana.”
According to the study, Creating Conditions for Economic Growth: The Role of the Legal Environment, completed for ILR by NERA Economic Consulting in 2011, Louisiana could save up to $1.1 billion in tort costs and increase employment between 1.03 – 2.79% by improving its legal environment.
“Despite recent positive developments, Louisiana is still notorious for excessive verdicts, loose class-certification standards, and an unfair judiciary,” Rickard said.
Harris Interactive conducted the survey Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States by telephone and online between March and June 2012. The respondents — general counsels and senior attorneys or leaders in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million — were asked to rank states for their overall treatment of tort, contract, and class action litigation. Among other elements, respondents also ranked states for the impartiality and competence of their judges and the fairness of their juries.