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The R Street Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization, said the law represents a compromise approach to tort reform intended to curb out-of-control legal costs in the state’s insurance market.

‘Louisiana’s costly and uncompetitive auto insurance markets are a big reason it has, for two years in a row, ranked dead last among the 50 states in R Street’s annual Insurance Regulation Report Card,’ said R.J. Lehmann, R Street’s director of finance, insurance and trade policy.

‘H.B. 57 retains several provisions of the earlier bill and, most notably, will lower Louisiana’s threshold for jury trials, currently the highest in the nation, from $50,000 to $10,000,” Lehmann said. ‘Under the current $50,000 threshold, 53% of auto claim disputes in the state are heard before elected judges, providing opportunity to shop for favorable venues for frivolous cases.’

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