Louisiana’s lawsuit climate was ranked as the worst in the country in a survey released Tuesday by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
This was the first time the state ranked last in the survey of senior business executives, who were asked to rank the fairness of state lawsuit environments in 10 categories, including laws, courts, judges and juries. The survey has been around since 2002 and Louisiana has never ranked higher than number 47.
Officials with the Institute for Legal Reform said state lawsuit climates are improving and the competition among states is tightening. Delaware, which had topped the survey as having the best lawsuit climate in every poll, was bumped back to second place by South Dakota.
“If this were a marathon, the pack of runners would be tightening, and running faster. States not keeping up on legal reform are being passed by,” said ILR President Lisa A. Rickard. “There’s been progress, but let’s not kid ourselves — the ‘sue ‘em’ culture in the U.S. is still the world’s worst.”
Chicago was ranked as having the worst local jurisdiction, the third time since 2010 that the city has gotten the bottom ranking. Other cities singled out as having the least fair courts are New Orleans, Los Angeles and Detroit.
The ILR said 85 percent of the more than 1,300 people polled in the survey said a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact decisions about where to locate or expand their business.