The Senate Judiciary A Committee took up HB 372 by Rep. Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge) but voluntarily deferred the bill until a fiscal note can be determined. Although there has been a delay, we still need you to act now and request for the entire Senate to ask for this bill be heard by the full body on the Senate floor.
This omnibus bill would make numerous changes to the system.
Louisiana has the highest jury trial threshold in the nation at $50,000. That means unless your case is valued at $50,000 or higher, a judge rather than a jury, will decide your case. The end result is a trend of cases with higher value, but low enough to avoid a jury in the hopes of landing the right judge. Maryland has the next highest threshold at $15,000 and 32 states have no jury trial threshold. This bill would lower Louisiana's jury trial threshold from $50,000 to $5,000 to bring us more in line with other states.
The current judicially made law prohibits evidence of what was actually paid by a plaintiff in medical bills and allows only evidence of full-price or “sticker price” medical bills to be submitted into evidence, without regard to contractual adjustments for health insurance or limits on reimbursement established by public payors. This allows plaintiffs and their attorneys to recover a windfall that far exceeds both their actual liability for medical care and the costs of health insurance premiums they have paid. This bill ends the collateral source rule.
Louisiana is one of only three states where a plaintiff can sue you and your insurance company. Most states recognize that bringing an insurance company into a lawsuit encourages a jury’s tendency to award larger damages. It’s human nature to see a company in a different light than a real person, but in the end, it’s a real person paying a very real bill. This bill removes direct action against an insurer.
This bill creates an automatic rate review and contingent reduction. Insurance companies must file a rate review once every year for the thirty-six-month period following the effective date of the Act and shall reduce rates when actuarially justified.
This bill extends prescription for delictual (torts) actions from 1 year to 2 years, a compromise LABI is willing to make as long as the rest of the bill remains as drafted.
We need you to add your voice in support of this smart policy - request for the members of the entire Senate to ask for this bill be heard by the whole upper chamber.