Lawsuit abuse is killing jobs and driving away economic opportunity for working families and job seekers in Louisiana.

Many have been saying this for years, but we wanted to explore whether there was really a direct link between lawsuit abuse and the economic downturn and, if so, how big of an impact it is making.

Now we have the answers, and they’re not good.

In the Pelican Institute’s latest report, The Cost of Lawsuit Abuse: An Economic Analysis of Louisiana’s Coastal Litigation, the numbers are staggering:

  • At least 2,000 jobs lost over a two-year period when the lawsuits were first filed in 2013 directly attributable to the impact of the litigation risk, not including all of the support industries and other jobs that support the oil and gas companies.
  • More than $70 million in lost wages for Louisiana families because of those lost jobs.
  • Between $43 million and $113 million in annual economic losses each and every year since the lawsuits were filed.
  • Because of all this, state and local government saw $22.6 million less in royalty collections, meaning less money for schools, roads, and other infrastructure. In some cases, these decreases were offset by other tax increases on working families.
  • Offshore oil and gas exploration has plummeted by more than 50 percent since the lawsuits were filed.

We have to turn this around, and fortunately, the answers are on the table. Legal reform is one of the key components of our Jobs and Opportunity Agenda for Louisiana, and this research shows why ending lawsuit abuse and creating a fair and predictable legal system is critical to achieving a new vision for Louisiana. As for the coastal lawsuits, the answer is obvious. We must abandon this ill-fated lawsuit strategy, if we want to stop the stagnation and bring jobs and opportunity back to Louisiana rather than continue to stagnate. We can’t expect to catch up with the rest of the nation if we continue taking this overtly hostile approach with job creators.

To keep up the momentum and build a powerful citizen movement, we also need help from all Louisianans to get the word out. Talk to your friends, family and neighbors and educate them about the critical issues facing our state. Together, we can upend a broken status quo and make our state rich with jobs and opportunity for all.