2008 Regular Session . May 13, 2008
Two-Year Prescription Bill Passes Senate Committee
A bill to increase prescription from one to two years passed out of Senate Judiciary A Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote. SB 186 by Sen. Rob Marionneaux as originally introduced amended Civil Code Arts. 3492 and 3493. The committee added an amendment at the request of landowners to establish a prescriptive period of five years for claims based on harvesting timber without the owner’s consent.
Opponents from LABI argued that this bill would increase lawsuits and that Louisiana already had a much higher rate of lawsuits than other states. The Louisiana Chemical Association’s lobbyist argued that their clients couldn’t stand another year of exposure.
Louisiana has the shortest tort prescription period in the nation. Raising it to two years gives Louisiana the same or shorter prescriptive period as our neighbors: Alabama (2), Arkansas (3), Florida (4), Georgia (2), Mississippi (3), Missouri (5), Oklahoma (2), Texas (2).
Contact your senator today in support of SB 186.
Bill Prohibiting Loss of Enjoyment Damages Killed in Committee
SB 307 by Sen. Jack Donahue is the U. S. Chamber’s proposal to eliminate any recovery for loss of enjoyment of life as a separate element of damages apart from pain and suffering and to prohibit any jury instruction that separates loss of enjoyment of life from pain and suffering.
Sen. Donahue touted the Lawsuit Climate brochure produced by the U.S. Chamber as part of its recent anti-lawyer ad campaign. Conceding that the “study” ranking Louisiana 49th in the nation was based on the perceptions of a handful of defense attorneys representing large corporations, Sen. Donahue nevertheless argued that Louisiana deserves the bad perception.
LAJ President Duke Williams and LAJ Board member Matthew Block testified against the bill, speaking forcefully in support of our judiciary and rejecting the idea that jurors and judges are confused by the distinction between loss of enjoyment of life and other components of pain and suffering.
After two votes ended in a tie — one to defer and one to pass the bill favorably—the bill was deferred without objection.
Medical Records Certified at No Additional Charge
HB 895 prohibits additional certification charges when the patient or his representative requests medical records and pays the current statutory copy and handling charges. The bill by Rep. Hunter Greene passed the House without a dissenting vote and moved to the Senate, where it was referred to Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Civil Law and Procedure heard the bill in the House.
The bill was introduced in response to complaints that certain medical records providers were tacking on additional certification charges not authorized by statute.
Contact Your Legislators
You can watch live and archived broadcasts of some committee hearings from your computer. Go to the Web portal of the Louisiana State Legislature to see which proceedings are broadcast and get instructions on how to tune in. Use this same link to contact your legislators, access information about bills, check committee schedules and more.