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LAJ summary of selected bill and effective dates
2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature

LAJ staff prepared this summary of selected bills of the 2010 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature from legislative instruments and digests posted on the Web site of the Louisiana Legislature and available as of July 15, 2010. For access to all the legislative instruments from the 2010 Regular Session, go to www.legis.state.la.us.

Article 3, Section 19 of the Louisiana Constitution specifies that the effective date of an act of a regular session shall be Aug. 15 of the calendar year in which the session was held, unless the instrument itself specifies a different effective date.

Please forward corrections, comments, questions or other concerns to Tom Wright at LAJ, phone 800-354-6267 or 225-242-4837, or e-mail to
twright@lafj.org.

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
  Discovery
  Evidence
  Governmental Liability
  Immunities
  Jurisdiction and Venue
  Professional Liability/Malpractice
INSURANCE
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
CRIMINAL LAW (PDF file)
FAMILY LAW (PDF file)


PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

LAJ request. Authorizes the court to award sanctions for frivolous writ applications and attorney fees for both frivolous appeals and writ applications. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 2164) HB 135 Abramson. Act 184. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Law Institute. Revision of the Civil Code articles on the contract of exchange. (Amends C.C. Arts. 2660-2667)
HB 142 Abramson. Act 186 Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Electronic filing. Allows all pleadings, documents, and exhibits to be transmitted electronically through a system established by the clerk of court. Provides that the electronic record is the official record and all documents electronically filed are deemed filed on the date and time stated on the clerk’s confirmation. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 253(B); adds C.C.P. Art. 253(C))
HB 214 Kleckley. Act 461. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

LAJ request C.C.P. 966(E) and (F). Requires summary judgment to be rendered or affirmed only as to those issues set forth in the motion under consideration by the court at that time. Provides that when the court determines that a party or nonparty is not negligent, not at fault, or did not cause the injury or harm alleged, that party or nonparty may not be considered in any subsequent allocation of fault, evidence may not be admitted at trial, and the issue may not be submitted to the jury. Requires all motions for summary judgment, memos in support, and opposing affidavits to comply with and be served within the time limits in the district court rules. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 966(B) and (E); adds C.C.P. Art. 966(F))
HB 260 Abramson. Act 690. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Service. Requires court to grant a motion by a party to appoint a private process server when the sheriff has not made service within ten days after receipt of the process or when a return has been made certifying that the sheriff has been unable to make service, whichever is earlier. Provides that Louisiana-licensed private investigator is presumed qualified to make service of process. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 1293(A))
HB 327 Greene. Act 466. Effective June 22, 2010

Law Institute. Revision of security devices relating to farm laborers, security interest and agricultural liens, priorities among conflicting security interests, filing requirements for perfection, and conflicts. (Amends R.S. 3:3652(9) and (15), 3653, 3656(A)(1) and (D), R.S. 9:4770, R.S. 10:9-102(d), 9-308(b), 9-309(13), 9-315(a)) and (1), 9-322(f)(5) and 9-501; adds R.S. 10:9-322(g); repeals R.S. 9:4521 and 4524 and R.S. 10:9-322(f)(6))
HB 484 Edwards. Act 378. Effective Jan. 1, 2011

Recusal. Grants judge to whom the motion to recuse is assigned the full power and authority to act in the cause pending the disposition of the motion to recuse. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 153 and C.Cr.P. Art. 673)
HB 623 Danahay. Act 262. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Clarifies the application of the five-year prescriptive period to actions to invalidate documents executed under authority of a power of attorney and recorded prior to Aug. 15, 2008. Retroactive. (Amends R.S. 9:5647) 
HB 645 Abramson. Act 196. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Specifies that the effect of recordation of the mortgage ceases in accordance with the provisions of Civil Code Arts. 3357 and 3358. (Amends C.C. Art. 3298(E))
HB 802 Burns, Tim. Act 385. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Law Institute. Revision of the Louisiana Trust Code. Provides for the designation and selection of the proper court in actions involving a trust, and provides for the creation and beneficiaries of class trusts. (Amends R.S. 9:1725(5), 1893, 1895(A), 1971, 2004(2), 2011, 2025, and 2045; adds R.S. 9:1973(C), 2031, and 2235)
HB 856 Burns, Tim. Act 390. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Medical records/copy fees. Provides that a patient or his attorney has a right to obtain the entirety of the patient's records in the form by which they are generated, except microfilm, and specifies the charges authorized for obtaining the records. Reduces the per page cost. Increases the authorized handling charge from $15 to $25. Specifies a maximum charge of $100 for producing digital treatment records and a maximum charge of $200 for producing digital X-rays and other imaging media. Prohibits a health-care provider from dividing a request into separate requests and charging additional handling fees and other charges except for notary fees and fees for expedited requests as contracted by the parties. (Amends R.S. 40:1299.96(A)(2)(b))
HB 1159 Greene. Act 740. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Expands coroner’s public records exemption to include the medical records or personal medical history of a deceased person. (Amends R.S. 44:19)
HB 1301 Pearson. Act 849. Effective June 30, 2010

Provides attorney fees and court costs for damage to common element of a condominium by association of unit owners. Contractual provision that attempts to limit, diminish, or prevent the recovery have no effect. (Adds R.S. 9:1121.104)
HB 1423 Hutter. Act 753. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Service on the state. Requires state defendants to be dismissed if service is not requested within ninety days of the commencement of the action. (Amends R.S. 13:5107(D)(2))
SB 3 Martiny. Act 55. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Motion for new trial. Increases the delay for applying for a new trial in parish and city courts from three days to seven days. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 4907(B)) 
SB 46 Appel. Act 56. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Requires judges of the 1st and 2nd City Court of New Orleans to have been admitted to the practice of law in Louisiana for at least eight years prior to their election, and qualified resident electors of the territorial jurisdiction of the court for at least one year prior to their election. (Adds R.S. 13:2152.3)
SB 156 Murray. Act 428. Effective June 22, 2010

Signing of pleadings. Restates the certification requirements to track FRCP Rule 11(b). Additionally requires court when imposing a sanction to describe the conduct and explain the basis for the imposed sanction. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 863(B) and (D); adds C.C.P. Art. 863(G))
SB 219 Appel. Act 540. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Creates Oil Spill Relief Integrity Act authorizing qui tam actions with treble damage penalties or other remedies to protect oil spill relief programs in Louisiana from persons who engage in fraud, misrepresentation, abuse, or other ill practices, and obtain funds, property, or other compensation to which they are not entitled. Qui tam plaintiff may receive 10 percent to 30 percent of actual damages and civil fines awarded by the court. (Adds R.S. 39:2165 - 2165.10)
SB 531 Claitor. Act 658. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Enacts the "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.” Creates a cause of action for the preservation of religious freedom. Provides for definitions, applicability, remedies, notice, remediation, limitations, procedures, and provides for fraudulent or frivolous claims. (Adds R.S. 13:5230-5244)
SB 606 Martiny. Act 793. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Prohibits the contractual transfer of liability in motor carrier transportation contracts and construction contracts with certain limitations and exceptions. Specifies that any provision, clause, covenant, or agreement contained in, collateral to, or affecting a motor carrier transportation contract or construction contract that purports to indemnify, defend, or hold harmless the indemnitee from or against any liability for loss or damage resulting from the negligence or intentional acts or omissions of the indemnitee, an agent or employee of the indemnitee, or a third party over which the indemnitor has no control is contrary to the public policy of this state and is null, void, and unenforceable. Prospective application from January 1, 2011. (Adds R.S. 9:2780.1) SB 625 Martiny. Act 492. Effective: See Act.


Discovery
Requires that the written answer or reasons for objection immediately follow a restatement of each interrogatory, request for production of documents, or request for admission. Requires answers and objections to interrogatories be verified. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 1458, 1462(B), and 1467)
HB 33 Connick. Act 682. Effective Jan. 1, 2011

Requires recordation of all testimony, questions, objections, and any other statement during depositions except upon order of the court or agreement of all parties and counsel to terminate or suspend recordation. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 1443(B))
HB 38 Connick. Act 456. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Requires court, unless good cause is shown, to order a party making an invalid objection during a deposition to pay for the editing or redacting of the transcript or video, along with any other costs or sanctions the court deems appropriate. (Adds C.C.P. Art. 1443(E))
HB 41 Connick. Act 458. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Law Institute. Revises the Code of Civil Procedure and its ancillaries, and provides, in part, for the expanded grounds on which a court may order service by a private person in a summary proceeding; provides for cost-shifting in discovery of electronically stored information and specification of the means for accessing the information; updates supplementary service to allow for service by electronic means.. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 44(B), 596, 1293(B), 1313(A)(4) and (B), 1462(B) and (C), 3652, 3656, 3662, 5152, and R.S.13:3471(8))
HB 137 Abramson. Act 185. Effective Aug. 15, 2010


Evidence
Provides that electronically generated domestic public documents under seal are self-authenticating. (Amends Code of Evidence Art. 902(1)) SB 229 Martiny. Act 541. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Requires party seeking to introduce statements under the “forfeiture by wrongdoing” hearsay exception to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the party against whom the statement is offered, engaged, or acquiesced in the wrongdoing. (Amends C.E. Art. 804(B)(7))
SB 377 Morrell. Act 543. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Louisiana Binding Arbitration Law. Allows parties to offer evidence and requires they produce evidence arbitrators deem necessary. Strict conformity to legal rules of evidence is not necessary, except for laws pertaining to testimonial privileges. Requires arbitrators to determine the admissibility, relevance, and materiality of the evidence offered, including the admissibility of expert evidence; and authorizes the exclusion of evidence deemed cumulative or irrelevant. Prospective application only. (Amends R.S. 9:4203 and 4206)
SB 457 Appel. Act 545. Effective Aug. 15, 2010


Governmental Liability
Authorizes levee boards, levee and drainage boards, or governing authorities where a levee district does not exist in a parish to allow public use of levees for recreational purposes and to construct or permit bicycle paths and walkways. Expands levee board immunity related to bike paths and walkways to include “recreational purposes” and cover governing authorities and their employees where a levee district does not exist. (Amends R.S. 38:301(E)(1); adds R.S. 38:301(A)(4)) HB 494 Billiot. Act 920. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Limits liability of law enforcement agencies involved in funeral processions. (Amends R.S. 32:300.3(D))
HB 584 Mills. Act 257. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Louisiana Homeland Security. Establishes the Intrastate Mutual Aid Compact as a system of intrastate mutual aid between parishes in the state to provide and promote mutual assistance among the parishes in the prevention of, response to, and recovery from, an emergency or disaster. Provides immunity for personnel responding to requests for assistance by reference to R.S. 29:735 (Adds R.S. 29:739)
HB 1214 White. Act 1035. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Extends Regional Transit Authority limitation of liability to include any entity contracted to manage or operate the RTA. (Amends R.S. 48:1656(23))
HB 1325 Richmond. Act 854. Effective Aug. 15, 2010


Immunities
Expands the limitation of liability of a person using an automated external defibrillator at the scene of an emergency. Extends immunity to include the owner of the site. (Amends R.S. 40:1236.14; adds R.S. 9:2793(C)) HB 67 Lopinto. Act 459. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Limits the liability of an uncompensated curator or undercurator for injury, death, damage, civil penalty, or other loss caused by the interdict in his charge, unless the injury was caused by the gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct of the curator or undercurator in executing his duties and obligations. Immunity inapplicable to the extent insurance is available to cover the loss. (Adds R.S. 9:2800.21) HB 323 Willmott. Act 465. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Creates a rebuttable presumption of nonnegligence if a person conducts a prescribed burn in accordance with the rules and regulations. (Amends R.S. 3:17(E))
HB 773 Roy. Act 276. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration.  Immunity for landowners or persons holding an interest in property who, without cost to the state or its political subdivisions, provide the land, property, access rights, servitudes, easements, or other property interests necessary for an integrated coastal restoration project. Owner immune from premise liability, loss, damage, or injury to any third party resulting from or caused by the construction, operation, or maintenance of that integrated coastal protection project. (Amends R.S. 30:2459(A) and (D) and 2460(A)(14), R.S. 36:351(B), R.S. 38:111, 112, 213, 221, and 226, R.S. 39:366.3(1), 1482(A)(1)(a), R.S. 41:1701.1(D) and 1702(D)(1), and R.S. 49:214.61(A); adds R.S. 39:14(7) and R.S. 49:214.5.2(F) and 214.6.10(C))
HB 1090 Dove. Act 734. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA). Amends law addressing organ donation to be uniform with the law of other UAGA states. Specifies that a person acting in good faith is not liable in a civil action, criminal prosecution, or administrative proceeding for any loss or damage caused by any act or omission. Neither the person making an anatomical gift nor the estate of the donor is liable for any injury or damage that results from the making or use of the gift unless the injury or damage was caused by gross negligence or willful or wanton actions. (Amends R.S. 9:111(A), and R.S. 17:2351, 2352, 2352.1, 2353, 2354(A)-(E), 2354.1, 2354.2, 2354.3, 2354.4(A) and (B), 2355, 2355.1(A), (B), and (C), 2356, 2357, and 2358; adds R.S. 17:2354.5-2354.9 and 2358.1; repeals R.S. 17:2354(F) and (G), 2354.4(C)-(K), and 2355.1(D) and (E))
HB 1123 Gallot. Act 937. Effective July 1, 2010

Establishes the Louisiana Physician Order for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) program and form, which constitute a means by which a person may convert his wishes concerning life-sustaining medical treatment into a standing medical order. Provides for civil and criminal immunity from liability for health-care providers, physicians, and persons acting under the direction of a physician who act in accordance with a duly executed LaPOST form. (Adds R.S. 40:1299.64.1-1299.64.6)
HB 1485 Mills. Act 954. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Immunity for Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and its member institutions for release of confidential student data or records they submit to the Board of Regents pursuant to a law, rule or regulation. (Adds R.S. 17:1814)
SB 713 Nevers. Act 452. Effective Aug. 15, 2010


Jurisdiction and Venue
Increases the civil jurisdictional amount in dispute for the City Court of Crowley and the City Court of Rayne from $15,000 to $30,000, for the City Court of Baker and the City Court of Zachary from $25,000 to $35,000, and for the City Court of Baton Rouge from $20,000 to $35,000. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 4843(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G)) HB 14 Montoucet. Act 180. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Increases the jurisdictional limit of the City Court of Slidell in suits for possession of leased premises in eviction proceedings to be concurrent with the limits for justice of the peace courts and therefore district court. (Adds C.C.P. Art. 4844(A)(6))
HB 19 Pearson. Act 219. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Increases the civil jurisdictional amount in dispute for the City Court of Jeanerette and the City Court of New Iberia from $15,000 to $30,000. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 4843(F))
HB 108 Barras. Act 228. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Establishes a separate environmental docket of the Housing and Environmental Court Division of the Municipal Court of New Orleans. Authorizes these matters being heard by summary proceeding in the Municipal Court of New Orleans. (Amends R.S. 33:1373(D) and 1374(D); adds R.S. 13:2493.1(D))
HB 509 Lorusso. Act 472. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Increases the civil jurisdictional amount in dispute in the City Court of Winnfield from $15,000 to $30,000, the City Court of Monroe from $25,000 to $30,000, and the City Court of Baton Rouge from $20,000 to $35,000. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 4843(D), (E), (F), and (G))
SB 118 Long. Act 161. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Restricts recognition of foreign (non-U.S.) defamation judgments. (Adds C.C.P. Art. 2542) HB 701 Wooton. Act 712. Effective Aug. 15, 2010 and SB 284Martiny. Act 878. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Application of foreign (non-U.S.) law. Prohibits court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, mediation, or enforcement authority from enforcing a foreign law if doing so would violate a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States. Restricts enforcement of any choice of law, venue, or forum non conveniens provision in a contract that would result in the violation of a constitutional right, and requires the amendment of such a provision so that the enforcement of the provision will not result in a violation of a constitutional right or it is null and void. Does not apply to juridical person who is a party to the contract or agreement. (Adds R.S. 9:6000)
HB 785 Wooton. Act 714. Effective Aug. 15, 2010 and SB 460 Martiny. Act 886. Effective Aug. 15, 2010


Professional Liability/Malpractice
Adds licensed respiratory therapists, radiologic technologists, and clinical laboratory scientists to the definition of "health-care provider" for the purposes of the medical malpractice acts for state and private services. (Amends R.S. 40:1299.39(A)(1)(a)(ii) and 1299.41(A)(10)) HB 264 Willmott. Act 568. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Establishes the Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN) as the lead agency to govern, develop, and manage a comprehensive statewide trauma system that would address trauma and time-sensitive illness. Requires LERN to establish a statewide trauma registry and to promulgate rules to establish a reporting process. Requires that a trauma center designation be based upon national guidelines and reserved exclusively for hospitals with state-issued trauma certification. Provides for a public records exception. (Amends R.S. 40:2173(A), (B)(7), (E), and (F), 2844(B) and (1), (C)(1) and (2), 2845(A)(1) and (D), and R.S. 44:4.1(B)(24); adds R.S. 40:2173(B)(8) and (9), 2844(B)(21), (22), (23) and (24), 2845(A)(6) and (7), (E), and (F), and 2845.1)
HB 985 White. Act 934. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Requires clinical laboratories or medical facilities to report medical test results directly to the patient upon request and without prior approval of a health-care provider. Specifies that patient does not have a right or cause of action against the lab or facility for the release of test results in accordance with provisions. (Amends R.S. 40:1299.96(A)(2)(b) and (B)(1); adds R.S. 40:1299.96(A)(4))
HB 987 Smith, Gary. Act 614. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Applies all the provisions of the Governmental Claims Act to claims covered by the state medical malpractice act except for the limitations on the recovery of damages. (Amends R.S. 13:5101(B); adds R.S. 13:5106(F)) 
HB 1007 White. Act 301. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Specifies that only medical malpractice claims of prisoners relating to health care rendered in a correctional facility shall be submitted for administrative review. Requires other claims including wrongful death and survival actions related to prisoners to be submitted to the medical review panel and not to correctional administrative review. (Amends R.S. 40:1299.39(E)(1) and 1299.39.1(A)(1)(a))
HB 1018 White. Act 398. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Provides for the organization and budget of the Patient's Compensation Fund and the Patient's Compensation Fund Oversight Board. (Amends R.S. 36:4(B)(1)(dd), 801.1(A) and 802.3 and R.S. 40:1299.44(A)(1) and (5)(d), (e), and (f) and (D)(1)(a))
HB 1286 Ligi. Act 411. Effective July 1, 2010

Excludes health-care providers from coverage under the state and private medical malpractice acts when performing elective abortions. (Adds R.S. 40:1299.39(A)(1)(a)(iv)(dd) and 1299.41(K))
HB 1453 Johnson. Act 950. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Establishes the Louisiana Physician Order for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) program and form, which constitute a means by which a person may convert his wishes concerning life-sustaining medical treatment into a standing medical order. Provides for civil and criminal immunity from liability for health-care providers, physicians, and persons acting under the direction of a physician who act in accordance with a duly executed LaPOST form. (Adds R.S. 40:1299.64.1-1299.64.6)
HB 1485 Mills. Act 954. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Nursing Home Patient's Bill of Rights. Specifies nursing home residents rights, including those related to visitation and the right to be free from any physical or chemical restraint imposed for the purposes of discipline or convenience. (Amends R.S. 40:2010.8(A)(2)(a) and (b), (6), (8), (10), (12), (13) and (21); adds R.S. 40:2010.8(A)(2)(c) and (d))
SB 216 Mount. Act 128. Effective June 8, 2010

Makes the Patient's Compensation Fund Oversight Board and the fund exempt from rate regulation by the commissioner of insurance. Requires the board to cause to be prepared an annual actuarial study of the fund. Provides that the surcharge is to be determined by the board in a public meeting. Provides that at all times the fund is to be maintained to provide assets on hand of at least 30 percent of the fund’s outstanding liabilities. Further specifies that no reduction in the surcharge can be made unless such assets are available in the fund. (Amends R.S. 40:1299.44(A)(2), (5), and (6) and (D)(1)(c) and (2)(b)(iii))
SB 514 Murray. Act 78. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Mental Health. Establishes the Coroner's Strategic Initiative for a Health Information and Intervention Program (CSI/HIP) as pilot program in St. Tammany Parish. It is a voluntary home-based support system to provide aid to the individual and ensure that the treatment protocol is being met. All coroners, employees, contractors, and volunteers performing CSI/HIP duties are immune from criminal penalties or civil damages resulting from any act, decision, omission, communication, or any failure to act that is made in good faith unless the damage or injury is caused by willful or wanton negligence or gross misconduct. (Adds R.S. 28:215.1 - 215.6)
SB 803 Donahue. Act 907. Effective Aug. 15, 2010


INSURANCE

Extends until 26 years the age that a dependent child will be covered by a parent or grandparent’s family group health or accident insurance. Removes the requirements that a dependent child or grandchild must be unmarried and a full-time student. Exempts insurance coverage provided by the Office of Group Benefits from application of law. (Amends R.S. 22:1000(A)(1)(a)(vi) and (2), 1002, and 1003; adds R.S. 22:1003.1) HB 244 Kleckley. Act 912. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Reinstatement. Requires auto insurer that issues notice of cancellation and later continues or reinstates the policy to issue a notice of reinstatement to every policyholder, insurance producer, mortgagee, pledgee, or other person on the policy who received the notice of cancellation. Requires premium finance company, after a default is timely cured, to issue a notice of rescission of a cancellation notice to the insured and to all other parties who had previously been sent notice of cancellation. (Amends R.S. 9:3550(G)(3)(a)(iv); adds R.S. 22:887(I))
HB 282 Roy. Act 1016. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Exempts surplus lines insurance delivered by approved unauthorized insurers from laws regarding form and rate filing, and approval. (Adds R.S. 22:446)
HB 285 Pearson. Act 189. Effective June 9, 2010

Certificates of insurance. Defines certificate of insurance as any document, instrument, or record, including an electronic record, no matter how titled or described, that is prepared by an insurer or insurance producer and issued to a third person not a party to the subject insurance contract, as evidence of property and casualty insurance coverage. Provides for certificate issuance and effect. Provisions amending definitions and regarding filing and approval of certificates of insurance become effective on August 15, 2010; all other provisions effective January 1, 2011. (Amends R.S. 22:881.1)
HB 447 Pearson. Act 1017. Effective: See Act.

Technical recodification of the Louisiana Insurance Code relative to property insurance. Changes include correction of citations, updates of terms and language, reorganization of provisions, elimination of such obsolete or ineffective provisions as transition provisions and past effective dates, and harmonizing of inconsistent provisions.
HB 465 Kleckley. Act 703. Effective Jan. 1, 2011

Prohibits automobile insurer from using arbitration or any other type of binding mediation to determine fault for purposes of settling a claim resulting from an automobile accident for the purpose of raising insurance premiums of an insured without notifying the insured as to the percentage of fault prior to arbitration. Prospective. (Adds R.S. 22:1892.1)
HB 698 Harrison. Act 828. Effective June 1, 2010

Citizens. Requires Citizens to provide a disclosure statement that notifies the policyholders that they may obtain a list of insurance producers and insurance companies that may be able to write their insurance coverage in the private market. Requires disclosure to include specific directions of how to access the Department of Insurance website and to provide a list of insurance companies that are writing homeowners insurance in the private market. Requires Citizens to write business with properly licensed general agencies operated by insurance companies that write business through exclusive insurance producers. (Adds R.S. 22:2302(E) and (F))
HB 706 Abramson. Act 1023. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Diminished value. Provides that whenever a motor vehicle is damaged through the negligence of a third-party without being destroyed and the owner can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that, if the vehicle were repaired to its pre-loss condition, its fair market value would be less than its value before it was damaged, the owner of the damaged vehicle is entitled to recover as additional damages an amount equal to the diminution in the value of the vehicle. Specifies that the total damages recovered by the owner cannot exceed the fair market value of the vehicle prior to when it was damaged, and the amount paid for the diminution of value must be considered in determining whether a vehicle is a total loss. (Adds R.S. 9:2800.17)
HB 1008 Harrison. Act 725. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Vehicle total loss claims. Provides for the adjustment and settlement of first-party motor vehicle total losses insurance claims. Specifies methods for valuation of comparable vehicles. (Adds R.S. 22:1892(B)(5))
HB 1011 Harrison. Act 1032. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission. Changes dealer “garage” liability insurance requirement from 100/300/50 coverage to the state minimum financial requirements as determined by the applicant and its insurance agents. Various commission-related changes, including those to definitions, licensure requirements, additional penalties and relief, unauthorized acts of licensee, and termination requirements of a licensee (Amends R.S. 32:1252(27), 1254(A)(19), (B), (C) and (9) and (10), (D) and (7), (E)(7) and (9)(d), (F) and (4), (J) and (5), (L) and (5), and (N), 1255(A), 1261(1)(a) and (i), (b), (d), (e), (g)-(i), (k)(i) and (ii), (n), and (p), (2), (a)-(e), (f), (ii), and (iv), (g), and (i), (3), (4)(a), (b), and (d), (5)(a), (b), and (d), and (7), 1261.1, 1262(A)(1) and (B)(3), 1263, 1264, and 1268(A)(1), (a), and (d), and (2), and (B); adds R.S. 32:1252(51) and (52) and 1260(E) and (F); repeals R.S. 32:1268.1)
HB 1222 Arnold. Act 1036. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Establishes penalties for knowingly and willfully committing health-care fraud. (Amends R.S. 22:1924(A)(1); adds R.S. 22:1924(A)(3))
HB 1483 Wooton. Act 632. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Exempts a registered owner of a motor vehicle who is a member of the armed services from the duty to maintain liability security while on active duty overseas. Requires notarized affidavit that includes the period of nonuse and site storage address of the vehicle. (Adds R.S. 32:861.1)
SB 27 Gautreaux, N. Act 330. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Prohibits an insurer from increasing the premium rate or adding a surcharge to a motor vehicle policy based solely on consideration of a lapse in coverage. Further prohibits insurers from denying an application for motor vehicle insurance based solely on consideration of one or more lapses in coverage. (Adds R.S. 22:1284.1)
SB 150 Duplessis. Act 636. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

LIGA. Revises the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association Law. Revisions include: maximum amount paid on covered claims raised from $300,000 to $500,000, clarifies that the association is not part of state government, further defines the plan of operation and responsibilities and allows the state guaranty association to work with other state guaranty associations to resolve claims in the event there is a multi-state insolvency. (Amends R.S. 22:2051, 2052, 2053(A), 2054, 2055, 2056, 2057(A) and (C), 2058(A) ,(B)(7), (C) and (D), 2059(A) and (C)(1) through (4), 2060(A)(1) and (B), 2061(A), 2062(A) and (B), 2063, 2067, 2068(A) and (B), and 2069(A) and (B); adds R.S. 22:2057(D) and (E), 2059(C)(10) through (14), 2060.1, 2061(D), and 2061.1; repeals R.S. 22:2060(A)(3))
SB 268 LaFleur. Act 959. Effective July 6, 2010

Chinese Drywall. Prohibits insurer issuing homeowners insurance from canceling or failing to renew policy due to presence of drywall in the insured's property, which, prior to December 31, 2009, was imported from or manufactured in China. Establishes a penalty to be imposed by the commissioner of insurance against the insurer of up to $15,000, plus all attorney fees, expenses and costs incurred by the property owner in having the policy reinstated. Also, provides that any insurer that canceled or failed to renew a policy after an insured has made a claim due to Chinese drywall has 30 days from the effective date of the Act to reinstate the policy on the same terms and conditions that applied prior to the claim. Specifies that law will cease to have effect after July 1, 2013. (Adds R.S. 22:1338)
SB 595 Quinn. Act 1005. Effective July 8, 2010

Claims adjusters. Adds individuals and entities to the list of exemptions from the claims adjuster provisions in Title 22. (Amends R.S. 22:1662, 1664(C), and 1665(D); adds R.S. 22:1665(E); repeals R.S. 22:1669(C))
SB 662 Hebert. Act 1007. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

UM property damage. Increases the required minimum coverage amount of uninsured motorist insurance from $10,000 to the state minimum amount of property damage liability insurance required by the Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law, R.S. 32:851, et seq. (currently $25,000). (Amends R.S. 22:1295(1)(d))
SB 663 Hebert. Act 210. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Adds commercial automobile insurance policies into the commercial insurance cancellation and renewal provisions of Title 22. (Amends R.S. 22:1267(A)) 
SB 667 Hebert. Act 106. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Requires property and casualty insurance companies to file annual “statement of actuarial opinion” in accordance with the NAIC instructions. Allows commissioner to engage a qualified actuary to review the opinion. Prohibits the appointed actuary from being held liable for damages to any person, other than the insurance company and the commissioner for any act, error, omission, decision, or conduct with respect to the actuary's opinion except in cases of fraud or willful misconduct. Requires all documents in the possession of the commissioner to be given confidential treatment and not be subject to subpoena and being made public by the commissioner or any person. Exempts materials from public records law. (Amends R.S.22:771 and R.S. 44:4.1(B)(10))
SB 674 Hebert. Act 211. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Provides for financial and market analysis of insurers and regulated entities by the commissioner of insurance. Requires documents in the possession of the commissioner to be given confidential treatment and not be subject to subpoena or discovery and being made public by the commissioner or any person. Documents, materials, or other information disclosed by the commissioner to a third party is not admissible in evidence in a private civil action and is exempt from any applicable freedom of information law, public records law, or similar statute. (Amends R.S. 22:1984 and R.S. 44:4.1(B)(10))
SB 676 Hebert. Act 968. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Increases the minimum amount of property damage insurance required for a public carrier vehicle from $5,000 to $25,000. Applies to new and renewed policies issued on or after August 15, 2010. (Amends R.S. 45:200.4)
SB 687 Hebert. Act 895. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Balance billing notice. Requires each health insurer and health-care facility to provide balance billing disclosure notices no later than July 1, 2011. Defines "balance billing" as any written or electronic communication by a non-contracted health-care provider that appears to attempt to collect from an enrollee or insured any amount for covered, non-covered, and out-of-network health-care services received by the enrollee or insured from the non-contracted health-care provider that is not fully paid by the enrollee, insured, or the health insurance issuer. (Adds R.S. 22:1880)
SB 732 Hebert. Act 453. Effective Aug. 15, 2010


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Increase in criminal penalties for employers who fail to secure workers' compensation coverage for their employees and those who willfully misrepresent that compensation has been provided. Also requires that all fines collected be deposited into the Office of Workers' Compensation Administrative Fund. (Amends R.S. 3:1170(A), 1171.1(C)(1), 1172(A), 1172.1(C), and 1172.2(D)) HB 873 Smith, Patricia. Act 288. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Mediation. Deletes requirement for initial and pretrial mediation and provides for voluntary mediation. Requires that upon joint request of the parties or order of the presiding workers' compensation judge, parties must use either of the following: (a) A Louisiana Workforce Commission Office of Workers' Compensation Administration mediator, and the mediation held in the district office in which the selected mediator is assigned. (b) A private mediator, and the mediation held at a location mutually agreeable to the parties. Specifies that neither the request nor participation in the mediation conference interrupts the running of prescription. Requires any dispute open in excess of three hundred days to have a mandatory pretrial mediation with an administration mediator. Further, provides procedure for initiation of claims, service of process, answer, fines, and other penalties. (Amends R.S. 23:1310.3) HB 1088 Ponti. Act 53. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Authorizes the disclosure of certain specific information relating to an injured employee. (Amends R.S. 23:1293(A)(1), (3), and (5); adds R.S.23:1293(A)(6)) HB 1129 Talbot. Act 304. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Extends the date for promulgation and implementation of medical treatment guideline rules to January 1, 2011. (Amends R.S. 23:1203.1(B)(1) and (J)) HB 1138 Ponti. Act 619. Effective June 25, 2010

Constitutional amendment requiring reargument before a five-judge panel prior to reversal or modification of judgments rendered by the Office of Workers' Compensation when one judge of the original three-judge panel dissents. Specifies submission of the amendment to the voters at the statewide election to be held on November 2, 2010. (Amends Const. Article V, Section 8(B)) SB 42 Murray. Act 1051. Effective Nov. 2, 2010

Requires the director, upon application of any party, to order an independent medical examination when a dispute arises as to the injured employee's capacity to work or his current medical treatment. Places an affirmative burden on any person, insurer, or members of self-insurance fund who believes that a false, fraudulent, or misleading statement has been knowingly made or has been knowingly omitted with the purpose of affecting the payment of premiums to notify the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration. Requires alleged violations of law disclosed by an independent examination of the facts to be reported to the appropriate licensing agency and the proper prosecuting authority. Allows workers' compensation payments to be made by electronic transfer of funds by methods, including but not limited to direct deposit and debit cards. Repeals requirement that indemnity payments be mailed to the recipient. (Amends R.S. 23:1123, 1172.2(E), and 1201(A); repeals R.S. 23:1201.1) SB 106 Riser. Act 3. Effective May 11, 2010

Requires director of the Office of Workers' Compensation to adopt rules and regulations regarding an electronic system of submission, processing, and payment of workers' compensation-related medical bills. Requires insurance carriers to accept electronic medical bills and health-care providers to accept electronic payment of such bills. (Adds R.S. 23:1203.2) SB 255 Chaisson. Act 4. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Provides for regulation and operation of certain group self-insurance funds for workers' compensation. (Amends R.S. 22:46(9)(a) and (10), 47(5), 48(A)(15), 451(A), and 452(1)(b), R.S. 23:1168(A), 1195(A)(1), 1197(C), 1197(F), and 1200, and R.S. 44:4.1(B)(11); adds R.S. 23:1197(G) and 1200.6 - 1200.17; repeals R.S. 22:461(J) and 1982) SB 607 Long. Act 794. Effective Aug. 15, 2010

Provides relative to Workers' Compensation Second Injury Fund. Sunsets the fund. Prohibits claims being submitted for the board approval with a date of accident after December 31, 2014. Requires all submissions of documentation to support pending claims to be presented on or before December 31, 2016. Requires the board to render a decision on all pending claims on or before December 31, 2017. (Amends R.S. 23:1371(A), (B) and (C), 1371.1, 1373(A), 1377(A) and (C)(3), and 1378(A) and (F); adds R.S. 23:1371.1(5) and (6) and 1371.2 and 1377(F)) SB 639 Murray. Act 799. Effective June 30, 2010

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