Coastal Erosion Lawsuits More About Trial Lawyers Getting Paid, Louisianans Say

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August 07, 2019

A new Google poll conducted and released by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) found that a majority of Louisianans say that the coastal erosion lawsuits brought by private trial lawyers on behalf of local governments are more about money than the environment.

Fifty-seven percent of Louisianans said the trend of local parishes, or counties, hiring private lawyers to sue energy companies for their alleged contribution to coastal erosion was more about the “trial lawyers looking for a payday” than “fixing environmental damage.” The poll, which collected 1,001 responses across the state, was conducted online from July 31 through August 2 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.

Parishes and cities in the southern part of the state have filed lawsuits against energy companies over their alleged role in coastal erosion. These local governments are being pitched by private trial lawyers, who offer to represent governments on a contingency fee basis. New ILR research documents the history of these cases, and how they may not achieve the promises made by the trial lawyers. 

The full question and responses are below:

Some parishes are hiring trial lawyers to sue energy companies, alleging they contributed to coastal erosion. Do you think this is more about:

  • Trial lawyers looking for a payday (56.7%)
  • Fixing environmental damage (43.3%)