Tort Reform Bill SB 418 Vetoed by Governor

Governor John Bel Edwards has vetoed Senate Bill 418, the Omnibus Premium Reduction Act. The bill was intended to reduce insurance premiums for Louisiana drivers, but in reality SB 418 only protected insurance companies from lawsuits while not offering any concrete promise to actually lower the rate of car insurance in Louisiana, and limited the amount of compensation injured victims would have been able to recover for their medical care. 

Here is a direct quote from the Governor’s veto letter, “It is important to note that not a single insurance company testified in committee that Senate Bill 418 would actually reduce rates. Further, the rate reduction provision in the bill is permissive, rather than mandatory, and actually allows for rate increases if insurers are able to demonstrate one would be needed.” 

The Omnibus Premium Reduction Act, SB 418, was a special interest driven bill, and it did little to nothing for the citizens of Louisiana. SB 418 was returned to the Louisiana Legislature. If two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives vote to approve the bill, the Governor’s veto will be overridden and SB 418 will become law. 

How SB 418 Affects Louisiana Drivers

  • Raises the statute of limitations for injury cases to 2 years
  • Lowers the jury threshold for injury cases from 50K to 5K
  • Limits the amount of compensation that can be recovered for medical bills
  • Allows judges and juries to consider seatbelt use
  • Requires lawsuits to be filed against the other driver rather than the insurance company 

The Omnibus Premium Reduction Act can still become law in Louisiana. The original bill passed both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature with enough votes to override a Gubernatorial veto. We will see in the coming days whether or not SB 418 will pass with a two-thirds majority. 

Tort Reform Makes Trial Experience Even More Valuable

The proposed tort reforms in Louisiana make trial experience even more valuable for injured victims. Settlement mill personal injury lawyers are going to have a harder time making quick settlements if the jury threshold is lowered as proposed by law. More personal injury cases will go to trial, since it will be the only way for injured victims to fight for fair compensation, and personal injury attorneys without real trial experience will be forced out of their comfort zone and into a courtroom. If you’re hurt in a car accident, hire a personal injury lawyer with an abundance of trial experience. The team at Murphy Law Firm has over 150 years of combined litigation experience, they prepare every case for trial, and are not afraid to stand up to the big insurance companies and fight for what is fair. Call (225) 928-8800 to speak with a member of the Murphy Law Firm team today!