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As we hit the halfway point of 2024, Louisiana is poised for significant legislative changes impacting civil procedure and litigation, energy, government, and insurance, among other sectors. Perhaps most notably, Act No. 4231 extends the prescriptive period for delictual actions and for damage to immovable property from one to two years. The new prescriptive period will apply to tort actions arising after the law’s effective date of July 1, 2024.

In the insurance sector, Act No. 275 introduces significant changes to Louisiana’s Direct Action Statute (La. R.S. § 22:1269) taking effect August 1, 2024. The new law provides for several new procedural rules, prohibits the naming of insurers in the caption of a lawsuit, and limits an injured party’s right of action against a liability insurer only to certain circumstances, among other changes. Act No. 275 repeals Louisiana Code of Evidence article 411(D), which allowed the court to disclose the existence of insurance coverage to the jury or mention such coverage in the jury’s presence in all cases brought against an insurer pursuant to LA. R.S. § 22:1269 or 1973. These changes now restrict a court’s ability to disclose the existence of insurance coverage to a jury.

Other laws in effect or going into effect this year include:

  • Act No. 595 by Rep. Micheal Melerine removes the “requirement” that actions against foreign or alien insurers be brought in East Baton Rouge Parish.
  • Act No. 694 by Rep. Jerome Zeringue requires every district clerk of court to have an electronic filing and remote access system in place by January 1, 2026.
  • Act No. 502 by Sen. Alan Seabaugh revises the procedure for offers of judgment and adds the provision that if the final judgment is in favor of the defendant-offeror, the offeree must pay the offeror’s costs, exclusive of attorney fees, incurred after the offer was made, as fixed by the court.
  • Act No. 765 by Sen. Jeremy Stine regulates foreign litigation funding by requiring the disclosure of certain information by foreign third-party litigation funders to the attorney general. Additionally, the new law provides for the discoverability of contingent-type, litigation financing contracts2 and prohibits funders from engaging in certain litigation activities. Last year, the Louisiana Legislature passed similar yet more expansive litigation financing legislation, which was ultimately vetoed by Governor Landry’s predecessor.
  • Act No. 727 by Rep. Brett Geymann reconfigures the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR) offices, functions, and responsibilities; creates the Offices of Enforcement, Energy, and Land and Water within the department; creates the Louisiana Natural Resources Trust Authority; and transfers the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator and its functions from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to DENR; among other changes.

Meanwhile, below are a few pieces of legislation that failed or were vetoed by Governor Landry:

  • HB 423 by Rep. Melerine sought to amend Louisiana’s collateral source rule to allow the court discretion in awarding up to an additional 30% of the difference between the amount billed and the amount paid as a means to account for costs, such as health insurance deductibles and copays. The bill would have also allowed juries to see both the amount billed and the amount paid to medical providers.
  • HB 276 by Rep. Carter would have required carbon dioxide sequestration activity to comply with local land use planning.
  • HB 289 would have prohibited Class VI injection wells in certain lakes with outstanding scenic and recreational significance to the state.

For questions about these laws or other legislative changes taking place in Louisiana this year, please contact Liskow attorneys Neil Abramson and Cristian Soler.

1Enacted Louisiana Civil Code articles 3493.11 (two-year prescriptive period for delictual actions) and 3493.12 (two-year prescriptive period for damage to immovable property) and repealed Louisiana Civil Code articles 3492 (one-year prescription for delictual actions) and 3493 (one-year prescription for damage to immovable property).

2A. In any civil action in which a foreign third-party litigation funder provides funds intended to defray litigation expenses or the financial impact of a negative judgment and the source or sources of its funding includes a foreign entity, the third-party litigation funder shall meet all of the following requirements:

(1) Disclose in writing to the attorney general the name, the address, and citizenship or the country of incorporation or registration of any foreign entity that has a right to receive or obligation to make any payment that is contingent on the outcome of the civil action, or portfolio that includes the civil action and involves the same counsel of record or affiliated counsel, by settlement, judgment, or otherwise.

(2) Disclose in writing to the attorney general the name, address, the citizenship or the country of incorporation or registration of any foreign entity that has received or is entitled to receive proprietary information or information affecting national security interests obtained as a result of the funding agreement for such civil action. This disclosure does not pertain to information received by a party to the action, counsel of record, or law firm of record.

(3) Produce to the attorney general a copy of any agreement creating a contingent right described in Subparagraph (1) or (2) of this Subsection.

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