State Farm and other insurance companies have pressured legislators to lower the monetary value amount required for cases to be tried in front of a jury. Currently, a case must be worth at least $50,000.00 before someone can ask for a jury to hear their case. As it is, there is a big backlog of jury trials. In other words, we can’t get the cases we already have pending tried. State Farm wants to lower the requirement to only $5,000.00. The judges and most lawyers think this is a bad idea. Jury trials should be reserved for serious cases. State Farm thinks it’s okay to pull you off your job for small cases. Our judges are sworn to be fair and impartial. It’s their job to hear cases, not yours. Jury trials also take more time to be tried; Two to three years – or more – just to get set for trial. Because there are so many cases waiting for trial by a jury, cases can be continued several times before the case has a real chance of getting to trial.
So, why does State Farm want to lower jury limits?
State Farm wants to make it so expensive for an injured person to get compensated for their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, that injured people will settle for the peanuts they offer. State Farm wants to hold on to its money and make the injured family wait longer for their day in court. That way, they can settle cheaper.
State Farm says they will lower rates if we allow them to do this. That’s just a lie. They only have to lower rates for one year, and only by 10%. After that, State Farm can raise back their rates, but you won’t be able to restore reasonable jury limits. Not only that, but your chances of getting summoned for jury duty just went up.
DON’T BUY THE BIG LIE!
Tell your legislators that you just don’t buy the big lie. Our judges have integrity and are fully capable of deciding small cases. Jury trials should be saved for serious injury cases.
If you’re at a loss of what to say there is a sample of how to word an email below. Please feel free to copy and paste into your email.
"Our courts are overcrowded and there are already too few jury terms available for the cases we have. Jury trials are expensive for the litigants and the people who serve as jurors. Judges can efficiently decide the smaller cases. Jury trials should be saved for large cases, not small cases under $50,000. Please vote against House Bill HB 9, which would lower the jury amount below $50,000."
Rice & Kendig, LLC
1030 Kings Hwy.
Shreveport, Louisiana 71104
Toll Free: 1-888-374-7423