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Strict Liability Lawsuits (1983)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: News, Public Affairs

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1983-05-13

Duration: 00:08:20

Subjects: Politics | Government | Louisiana. Legislature | Louisiana Legislative Session, 1983 | Liability (Law) | Strict liability | Local governments | Louisiana Municipal Association


  • George, Beth Host
  • Young, David Reporter
  • McCowan, Charles Speaker
  • Downer, Hunt Speaker
  • Thompson, Mike Speaker
  • Fernandez, Manny Speaker
  • Herman, Russ Speaker
  • Reilly, Kevin Interviewee


This segment from the May 13, 1983, episode of “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features David Young’s report on the increase in strict liability lawsuits against the state and local governments following the Louisiana Supreme Court’s 1980 decision in Jones v. Baton Rouge. It includes highlights from the testimony and debate in the House Civil Law Committee at the 1983 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature over a bill sponsored by the Louisiana Municipal Association exempting public facilities from liability lawsuits. The speakers include Charles McCowan, an attorney for the Louisiana Municipal Association, State Representative Hunt Downer, Delhi Mayor Mike Thompson, State Representative Manny Fernandez, and Russ Herman of the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association. Young reports that the bill was killed in committee. Young also interviews State Representative Kevin Reilly, the author of a similar bill that was passed by the committee, on the differences between the two bills and his belief that the government should pay damages if they are found to be negligent. Host: Beth George