Service of Process of Lawsuits Against the State of Louisiana

In Whitley v. State of Louisiana, through the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University Agricultural Mechanical College, 2011-0040 (La. 7/1/11) and Burnett v. James Construction Group, 2010-2608 (La. 7/1/11), the Louisiana Supreme Court preserved a tort victim’s rightful day in court. According to Baton Rouge, Louisiana personal injury and accident lawyer, Scott Andrews, the Louisiana Legislature at the urging of attorneys for the State has created numerous procedural traps for the unwary in an attempt to deprive personal injury victims of their day in court through deception and trickery. Once such trap is the requirement that suits are to be dismissed without prejudice if service of process is not requested within 90 days of filing. If a suit is dismissed for insufficiency of service of process after the prescriptive period has run, the suit is forever time barred. A companion trap is that service of process of lawsuits against the State of Louisiana and its agencies must be made on the Governor, the head of the state agency being sued, the Attorney General, AND on the director of the office of risk management. This duplicative service requirement serves no legitimate purpose other than to try and deprive a victim of their day in court upon failure to request service of process on any one of the four required persons, thus leading to dismissal. As would be expected, the State of Louisiana in both cases tried to dismiss a lawsuit that was served on less than all four of the required persons. The Supreme Court held that dismissal was not warranted and that the plaintiff was allowed additional time beyond the 90 day requirement to correct the insufficiency of service of process.

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