Legal Interest – The legal/judicial interest rate for the 2012 calendar year will be 4.0%.

Abandonment – In Department of Transportation & Development v. Oil Field Heavy Haulers, LLC, 2011-C-0912 (12/06/11), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that correspondence scheduling a discovery conference, as provided for in Uniform District Court Rule 10.1, is “a step in the prosecution or defense of the action” so as to avoid dismissal of a lawsuit based on 3 year abandonment under LA C.C.P. Art. 561. This ruling weakens the protection offered to defendants under Article 561.

Class Actions – In Price v. Martin, 2011-C-0853 (12/06/11), the Louisiana Supreme Court held that class certification was not available. The proposed class was made up of 4,600 property owners claiming damages from the emission of toxic chemicals from a wood treatment facility from 1944 to the present. Over that time, the plant was operated by multiple different owners.

In denying class certification, the Court noted that over 500 putative class members had already brought individual claims. The Court reasoned that certification would therefore prove unfair to those who had claims stronger than the named class representatives. Further, the Court held that certification under the facts of the case would be inconsistent with the general rule that “only mass torts arising from a common cause or disaster are appropriate for class certification.”