Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Texas Tort Victories, A Close Call

WSJ touts Texas Tort Victories but it sounds like we caught a lucky break:

Among the more notable failed proposals were a bill that would have shifted the burden of medical proof away from plaintiffs and on to defendants in asbestos and mesothelioma cases; an attempt to rip up Texas's successful system of trying multidistrict litigation in a single court; and legislation to allow plaintiffs to sue for "phantom" medical expenses.

Part of this success was due to the legislature's gridlock over a controversial voter ID bill. Yet Republicans who run the Senate and House also did yeoman's work to keep many bills from ever reaching the floor. Republicans also got a helping hand from a number of brave, antilawsuit Democrats, many of them from South Texas, where litigation has exacted more of an economic toll.

Speaking of the economy, it's notable that Texas created more new jobs last year than the other 49 states combined.
If bringing up Voter ID does this much good in one session, let's bring it up in every session. Make no mistake, lawsuit reform and reducing the cost of litigation improves the quality of life in Texas. A comment that shares an example:

Not only jobs and businesses have benefited from tort reform in Texas: how Texas cured its doctor shortage and became a model for healthcare reform:

CALA (Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse) also made a comment in the WJS indicating that we definitely dodged a bullet:
Texas succeeded in holding the line against efforts to roll back civil justice reforms, but the aggressive push by some personal injury lawyers this past legislative session should serve as a wake up call to those who support a legal system based on common sense and fairness.

Consider that a measure that would have allowed "no-proof-needed" asbestos lawsuits in Texas gained disturbing support in the Texas Senate - including from some pro-business conservatives. While the measure ultimately died in a House Committee, opponents were hanging on to that victory by the skin of their teeth with just a one-vote margin keeping the bill off the floor of the House. These were not lop-sided victories for reform supporters, they were hard-won, day-by-day battles.

Many of our state leaders have done a great job of drawing a line in the sand when it comes to abusive lawsuits in Texas. And, as your editorial notes, it is a reason we've seen more jobs come to Texas. But make no mistake, Texas' successes here are under attack. Local voters should make crystal clear to their Senators and Representatives that the battles this session were too close for comfort.

Roger Borgelt – Vice Chairman
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse of Central Texas

No comments: