Through the passage of ground-breaking tort reform legislation that addressed
medical malpractice, venue shopping, asbestos lawsuit abuse, and other legal
inequities, TAB helped bring balance to the Texas civil justice system. As a
result, the Texas economy is thriving and more Fortune 500 companies call Texas
home than any other state in the nation.
While the United States experiences a devastating recession, Texas is leading
the nation to recovery. Texas’ tort system and the reforms passed in the past
decade are key factors to why Texas is outpacing the rest of the country coming
out of the recession.
Although Texas has been called a shining example of what other states can do to
reform their civil justice systems, we still have an uphill battle in
maintaining our hard fought reforms and correcting additional burdens on the
system. The 81st Legislative Session was a prime example of how trial attorneys
are attempting to dilute the gains made in previous legislative sessions. One
bill lowered the causation standard in mesothelioma cases which would have
opened the floodgates in Texas to meritless lawsuits. Another battle involved
allowing claimants to submit “billed charges” to a jury instead of what was
actually paid so awards could be increased and trial lawyers reap the benefits.
According to a national ranking conducted by the U.S. Chamber Institute for
Legal Reform (ILR), Texas ranks 36th among the states in 2010, up eight places
The improved ranking is good news for employers and the Texas economy. TAB will
continue to push the Texas Legislature to adopt additional reforms that will
strengthen our economy and attract even more business to the Lone Star State,
while encouraging established Texas businesses to expand operations.
Alternative dispute resolution. Support legislation that creates
mechanisms and incentives for the use of alternative dispute resolution.
Asbestos litigation. Protect litigation reform for asbestos and other
industrial particulates that was passed in previous legislative sessions.
Civil Justice Reforms. Protect the comprehensive tort reform measures
passed by the Texas Legislature that have gone a long way to building a fair,
balanced civil justice system in Texas.
Extension of exclusive remedy. Support legislation that closes the
loophole in Texas law that allows an injured worker to collect more for the same
injury by suing both the employer and a parent or sister corporation of the
Judicial selection. Support legislation that creates a mechanism for the
merit selection and non-partisan retention election of qualified jurists.
Jury service. Support legislation to reform jury service requirements to
streamline the process and encourage jury service.
Legal ethics reform. Support legislation to ensure that the process for
disciplining lawyers is effective to prevent abuse.
Medical malpractice. Protect legislative reforms enacted to address
rising medical malpractice insurance costs.
Paid or incurred charges. Oppose any legislation that would calculate
punitive damages based on billed charges (paid or incurred charges).
Special courts. Support legislation to allow the Texas Supreme Court to
create special courts and/or assign cases to specific courts in matters
requiring medical or technical expertise.
Statutes of limitation. Oppose attempts to amend current law to extend
statutes of limitations or timetables for filing a lawsuit.