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Tort Reform

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 since 2007.

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 employer.

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.