Board Chair, Austin Chamber of Commerce
Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
Employers aren't doing anyone any good if they're constantly tied up in court fighting frivolous lawsuits.
Texas has taken steps to improve our legal system, balancing the needs of private citizens with real concerns about protecting employers from job-killing chronic lawsuits, as well as shielding doctors from skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates.
While we've come a long way, we have a long way to go, as a fair legal system is an essential component to the cultivation of a favorable business climate.
» Early Dismissal of Frivolous Lawsuits: Currently Texas is one of eight states that does not allow a judge to dismiss a clearly frivolous suit before expensive discovery has been conducted. Federal courts also have this option. If the trial court dismisses a case solely on the pleadings, the court shall award attorneys fees to the defendant.
» Offer of Settlement Reform: The bill will encourage the timely settlement of disputes and help prevent a party that has been offered a fair settlement from holding out for a “home run.” Current law provides that a party that turns down an offer of settlement can be made to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees if he continues the case all the way to trial and the jury verdict is 20% worse than the settlement offer, but caps the amount a plaintiff can pay at 50% of his actual damages. This bill provides that plaintiff can be made to return his entire damages award, thus creating a disincentive to hold out for an unreasonable settlement.
» Efficient Prosecution of Smaller Claims: The court system should be more accessible to Texans with legitimate claims without the larger costs associated with a drawn-out litigation process. Plaintiffs with claims between $10,000 and $100,000 should have the option of expedited trial settings with limited discovery in order to get their cases resolved quicker and less expensively.
News & Announcements
Thursday, November 08, 2012 Austin, Texas Speech
Gov. Perry Highlights Importance of Fair Legal Climate in Texas
Gov. Rick Perry spoke at a luncheon hosted by Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA), highlighting the importance of maintaining a fair legal system in Texas that protects against lawsuit abuse. These efforts help employers spend less time in court and more time creating jobs, making Texas a place where people of all industries can confidently invest their capital and be successful.
Monday, July 02, 2012 Austin, Texas Editorial
Tort Reform Has Done The Job It Was Designed To Do
In 2003, Texas was facing a very real crisis, one that we met with a very specific solution. The crisis involved a dramatic drop in the number of doctors practicing medicine in our state, as we fell all the way to 44th overall in a national ranking of physicians per capita. The prime culprit behind this crisis was skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates that reflected Texas' then-status as a lawsuit haven. To remedy this, we took the bold step of instituting tort reforms to limit lawsuit abuse and bring malpractice insurance rates down to a manageable level.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 Houston, Texas Press Release
Gov. Perry: Lawsuit Reforms Cut Down on Frivolous Claims, Expedite Justice for the Deserving
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 Austin, Texas Press Release
Gov. Perry: Texas is on the Path to Even Greater Prosperity
Monday, May 30, 2011 Austin, Texas Press Release
What Others Are Saying About Lawsuit Reforms…
The Texas Association of Business applauds Gov. Rick Perry for his leadership to ensure that Texas' courts are balanced and fair to all. HB 274, considered a top priority by Gov. Perry, expedites legitimate claims while also putting a stop to frivolous claims early in the process. Every Texan should thank Gov. Perry for making this an emergency item for the session which ensured its passage.- Bill Hammond, TAB President and CEO