Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Latest Judicial Hellholes Report Puts Texas on Watch List

AUSTIN, TEXASThe following statement regarding Texas’ inclusion on the “watch list” for the American Tort Reform Foundation’s 2021-2022 Judicial Hellholes® report should be attributed to Marla Mathews, spokesperson for Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse:

“By disregarding Texas’ long-standing prohibition on introducing evidence about different products or dissimilar accidents in product liability cases and upholding a verdict that found a defendant liable for injuries caused by a product that exceeded safety standards, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District at Dallas landed Texas back on the Judicial Hellholes® report.

“Texas has long been a beacon for smart-minded lawsuit reform that ensures our courts are used for justice – not greed. It’s troubling to see Texas back on the Judicial Hellholes® “Watch List,” signaling the need for Texans to remain vigilant in the fight against lawsuit abuse.

“Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse and the Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse movement were founded in Texas, and our work remains ever necessary as this year’s Judicial Hellholes® report makes clear.”

To read the full ATRA Judicial Hellholes® report, visit https://www.judicialhellholes.org/. To learn more about the work of TALA and the CALA movement in Texas, visit tala.com.

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Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA) is a non-profit, statewide grassroots coalition dedicated to educating the public about the cost and consequences of lawsuit abuse, challenging those who abuse our legal system, and returning common sense and fairness to our courts. At TALA, we work with Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) groups throughout the state. Launched in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in 1990, the CALA movement has spread across the country. Online at tala.com.

Be an Informed Voter!

On November 2, Texans will head to the polls to vote on eight proposed Texas constitutional amendments and local issues and candidates that will vary by areas of the state.  As we cast our ballots, Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse would like to remind voters of the important role each of us plays in keeping Texas a leader in the lawsuit reform movement.  Reining in lawsuit abuse helps:  

To protect these reforms and keep Texas the #1 state in the country to do business, it’s critical that voters cast informed ballots.  Be sure to learn about the issues before stepping into the voting booth!  

For more voting information on the upcoming election, visit VoteTexas.gov.  And for a look at the eight proposed Texas constitutional amendments, here’s a summary from the Texas Tribune

Early voting ends on October 29, 2021.

Election Day is November 2, 2021.

Statement from Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse Regarding Commercial Vehicle Lawsuit Reform Taking Effect on Sept. 1

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The following is a statement from Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA) regarding House Bill 19, which is aimed at reining in commercial vehicle lawsuit abuse and takes effect Sept. 1, 2021.  The bill was passed during this year’s regular session of the Texas Legislature and signed by Governor Greg Abbott in June.  The statement may be attributed to Marla Mathews, TALA spokesperson.

“With House Bill 19, Texas continues the state’s important work to support reforms that help ensure our civil courts are used for justice, not greed.  

“In the past 25-plus years, Texas lawmakers have made significant progress on reforms aimed at reining in abusive lawsuits and legal practices.  Once the poster child for lawsuit abuse, Texas continues to enact common-sense reforms, contributing to the state’s job-creating powers and business climate.

“With this reform, the state continues this important progress.”

Background on what led to HB 19

From fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2019, the number of motor vehicle lawsuits jumped 118 percent, according to the Texas Office of Court Administration. In contrast, other types of injury and damage cases decreased seven percent during the same period. 

Any truck or car with a company logo on it had become a target for abusive lawsuits, and as a result, insurance rates were skyrocketing, whether or not a company had been involved in an accident. That drove some trucking companies out of business. Nearly 88 percent of commercial carriers in Texas operate 10 or fewer vehicles, underscoring the fact that many of these employers are small businesses.

HB 19 includes needed changes to clarify the rules for how these lawsuits are handled and to ensure that juries have the facts they need to reach fair verdicts. The bill was authored by state Rep. Jeff Leach and sponsored by state Sen. Larry Taylor. 

TALA and Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) groups advocated for the bill during this year’s regular legislative session. 

For more on Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse and Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse groups, visit tala.com.

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ATRA’s Everlasting Judicial Hellholes®: A Long Hot 20 Years

Texas has made this Judicial Hellholes list a number of times – but we’ve been spared it in recent years.  Yet, we know lawsuit abuse does continue to fester in our state.  Just this year, legislators had to step in to rein in abusive lawsuits targeting employers who own or operate commercial trucks and cars for deliveries and services.   

Read more about what other states are facing with their hellholes, via American Tort Reform Foundation.