Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse have been sounding the call for hailstorm lawsuit reform for several years. When the storms hit and the abusive lawsuits pile up, we’re left saying, “What the hail?” Now, the Texas Legislature is taking action to rein in lawsuit abuse and ensure consumers’ don’t lose coverage or that insurance costs don’t skyrocket as a result of these abusive lawsuits.
What’s at Stake?
Today in Texas, there’s a new kind of ambulance-chasing plaintiff attorney. Over the last several years, plaintiff attorneys have begun a new practice of “storm chasing” after major hailstorms in an effort to increase their profits. By manipulating current laws, these storm-chasing trial lawyers are lining their pockets at the expense of everyday Texans. After a pair of Hidalgo County hailstorms in 2012, their abusive tactics caused 10,000 homeowners to lose their property insurance coverage and have driven businesses out of South Texas.
Yet the problem isn’t confined to Hidalgo County. Texas has some of the most severe weather in the nation, and hailstorms cost the Texas marketplace $10.3 billion in damages from 2004 to 2013.
The most recent round of hailstorms in 2016 across the Metroplex, San Antonio and other parts of the state are sure to generate more lawsuits as early estimates of damage are record-setting in many cases.
An explosion of lawsuits generated by storm-chasing trial lawyers is having ramifications across Texas, driving up costs and driving away coverage, hurting homeowners and businesses alike. The dramatic increase in storm-related litigation is much higher than we’ve ever seen Texas, and wildly out of proportion with other states.
If allowed to continue, the unethical and malicious practices leading to a spike in storm-related lawsuits will further hurt homeowners and local Texas businesses.
Consumers should be aware not only as the storms hit, but when the skies clear, as a new round of ambulance-chasing could be coming to their own home or business.
News Releases & Statements on SB 10 & HB 1774
- TALA Board member Hazel Meaux offers up a consumer and small business perspective on why hail storm lawsuit reform is needed. Read her full commentary online in the Austin American-Statesman.
- Small Business, Grassroots Lawsuit Abuse Watchdogs Support SB 10, HB 1774, Urge Texas Legislature to Pass Hailstorm Lawsuit Reform: “The fact is across our state, we’ve seen an increasing number of hail storm lawsuits from a small number of personal injury lawyers who appear to be aggressively recruiting homeowners to serve as plaintiffs…” [Read the full news release regarding TALA and CALAs support for SB 10 and HB 1774.]
- Statement from TALA re: SB 10 and HB 1774: “Today in Texas, storm chasing is the new ambulance chasing, and that’s why we laud Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Sen. Kelly Hancock for making hail storm lawsuit reform a top priority this legislative session…” [Read the full TALA statement regarding the filing of Senate Bill 10.]
Research and Studies
Track the Legislation
Find information on Senate Bill 10 online.
Find information on House Bill 1774 online.