AUSTIN, TEXAS (Dec. 15, 2016) – The Rio Grande Valley (specifically Hidalgo County) was named a “Judicial Hellhole” in a just released annual report published by the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA). “Judicial Hellholes” are jurisdictions across the country where the laws are applied in an unfair or unbalanced manner.
“While Texas has long been recognized as a national leader in reining in frivolous lawsuits and championing smart reform, the findings in this latest ATRA report raise concerns for consumers, small business owners and all Texans who care about a civil justice system based on common sense and fairness,” said Jennifer Harris, a spokesperson for Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA).
Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse is saying, “What the hail,” as it’s hail storm lawsuit abuse that placed Hidalgo County, Texas in this year’s ninth and final ranked Judicial Hellhole. Hidalgo County is a favorite jurisdiction for plaintiffs’ lawyers filing thousands of lawsuits accusing insurers of not paying up for storm damage.
The cases have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for lawyers while insurance policyholders face skyrocketing premiums and, in some cases, an inability to obtain coverage.
TALA and the Rio Grande Valley Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (RGV CALA) first exposed the troubling trend in a 2014 study of hailstorm lawsuits and subsequently advocated in favor of further reform by the Texas Legislature. Hail storm lawsuit reform is one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s named priorities for the next Legislative Session.
“It’s disappointing to see Hidalgo County once again make the list of Top Ten Judicial Hellholes, but we’re glad to see Lt. Governor Dan Patrick make hail storm lawsuit reform a top priority for the next Legislative Session,” added Harris.
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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. Created by citizens concerned about junk lawsuits and the price we all pay for lawsuit abuse, TALA is supported by thousands of small businesspeople, health care providers, consumers and taxpayers.
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. TALA is online at tala.com and on Twitter, @TexasTALA.
Media contact: Jennifer Harris, 512 – 773 – 7168 or jharris ( at ) jwhcommunications.com.