AUSTIN, Texas – As the Texas House today considered the omnibus tort reform package sponsored by State Rep. Joe Nixon of Houston, the president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation said passage will put the Lone Star State well ahead of its economic competitors.
“Significant tort reform is long over-due,” said Brooke Leslie Rollins, herself a former corporate litigator. “By enacting these sensible reforms, all Texans will benefit as the business climate across the state will improve rapidly. Too often, Texas is seen as one of the more litigious states, making it less attractive to businesses looking to relocate. For far too long, the state’s economic engine has been held back by the weight of an abused legal system.”
In few areas is that more visible than medical malpractice, noted Rollins.
“It is disgraceful that the situation has become so bad that many doctors are simply leaving the state, and even the profession. And those who stay are having to pass on the rising premiums for malpractice insurance to their patients – insurance premiums have gone up more than 200% in the last three years alone. The current system is sick, and medical malpractice reform is a big part of the cure.”
The Foundation’s president said that key provisions of the legislative measure, such as capping non-economic damage awards, will keep lawyers from participating in “the Texas lawsuit lottery.”
“In the past, there has been no real disincentive for simply filing a lot of merit-less lawsuits,” said Rollins. “By creating penalties for those who file frivolous cases, plaintiffs who have legitimate claims will find a less crowded court system and a more equitable process.”
Rollins added that by enacting these reforms, Texas will leapfrog past other states in creating a business climate conducive to job creation and an expanding number of economic opportunities.