Action Alert — Tort Reform: Stop The “Families Pay” Bill

You always have to feed the beast. 

Every legislative session the insurance industry and its lobbyists succeed in winning legislative victories that take away your rights.  And depsite these wins, they keep coming back for more.  It’s time to tell them enough — quit coming back for more.

This year, the insurance industry and its lobbyists have introduced another bill that would seek to limit your rights.  Yesterday, that bill was sent back to committee.  But today, Rick Perry acted as the insurance industry’s white knight and declared tort reform an emergency issue so the bill would get a vote tomorrow  (going ahead of much more important issues — like the budget or education). 

You won’t trust me about what I say about the bill so I’m posting a blurb from Texas Watch, one of the only advocacy groups in the state that works to make sure insurance companies don’t take advantage of their customers.  Texas Watch says:

Dangerous legislation pushed by lobbyists for polluters, insurance companies and other corporate wrongdoers is on its way to the floor of the Texas House tomorrow. The bill (HB 274) is designed to intimidate Texas families and small businesses into foregoing the legal accountability process, thus immunizing dangerous corporations when they cause needless death, injury, or financial devastation.

This legislation threatens Texans with the possibility of having to pay the bloated legal costs of big insurance companies or multinational corporations like BP or Wal-Mart. The lobbyists call this “loser pays,” but really it is “families pay” because only individuals – not corporate defendants – would be forced to pay. What’s worse is that you could see your life savings wiped out not only if you lose a valid lawsuit, but even if you just don’t win big enough. In other words, you can win… and still lose.

Florida’s experience with a similar legislation was so bad that lawmakers there repealed it just five years later. In fact, commonly known as “British Rule,” this sort of legislation was rejected by our founders more than two centuries ago because it guts individual liberties. Now, even the British themselves are considering abandoning it in favor of our American system.

If we don’t act now, this dangerous bill aimed at protecting big insurance companies and polluters at the expense of families and small businesses will become law. Tell your state representative that Texas families can’t afford HB 274.

Texas Watch has also written other articles about the bill.  They include:

Please take two minutes to contact your state representative and senator and let them know that you oppose this type of legislation.  You can find your legislators’ names and contact information here. 

Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC maintains offices in Austin, Texas. However, our attorneys and lawyers represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Forth Worth, El Paso, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Round Rock, Georgetown, Lockhart, Bastrop, Elgin, Manor, Brenham, Cedar Park, Burnet, Marble Falls, Temple and Killeen. By Brooks Schuelke


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