Tort Reform: Rick Perry's Latest "Emergency"

Tort "reform" will solve all our problems.
The AP is reporting that Governor Rick Perry has declared yet another rightwing hobbyhorse to be emergency legislation: a tort reform bill.

Republicans reflexively shout "tort reform!" at the drop of a hat, even though Texas -- via the big corporate dollars that fund campaigns -- long ago wiped out any vestiges of the state's semi-freewheeling plaintiffs-suit past.

According to the new bill, if you want to sue someone -- a corporation that put out a shitty product that maimed you, a doctor who left a scalpel in you -- you face the risk of having to fork over the defendant's attorney's fees and costs if the jury doesn't side with you.

That's a daunting consideration to take into account before suing, which means less suits against businesses.

The bill does require a defendant to make a settlement offer before the verdict in order to qualify for the costs, but that's not much of a sop.

Just to get some flavor of who supports this, witnesses who testified or registered to testify at hearings included representatives from these groups:

-- Texans for Lawsuit Reform
-- National Federation of Independent Business
-- General Electric
-- Texas Conservative Coalition
-- Koch Companies
-- Chevron
--Texas Apartment Association
-- Associated Builders & Contractors of Texas

We should obviously believe such a sterling group knows all about "frivolous lawsuits," which they no doubt define as anything filed against them.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

What freaks me out is that Perry is trying to push so many right-ring agendas through that will fuck over Texas. This will be used as a platform to push similar bills around the country. They need to be stopped. What their supporters don't understand is that these bills will hurt the, but they don't care. It's scary how they don't care.


Rick Perry seems very focused on doing things for corporations because of what corporations can do for him -- contribute to his future political campaigns.

What Perry forgets is that ultimately, corporations cannot actually vote.Yet. God help us if ever they get that right.

Molly M
Molly M

Rick Perry's idea of an emergency is fucked.


This anti family- anti consumer bill will insure that Texas families will not get fair treatment fro m insurance companies- under the threat of having to pay the insurance companies lawyer fees-even if the victim wins- if they dont win enough. It stinks for consumers and families.


I miss your point.They don't need to vote if they can get laws passed with cash campaign contributions and lobbyists.


Corporations are people too, according to SCOTUS. Not letting them vote is discriminatory.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault