Tort Reform: Rick Perry's Latest "Emergency"
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
--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.