Caps on damages, legislative protection, shifting responsibility, immunity from lawsuits…the list just goes on. Here in Texas, it’s a bad time to be an injured consumer looking for relief through the civil justice system. Criticizing the effects of “tort reform” legislation passed by the Texas Legislature in 2003, a recent editorial in the Houston Chronicle summed up the problem well:
“If Texas was once a playground for litigious plaintiff’s attorneys, the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of their corporate counterparts. Instead, citizens are now being shut out of the civil court system by laws that effectively immunize special interests from responsibility for the consequences of their actions and products.”
Equally as bad, where the Legislature didn’t stick it to injured consumers, the Texas Supreme Court usually does. A recent study released by the pro-consumer group Texas Watch gave failing grades to all nine justices on the state’s high court when it comes to consumer cases. In the court’s latest term, it ruled against consumers 84% of the time.