The first time I heard about someone successfully suing McDonald’s for millions of dollars over spilled hot coffee I, and many others, wondered where our justice system was going. Certainly if someone is injured over gross negligence or willful harm, we all can agree that compensation it due. For Texas, reckless law suits like this are on their way out. Last month, Governor Rick Perry signed a tort reform bill into law.
You may be asking ‘so what, I’m not involved in these litigations’. Unfortunately, low merit lawsuits like the one we mentioned clog the court systems and cost us all money. Whether it is higher insurance premiums companies must pay, premiums that are reflected in what you pay for goods or services those places provide; or lost jobs for employers who move to more favorable locales; or you being off work to sit on a jury, these lawsuits can hit us all in the pocket book. With all the doom and gloom in the economy, we can all use every dime we earn the best ways we can. Two parts of this reform bill are of note: 1. No longer is the defendant always responsible for costs after they are found not guilty. This ‘loser pays’ system has worked well in many other places. 2. Lawsuits under $100k can be reviewed as an expedited civil action and stay out of the courtrooms. This allows smaller these cases to conclude quickly and keep them from delaying the larger cases where gross negligence must be tried. This new law will help Texas businesses keep their costs down and continue to create jobs. When you are working hard rely on Austin foot and ankle specialists will keep you on your feet.
In 2003, our state reformed its medical malpractice laws to weed out illegitimate and frivolous cases. The result was the influx of thousands of doctors and healthcare professionals after malpractice insurance premiums fell by more than 25%! Hospitals are able to spend less money on lawsuits and more on patient care. Doctors can spend more time focused on caring for their patients when they are not battling for the careers in the courtroom. When everyone is focused on healing, American healthcare has no match.
Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy, Austin!