Legislation filed in Texas would create a “loser pays” legal system that Texas Gov. Rick Perry says would provide stronger protections against frivolous lawsuits.
House Bill 274 and Senate Bill 13, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Creighton and Sen. Joan Huffman, respectively, would establish an early dismissal option for frivolous lawsuits, ensure new laws cannot create causes of action unless expressly established by the Legislature, and set up speedier trials and limited discovery for lawsuits with claims between $10,000 and $100,000, according to an announcement released by the governor.
Gov. Perry noted the success of medical lawsuit reforms implemented in 2003, which helped reduce lower the number of frivolous lawsuits against doctors in Texas. The reforms, which placed a cap on non-economic damages, helped lower insurance rates and attract more than 14,000 doctors to return to practice in Texas or begin practicing here for the first time.
Rep. Brandon Creighton, who joined Gov. Perry at a press conference to introduce the bills, said the legislation would cut down on abuse of the court system and allow “employers to focus their time and resources on building their businesses.” He said under his bill “ the non-prevailing side” in a lawsuit would pay the costs for the other side.
“The reforms in SB 13 are designed to guard against frivolous civil litigation in Texas by curbing needless and abusive lawsuits,” Sen. Joan Huffman said.