Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week: A Reminder of the Need for Vigilance
Governor Perry Declares October 3-7 Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week
CONTACT: Elise Lampert
Austin, TX – Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA) and Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) groups statewide this week kicked off Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week, an annual occasion to remind Texans of the state’s infamous past as the Wild West of lawsuit abuse and to urge continued vigilance to protect the progress that has restored common sense and fairness to Texas courts. Governor Rick Perry issued an official declaration marking October 3-7 as Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week.
In his official declaration of Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week, Governor Rick Perry described our court system as “the foundation of justice in Texas and in the United States, a lasting gift of fairness and reason from the Founding Fathers.” “Unfortunately,” Perry’s declaration continues, “some people have learned that this gift could be abused, manipulated and transformed into a handy source of easy money. It is difficult to overstate the ramifications of such abuse on the court system. False and frivolous cases can clog the court system, making it more difficult for people with valid claims to have their voices heard.”
“Texas was once known as the courtroom to the country, where personal injury lawyers would flock and brag about the huge verdicts they could win here,” said Jon Smiley with Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA). “As a result of lawsuit abuse, doctors shuttered their practices, small towns went without medical specialists, and small businesses lived in fear that a single lawsuit would shut them down.”
Governor Perry and CALA organization statewide note that landmark legal reforms have worked to stem the tide of abuse in Texas and have become a significant pillar in the economic foundation that makes Texas stronger than other states during economic downturns.
In fact, since legal reforms established in 1995, Texas has added almost a half a million permanent jobs, according to an economic study by The Perryman Group. That same study credited a reformed legal climate with a more than $100 billion increase in annual spending and with the fact that more than 400,000 Texans have been added to the ranks of those with health insurance.
“Now, thanks to lawsuit abuse reform, Texas courts have been renewed with common sense and fairness. Doctors are practicing again, Texans have better access to healthcare and the economy is more stable,” Smiley said.
Acclaim and recognition for Texas has been steady since lawsuit reforms took effect. National publications, economic rankings, and financial experts nationwide cite legal reforms among the reasons Texas continues to be prosperous. Recently, Richard Fisher, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, noted that since the nation’s economic recovery began, 38 percent of all new U.S. jobs have been created in Texas, and that the “most important” contributor to that job growth is civil justice reform. As Fisher noted, the Texas legal system and its reforms have had a “tremendous impact on capital formation and employment.”
But TALA notes that threats to the civil justice system persist.
“Personal injury lawyers are relentless in their efforts to invent new ways to sue and to undermine reforms that are working for Texas,” Smiley said. “Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week is a good reminder to maintain a watchful eye on those who would abuse the legal system for greed. Our work to stop lawsuit abuse never stops.”
CALA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, grassroots, public education organization dedicated to serving as a watchdog over the legal system and those who would seek to abuse it for undeserved gain. With more than 25,000 supporters statewide, CALA strives to raise awareness of the costs and consequences of lawsuit abuse.