Fighting Lawsuit Abuse Matters
Lawsuit abuse affects us all by reducing access to health care, driving up the cost of consumer goods, and limiting job creation. Lawsuits can force doctors out of the exam room, leaving communities without the health care they need. We pay more for everyday products and services because of junk lawsuits. Employers look closely at a state’s legal climate when choosing a location to expand or relocate. When it comes to lawsuit abuse, we all pay – and we all lose.
Mission and History
Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (TALA) is a non-profit, statewide grassroots coalition dedicated to educating the public about the cost and consequences of lawsuit abuse, challenging those who abuse our legal system, and returning common sense and fairness to our courts. Created by citizens concerned about junk lawsuits and the price we all pay for lawsuit abuse, TALA is supported by thousands of small businesspeople, health care providers, consumers and taxpayers.
At TALA, we work with Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA) groups throughout the state. Launched in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley in 1990, the CALA movement has spread across the country. In the Lone Star State alone, more than 25,000 Texans support CALA chapters in East Texas, Houston, Central Texas, Corpus Christi, and the Rio Grande Valley.
Issues Important to TALA
Access to Health Care
Texas was once the Wild West of medical liability lawsuits. Junk lawsuits were driving doctors from their practice, leaving areas of Texas with little or no access to medical care. Now, thanks to common-sense civil justice reforms, Texans have access to record numbers of new doctors and many are practicing in historically underserved parts of the state. And, after years of decline, the ranks of medical specialists practicing in Texas are growing, including obstetricians, orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and pediatricians. Texas has become the standard bearer for civil justice reforms that improve access to health care. But some personal injury lawyers are relentless in their efforts to undo reforms or create new ways to sue. Texas has come a long way, but the threat to progress continues.
Making Our Courts More Fair
Good laws are only part of the equation. We must also have good courts that uphold and apply the law as written. Not too long ago, Texas courts were among the worst in the nation, attracting junk lawsuits from around the world and exposé stories by 60 Minutes. Personal injury lawyers pumped millions of dollars into judicial campaign coffers and bragged about their ability to win outrageous jury awards in certain Texas courts. Today our courts are much improved, but there is still work to be done.
Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse is a watchdog organization that helps citizens to protect themselves by becoming savvy legal consumers. By exposing questionable personal injury lawyer tactics like misleading advertising and lawsuits based on junk science, TALA helps citizens to recognize lawsuit abuse when they see it. TALA also issues a Legal Consumer Guide (link to the latest version) to help people understand their rights and to ask the right questions while hiring a lawyer. The TALA Legal Consumer Guide also encourages Texans to ask their doctor, not a lawyer, when faced with an injury or health-related questions. TALA’s role as a consumer watchdog is critical in keeping those who would abuse the civil justice system in check.
Improving Our Laws, Defending Reforms
Texas has made great strides in improving the state’s legal climate, but we must be vigilant in protecting the progress we’ve made. Personal injury lawyers are unrelenting and push hundreds of proposals that would create new ways to sue and undo civil justice reforms in Texas.
TALA is always at the ready, challenging efforts to take our state back to the days when Texas was the country’s lawsuit abuse poster child with a broken legal system that invited junk lawsuits from around the world.
We’ve fought proposals that would have limited citizens’ rights, undone reforms, unleashed a flood of questionable lawsuits and threatened access to health care. We’ve also worked to improve our laws and help citizens be wise legal consumers and active participants in our civil justice system.
In Texas, we’ve come so far in creating a legal system that is based on common sense and fairness. It’s been a long, hard battle to improve our state’s civil justice system and every legislative session proves that now is no time to rest.
Civil justice reform has directly benefited Texas’ economy and dramatically improved our access to health care. TALA’s ongoing “Reform Works” campaign shines a spotlight on the important benefits of legal reform and reminds Texans that we must ward off attempts by some personal injury lawyers to return Texas to the days when lawsuit abuse ruled this state. Reform works and it is worth protecting.