It’s Time to Stand Up for Summer: Ensure Our Courts Are Used for Justice, Not Greed

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By Court Koenning

Search ‘summertime lawsuits’ and you’ll find personal injury lawyers at the top of your Google search, ready to file suit over a wide-range of summer-related activities.

Whether it’s slips and falls on wet surfaces like swimming pool decking, dog bites by a neighbor’s pet, burns from a charcoal grill or fireworks’ accidents, personal injury lawyers’ advertising highlights the many ways lawsuits can squash Texans’ summer fun.

Summer-time related lawsuits are the reason you don’t often see diving boards at public pools, for example. Litigation concerns spurred changes to a Texas statute in 2004 that increased required clearances for diving boards, driving them from municipal pools.

A splash-less summer is one thing, but it seems no summer activity is safe from lawsuits.  From putting on sunscreen, to taking a trip to the ballpark, to an outdoor picnic, summertime fun is ripe for litigation. That’s why we’re calling on Texans to “Stand Up for Summer.”

We want Texans to know there’s an alternative to frivolous lawsuits: an ounce of prevention, a dash of awareness and a healthy helping of common sense.

Abusive and frivolous lawsuits cost time and money – even if cases are settled – and taint some of life’s simplest pleasures.

“Stand Up for Summer” is a public awareness campaign led by Texas’ grassroots lawsuit reform movement, Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse organizations from across Texas that are comprised of consumers and small business owners concerned about the costs and far-reaching consequences of lawsuit abuse.

Common-sense can help you avoid being on the receiving end of a lawsuit and it can help you think twice before filing an unnecessary suit, too.

Access to the courts of legitimate claims is important. We’re ever mindful that frivolous lawsuits not only often drive up costs for consumers and small business, it can quite literally take the fun out of summer, rain on your pool party or burn up your backyard cookout.

Let’s stand up for summer and for common-sense in our civil courts system.

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Court Koenning, of Houston, serves on the Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse Board of Directors.