LAAW Spotlight: Medical Liability Reform
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.
In 2003 Proposition 12 took effect. Prop 12 was a voter-approved constitutional amendment to help curb health care lawsuit abuse in Texas. Voters signaled they were sick of health care lawsuit abuse when they passed a cap on the non-economic damages – pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other hard-to-define items – that could be collected through medical malpractice lawsuits.
Now, 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.
Lawsuits continue to threaten our health care system and our vigilance never expires. CALA groups continue to work to preserve these reforms, because like a cold you can’t shake, some lawyers are simply looking for new ways to sue