Check out this short video produced by the Center for American Progress. Using personal stories of everyday Texans, it powerfully demonstrates the devastating impact severe restrictions on access to our courts have had on families from every corner of our state. The film features Texas Watch citizen activists, as well as our Executive Director Alex Winslow.
As facts emerge about how Texas Presbyterian Health initially handled the nation’s first case of Ebola, discharging the symptomatic patient into the community, it is important to understand the impact of the Texas law that shields the medical industry from accountability, needlessly threatening patients and the public.
Texas law severely restricts the rights of patents who have been needlessly harmed. Enacted in 2003, the law applies sweeping, arbitrary restrictions on accountability for patient harm caused by careless, negligent medical care. The impact of this law has been that needless harm to countless patients has been swept under the rug. (more…)
In the second and final debate in this year’s Texas gubernatorial race, the candidates were asked to address the problem of skyrocketing home insurance rates.
Watch the exchange. (more…)
Using data from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare, the Texas Tribune has compiled a searchable database of hospitals quality of care. Patients can learn which hospitals have the highest quality outcomes – and which don’t. The database includes information about ER wait times, surgical complications, hospital-acquired infections, post-dischage readmissions, and overall patient satisfaction.
In other words, use the tool to find out if your hospital is safe.
Access the online database here.
A sharply divided Supreme Court of Texas handed down an opinion today that is devastating for workers exposed to cancer-causing asbestos. In Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific, the Court creates an exceptionally high causation standard for asbestos-related cancer cases, effectively blocking many workers and their families from having their day in court. (See Case No. 10-0775, majority, concurrence, dissent.)
Alex Winslow, Executive Director of Texas Watch, a citizen advocacy organization active on civil justice issues, stated:
“The Texas Supreme Court is closing the courthouse doors for workers who are going to die a terrible death simply because they showed up for work and did their job. This decision breaks the promise of meaningful accountability for workers who, through no fault of their own, were poisoned by asbestos-laden products. In the words of Justice Lehrmann, this opinion ‘does not just offend logic – it offends justice.’” (more…)
Firing up the grill and cooking out is an Independence Day tradition for many families. The smell of hamburgers, steaks, and hot dogs will soon be in the air. But, backyard grilling can be dangerous. Follow a few common sense safety tips so that you and your family can enjoy the holiday to the fullest. (more…)
This edition of News of the Week includes stories about the safety of Texas hospitals, a proposal to end licensure requirements for many health care workers, a new report showing Texas near the bottom in long-term care quality, and the work safety hotline that wasn’t connected. (more…)
In this edition of the News of the Week, Greg Abbott shuts down access to information about hazardous chemical facilities, we have tips to get you ready for your summer road trip, OSHA issues a scathing report into a construction worker’s death at Kyle Field, and an Arlington man who had the wrong kidney removed seeks accountability in the courts. (more…)
Families who live and work near hazardous chemical facilities no longer have access to information about the type or amount of dangerous toxics in their community. According to a report by WFAA-TV, Greg Abbott recently issued a legal opinion barring the disclosure of such information despite federal law permitting disclosure and longstanding state practice to make that information available to anyone who requests it.
Abbott’s decision reflects an about-face from proclamations made by other state leaders to beef up disclosure of chemical facilities in the wake of last year’s disastrous explosion of an ammonium nitrate storage facility in West, Texas. (more…)
With school out and vacation days to burn, driving season is upon us. Texas is a big and beautiful state with lots of open road to explore. These tips will help to keep your family safe on your next road trip. (more…)