Eye on Texas Blog

Eye on Texas Blog

Is Your Hospital Safe?

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.

Eye on Texas Blog, Press Releases

SCOTX Devastates Workers Poisoned by Asbestos

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog

4 Things You Need to Know Before You Fire Up the Grill

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…)

Posted July 1, 2014

Eye on Texas Blog, Latest Headlines

News of the Week: Hospital Safety Review, Licensure of Med Workers, Long-Term Care Quality Rankings, Broken Work Safety Hotline

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog, Latest Headlines

News of the Week: Chemical Disclosure, Safe Road Trips, Kyle Field Worker Death, and a Devastating Medical Error

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog

Abbott Decision Blocks Access to Hazardous Chemical Information

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog, Latest Headlines

News of the Week: Hurricane Season, Insurance Surcharges, Abuse of the Elderly & Disabled

This week’s installment of News of Week features stories to help Texans prepare for Hurricane season (or anything that could lead to a major insurance claim), insurance companies avoiding their obligations while coastal property owners face higher insurance costs, and evidence of abuse at state and private assisted living centers. (more…)

Eye on Texas Blog

5 Things You Need to Do to Get Ready for Hurricane Season (or Wildfires or Hail Storms or Tornadoes)

Hurricane season begins June 1st. Texans along the coast need to prepare for the possibility of having to file a major insurance claim. Same goes for the rest of the state too.

Whether you live on the coast, the Panhandle, or anywhere in between, you need to be prepared for a catastrophic event that results in a claim on your property insurance.

Here are 5 things every Texan needs to do to protect themselves and their property. (more…)

Eye on Texas Blog, Press Releases

Cart Before the Horse

UPDATE (5/23/14):
TDI adopted a rule today that imposes a surcharge on home and auto insurance policies  in the 14 coastal counties. Thus far, insurers have not been forced to fulfill their legal obligations to cover the final level of financing of Hurricane Ike claims. We reiterate our strong support for requiring private insurance companies to meet their obligations under the law before any additional costs are borne by policyholders.

ORIGINAL POST (3/10/14):
In order to raise funds for the beleaguered Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, regulators at TDI are considering rules to impose a surcharge on property insurance policies sold along the Texas coast. This means higher insurance costs for homeowners and drivers in an area of the state hit hard by sky-high insurance costs (not to mention the severe restrictions on policyholder legal rights if/when the next storm hits).

Instead of putting more of the burden on policyholders, TDI should force private insurance companies to hold up their end of the bargain. Back when Hurricane Ike hit, the law said that insurance companies should bear the burden of the storm’s insured losses. Instead, they’ve been let off the hook while policyholders have been picking up the tab.

The folks at TDI are getting the cart before the horse. In our comments to the agency, we say that before even considering another hike in the cost of insurance, private insurance companies should be forced to fulfill their obligations. (more…)

Research & Reports
Research & Reports

The Texas Watch Foundation, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization, conducts research and public education activities on consumer law, consumer protection and civil justice issues. Read More »

Court Watch
Court Watch

Court Watch, a program of the Foundation, documents the role and impact of the Texas civil court system on Texas families and Texas public policy. Read More »