In this edition of the News of the Week: Senators take testimony on the response to the West disaster, the State Fire Marshal issues a report detailing ways to improve safety after West, nursing home residents face abuse and neglect at an alarming rate with little recourse for repeat offenders, and a video about the importance of class action lawsuits in protecting consumers. (more…)
The disaster last year in West, Texas has put a spotlight on gaping holes in the safety and accountability of industrial facilities that handle and store dangerously toxic materials like ammonium nitrate.
Lawmakers have spent the better part of the last year discussing whether and how to beef up oversight of these facilities, as well as how to ensure accountability if another disaster occurs. This is a public safety issue that requires reasonable and responsible reforms to ensure our communities, schools, and families are protected and are able to rebuild after a catastrophe. We know what the solutions are and they are pretty straight forward: Implement basic safety precautions and construction standards and require facility owners to have meaningful liability insurance so that communities have resources to rebuild. (more…)
Should local authorities be able to police polluters who poison the local water supply? Or should that authority be shipped to bureaucrats in Austin with a history of kowtowing to industries known to pollute the air and water?
That’s a no-brainer, right?
Well, lawmakers are holding a hearing today on just that issue. (more…)
In this week’s News of the Week: Lawmakers hold a hearing to discuss whether local authorities should retain the right to sue polluters, safety regulators know almost nothing about the most dangerous job you’ve never heard of, and a columnist loses his friend to a hospital infection. (more…)
In this week’s News of the Week: Polluters undermining local authorities, spike in traffic deaths related to Texas’s tracking boom, Corpus families denied restitution after exposure to benzene and other toxics, and a member of Congress who wants answers about the lingering health effects of the West disaster. (more…)
In this week’s News of the Week, our compilation of the must read media clips of the past week: sociopathic doctors, surgical mesh, sweetheart deals, chemical company denials, and an unsafe Texas nuclear plant. (more…)
A Texas district court judge refused to allow a sweetheart deal between Farmers Insurance and the State of Texas to move forward today. At a hearing in Judge Scott Jenkins’ court, lawyers for Farmer Insurance and Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office argued in favor of a deal that allows the insurance giant to avoid paying interest on millions of dollars in excessive premiums.
“This was a sweetheart deal in 2002 and it is still a sweetheart deal,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of the citizen advocacy group Texas Watch.
In 2002, Greg Abbott, then a candidate for Attorney General speaking about Farmers’ nefarious practices, said he would hold “accountable any company that bilks consumers out of their hard earned money.”
“That was then, this is now,” said Winslow. “Today, Greg Abbott and Farmers Insurance are linked arm-in-arm to push this bad deal through. Why isn’t Greg Abbott keeping his promise to Texas policyholders? He should put Texas homeowners first by forcing Farmers to pay back every penny it owes plus interest.” (more…)
The recall of 2.6 million GM cars has been dominating the headlines lately. We’ve learned about the 13 lives taken as a result of GM’s faulty ignition switch. We’ve learned how GM knew about the problem over a decade ago, but chose to keep quiet. We’ve learned how federal regulators tasked with ensuring the public’s safety ignored reports from drivers on this very issue. We’ve learned that a 90-cent fix could have saved lives. And, we’ve learned how GM decided years ago that 90-cents was just too expensive for the company to issue a voluntary recall.
Attorney General Greg Abbott opted to formally intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Texas medical liability statute this week. The statute in question severely and arbitrarily restricts the ability of patients to access the civil legal system when they believe their medical care was negligent.
Texas Watch Executive Director Alex Winslow issued the following statement. (more…)
Access to the civil justice system is a fundamental right. It is embedded in our constitution because no one is above the law and everyone should be held to account for their actions.
But, the folks over at the self-styled Texans for Lawsuit Reform’s PAC of CEOs and lobbyists just can’t seem to understand that.
In an effort to reinforce their failing agenda and scare candidates away from supporting meaningful accountability reforms that help Texas families and small businesses, TLR has released the “results” of a new push-poll that conveniently ignores the impact of their agenda on everyday Texans. Instead they attack lawyers … again.
Because they have no other option. The fact is that the vast majority of Texans believe they should have access to our courts when they are harmed. And, they want to be able to hire an attorney to represent their interests. Particularly when an insurance company treats them unfairly. (more…)