Texas Mutual Insurance Company is garnering the attention of the press, local officials, and state legislators for all the wrong reasons.
In a joint Texas Tribune and Austin American Statesman investigation this month, reporters revealed Texas Mutual’s exclusive deal with Travis County prosecutors. The deal, which allows the private insurer to pay the salaries of public fraud prosecutors, has drawn criticism for at least appearing unjust.
“When it comes to courtroom ethics, the means to an end is as important as the end itself. While Travis County’s partnership with Texas Mutual may be legal, county leaders and prosecutors should ask, “Is this ethically the best action to take?” The program looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quack like a duck. Isn’t it a duck? It looks like corporate money is being used to imbalance justice’s scales.” –Former Texas State Representative Jerry Madden
However, this is not Texas Mutual’s first attempt to tip the scales of justice. In 2011, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled in a 5-4 decision that Texas Mutual and other workers’ compensation insurers could not be sued for bad faith practices. As a result, workers’ compensation providers can intentionally or maliciously deny a valid claim, but injured workers cannot hold the insurers accountable.