Eye on Texas Blog

Eye on Texas Blog, Press Releases

Lawmakers Should Adopt Basic Steps to Avoid Another West, Protect the Public

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog, Latest Headlines

News of the Week: Polluter Accountability Hearing, Cleaning Toxic Tank Cars, MRSA

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog, Latest Headlines

News of the Week: Polluter Accountability, Fracking Boom Traffic Deaths, Benzene Exposure, West Aftermath

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog, Press Releases

Judge Concerned About Sweetheart Deal for Farmers Insurance

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…)

Posted April 29, 2014

Eye on Texas Blog

The Power of Civil Accountability

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.

How have we learned all of this? Because Brooke Melton’s parents filed a lawsuit. (more…)

Eye on Texas Blog

Abbott Defends the Indefensible

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…)

Eye on Texas Blog

Special Interest PAC Can’t Handle the Truth

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.

Why?

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…)

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 »