Texas Watch's Written Testimony for HB 719
We entrust our medical care to professionals. Often, these professionals save lives. But sometimes this trust is violated and precious lives are ended or changed forever through carelessness or incompetence. When this happens, in the quest for accountability, the question arises: What is that person’s life worth?
Since 2003, lives have been worth less in Texas with each passing year. As prices rise, the $250,000 cap on non-economic damages is worth less and less in real terms. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation Calculator, $250,000 in 2017 has the same buying power as just $188,831.83 in 2003. Representative Wu’s legislation ties the non-economic damages cap to the consumer price index. This, at a minimum, ensures Texans’ lives aren’t valued less with each passing year.