The Texas insurance commissioner is considering an industry proposal that would allow an insurance company to buy your legal rights for a few dollars a month.
This is unprecedented. Never has the insurance department approved a request to allow an insurance company to include what is called a pre-dispute binding arbitration clause in its policies. In fact, it has been part of the agency's published guidelines to reject any insurance policy that includes such language.
Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, released the following statement:
The ATF held a press conference today speculating that the fire at the West fertilizer plant was a criminal act. They offered no scientific evidence for their conclusion, only that they claim to have ruled out other possible causes. Today’s media event did little to clear up the confusion about the events leading up to the fire at the West plant three years ago.
90 days. 90 days until consumers might regain vital protections against powerful corporations.
Last Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed rules to prohibit dangerous class-action bans buried in credit card, banking, and loan contracts.
Protected by “gotcha” provisions, banks and credit card companies can steal small sums from millions while preventing consumers from holding them accountable in court. This system, called forced arbitration, pits David against Goliath, and with the ban on class actions, plucks the slingshot from David’s hand.
The Texas Department of Insurance is asking questions. But, it's what they aren't asking that's the problem.
West, Texas, 2013—a fertilizer plant explodes, injuring over 260 and killing 15, most of whom were first responders on the site. The blast was among the most destructive ever investigated by the U.S.. Chemical Safety Board.
Three years later, only a few attempts have been made to prevent another explosion. Attempts that a report released by the Chemical Safety Board last month called "inadequate."
Washington lobbyists are attacking our state courts. A bill (HR 3624) making its way through Congress would send state-based legal disputes into overburdened federal courts.
In other words, valid legal disputes over property rights, business contracts, insurance claims, and a host of other issues involving Texas citizens and businesses would be forced into the quagmire of the federal courts.