A bill, jointly authored by Rep. Four Price and Sen. Robert Duncan, seeking to protect the rights of millions of Texans, has reached the desk of the Governor. House Bill 1869 strikes a fair balance between allowing a severely injured accident victim to recover damages caused by a negligent wrongdoer and allowing the victim’s health insurer the ability to timely recover a reasonable portion of the medical expenses paid on his or her behalf. (more…)
Tornadoes have ripped through North Texas, destroying homes and upending thousands of lives. Here are some tips for families and policyholders when dealing with their insurance company. (more…)
WEST, Tex. — Five days after an explosion at a fertilizer plant leveled a wide swath of this town, Gov. Rick Perry tried to woo Illinois business officials by trumpeting his state’s low taxes and limited regulations. Asked about the disaster, Mr. Perry responded that more government intervention and increased spending on safety inspections would not have prevented what has become one of the nation’s worst industrial accidents in decades. (more…)
From home exterminators to air-conditioner repairmen and tow-truck drivers, dozens of different types of companies in Texas must have insurance to cover injuries, deaths and property damage they might cause.
But not so for plants mixing and storing volatile materials like West Fertilizer Co., where a fire and explosion last month killed 15 people and injured 200. (more…)
When it comes to protecting public health and safety from threats posed by unsafe fertilizer plants in rural areas and equally dangerous industrial operations in major cities, Texas politicians have adopted a Wild West attitude that gives Texas businesses great freedom to innovate and grow the economy. But the Legislature and the governor have been less concerned about ensuring that these companies exercise that freedom in a responsible manner and are held accountable when they don’t. (more…)
Looked at narrowly, it is true that a lack of regulatory oversight didn’t cause the April 17 fertilizer plant explosion in West that killed 14 people, including 10 volunteer firefighters. The direct cause of the explosion was a fire that heated tons of ammonium nitrate to the point of deadly detonation.
But a muddled and fractured state and federal regulatory system allowed the conditions that led to the explosion. And measures that could have prevented the explosion were either not required or enforced. (more…)
SHORTLY before a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Tex., on Wednesday, a father was driving in the vicinity with his 12-year-old daughter. They had stopped to take a video of what the man thought was a large fire swirling around the local high school. (more…)
The potential for the widespread devastation that occurred Wednesday night in West should have been foreseen, especially given the known destructive power of chemical fertilizers containing volatile ammonia-based compounds. Ammonium nitrate, which was stored at the West Fertilizer Co., is what set off the nation’s worst industrial accident in 1947 in Texas City and brought down the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in a 1995 bombing. (more…)
He was sitting on the toilet with his urine saturated pants pulled down and a plastic bag around his neck that wreaked of urine and feces, a nursing assistant testified Tuesday, and her boss, accused of abusing elderly patients, did it to teach him a lesson. (more…)
The Texas attorney general would be able to settle environmental lawsuits filed by cities and counties without input or approval from local officials under a bill backed by business interests that is scheduled for a hearing in Austin on Tuesday.
A second bill would bar cities and counties from hiring outside lawyers if they are to be paid from winnings to help fight costly environmental cases aimed at extracting penalties from polluters. (more…)