As a young man, a falling tree struck Greg Abbott while he was jogging, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Until recently, Mr. Abbott, longtime Texas Attorney General turned gubernatorial candidate, hasn’t discussed the terms of a 1986 legal settlement he reached with the homeowner and a tree care company, which appears to have fairly and justly compensated Abbott for his economic losses, as well as his reduced quality of life.
But, on the political stage, Abbott has been a vocal supporter of legal restrictions that arbitrarily limit the right of Texans who are needlessly injured to seek the same type of fair compensation that Abbott received.
In an effort to justify this disconnect between his own experience and his political rhetoric, Abbott argues that someone who finds themselves in the same situation as he would be able to reach the same type of settlement he received. In fact, he recently said: “If there were someone jogging today, got hit by a tree today, suffered the same kind of accident today, they would have access to the very same remedies I had access to.”
This is a dangerously myopic view that ignores the reality that Abbott’s settlement was negotiated under the umbrella of a civil justice system far different than exists today. (more…)