Texas Watch

Accountability

Episode 21: Protecting our Veterans' Safety

When Leroy Torres first arrived on the Balad military base in Iraq, he said he immediately noticed the smell. It was coming from the base’s burn pit, a pile of everything disposed of on a base, including trash, medical waste, chemicals, and more, which was set ablaze and burned all day, every day. Soon after arriving in Iraq, Leroy fell ill and doctors didn’t have the answers for his symptoms.

Episode 20: Fighting for Safer Auto Repairs

When Marcia and Mathew Seebachan bought their Honda Fit in 2013, they did their homework. But, nothing told them that the car had been previously repaired for hail damage to its roof or that those repairs did not meet manufacturer standards. That shoddy repair work turned out to be pivotal when just four months later, they were struck head-on by a Toyota Tundra truck hydroplaning out of control.

This month, we talked to Marcia about her fight for justice and holding the repair shop and insurance company accountable in court. 

Fighting for Safer Auto Repairs

The fight for safety took a major step forward yesterday.

Arbitration Alert: Call Your Senators Now!

The U.S. Senate is likely to vote as soon as today or tomorrow on whether to roll back important financial protections for consumers and servicemembers. 

The rule, rolled out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this summer, banned forced arbitration provisions in financial contracts that prevent harmed consumers from banding together in court. This allows consumers to hold wrongdoers fully accountable. But, due to pressure from big bank lobbyists, the new rule may be in jeopardy.

Statement on Don Willett

For immediate release

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett is being nominated for a spot on the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Texas Watch Executive Director Ware Wendell released the following statement:

Episode 19: Consumer Scandals and the #RipOffClause

Wells Fargo. Equifax. Recent consumer scandals have brought to light important questions of how we could have prevented millions of consumers from being put at financial risk. Enter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which announced a rule this summer to ban forced arbitration provisions in financial contracts that prevent harmed consumers from banding together in court. This allows consumers to hold wrongdoers fully accountable in court. But, the new rule may be in jeopardy.

Valid Concerns on Valid Claims

The threat to property owners filing insurance claims in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is real. Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature passed HB 1774, which reduces incentives for insurance companies to pay claims on time and in full. More aptly referred to as the Blue Tarp Bill, the legislation prolongs the rebuilding process for communities and keeps blue tarps on roofs longer.

Harvey FAQs

Texas has suffered a heavy blow from Hurricane Harvey. This disaster will continue to unfold in the weeks and months ahead as Texans try to put their lives back together and rebuild. Laws pushed by the insurance industry through the years will make this process very difficult. Too often, insurance companies deny, delay, and underpay valid claims in an effort to pad their profits. Dangerous and misguided laws in Texas strengthen the hand of insurance companies even more in property damage disputes.