Report: Texas tort reform a success

John O'Brien Feb. 15, 2011, 2:11pm


AUSTIN (Legal Newsline) - A legal reform group says legislation passed in 2005 to help Texas courts deal with asbestos and silica lawsuits has been successful.

The Texas Civil Justice League on Tuesday released a report, calling the legislation a "Texas success story." The law required plaintiffs to show certain medical evidence to move their lawsuits to an active docket and also asked judges in two multidistrict litigation courts to provide progress reports last year.

Harris County Judge Mark Davidson handled the asbestos MDL and Harris County Judge Tracy Christopher was appointed to the silica MDL, but was replaced by Judge Tad Halbach in 2009 after taking a job on an appeals court.

"A great majority of the cases in which a plaintiff has alleged a non-malignant disease have not filed the report necessary to move off the 'inactive docket,' so these cases are not consuming much of the MDL's time," the report says. "This phenomenon was not unexpected or unwarranted."

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