Day before 'Loser Pays' launches, Beaumont lawyers file 59 lawsuits

David Yates Sep. 6, 2011, 7:46am

Gov. Rick Perry signs the "loser pays" bill into law on May 30. The bill went into effect on Sept. 1.

On the day before 'loser pays' tort reforms went into effect, Golden Triangle attorneys made a mad dash to the Beaumont courthouse, flooding the District Clerk's Office with nearly 60 fresh lawsuits.

On May 30, Gov. Rick Perry signed off on House Bill 274, which includes a "loser pays" component designed to impede frivolous lawsuits in Texas.

The bill went into effect on Sept. 1 and calls for some civil plaintiffs who sue and lose to pay the court costs and attorney fees of those they sued. The law also creates expedited civil actions for cases less than $100,000 and allows judges to dismiss meritless lawsuits.

Most likely hoping to avoid that costly outcome, Beaumont attorneys filed 59 lawsuits on Aug. 31, a search at the Beaumont courthouse revealed.

Out of the 59 lawsuits submitted, 44 claims were marked as personal injury lawsuits, and encompass plaintiffs who allege they were injured because of toxic chemical exposure; medical malpractice; and even rampaging cow attacks.

One suit, filed by Linda Anderson, alleges Harold Anderson negligently allowed his cow to freely roam the streets of China, Texas.

In her suit, Anderson says the cow rammed her vehicle while on her way home from work. When she got of her car to check out the damage, the cow allegedly attacked her.

Some of the more noteworthy Aug. 31 lawsuits include:

  • A Louisiana man suing Duphil Inc. for a shoulder injury he received when the marsh buggy he was ridding in rolled over uneven ground and caused him to bump the rail cage;

  • A Jefferson County woman who sued Lash Co. after she "developed a staff (sic) infection" from a tattoo the company stamped across her right breast;

  • A suit against CVS Pharmacy alleging the company should have put warning signs near an empty display pallet to prevent the plaintiff's trip and fall;

  • A trip-and-fall lawsuit brought against Target Corp. for unmarked holes in the parking lot of the Beaumont Target.

  • And a teacher suing the maker of a cabinet that she claims fell on her while teaching at an elementary school.

    Only three of the 59 lawsuits submitted were filed over Hurricane Ike insurance payouts, signaling that the wave of litigation the storm brought may finally be receding.

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