Tort reform has worked in Texas – that’s why some people hate it!

The SE Texas Record Aug. 6, 2013, 8:42am

You’d think everyone would like nice weather, but not everyone does. When it’s cool in the summer or warm in the winter, homeowners are happy to be able to turn the air conditioners or furnaces off, to open the windows, enjoy the fresh air, and save a few bucks, but utility company executives are distressed by the reduced revenue.

You’d think safe neighborhoods would appeal to everyone, too, but not so. When police departments organize neighborhood watches, community members enjoy a greater sense of security as they start taking simple precautions and looking out for each other, but business is bad for burglars. 

You might also think that legal reforms that make our judicial system fairer and our economy more robust would find universal favor, but you’d be wrong. When productive members of society are protected from capricious or malicious lawsuits, they can be even more productive and everyone benefits, except for the predatory plaintiffs who previously preyed on them.

After a decade of tort reform in Texas, the benefits are obvious: doctors are entering our state rather than exiting, they and their patients enjoy lower insurance rates, the operating costs for our judicial system have declined, our economy is booming, and on and on.

“Texas has balanced its courts, improved it economy, increased access to health care, provided remedies to those who have been wronged, and protected the rights of those who have done no wrong,” the Texas Public Policy Foundation Center for Economic Freedom proclaims in its recently published retrospective on the reforms.

Now is not the time for complacency, however. When almost everyone is happy, some miserable wretch is bound to be dissatisfied and longing for the status quo ante.

“While the last 10 years have shown a causal connection between fair courts and economic success in a free enterprise system,” the Foundation warns, “the trial bar is still working to unravel the reforms.”

Let’s make sure they don’t.

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