Bill to close lawsuit loophole passes Texas House

By The SE Texas Record | May 3, 2007

Texans for Lawsuit Reform joined with Texas ports and the maritime industry, including every dredging company doing business in Texas, to applaud the passage of CSHB 1602, introduced by Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale, R-Houston.

The bill will close a loophole in Texas venue law that has resulted in an explosion of lawsuits against the dredging industry in South Texas. TLR Chairman and CEO Dick Weekley said:

"Texas' maritime industry is being deluged by one of the most egregious examples of lawsuit abuse we have seen. This state cannot afford to have our ports and waterways, which contribute $178 billion to our economy and $5 billion in state and local taxes every year - crippled by those who are exploiting a loophole in our state venue law."

Weekley said the lawsuit abuse, perpetrated by a handful of lawyers in just four South Texas counties, is currently aimed mostly at dredgers, but will certainly spread to other maritime industries, such as tugboats and barges, if the venue loophole is not closed.

"That is why the entire maritime industry is supporting this bill," Weekley said.

TLR joins dozens of maritime industry companies and associations, ports and businesses in supporting CSHB 1602. A complete list of supporters is attached.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the state's largest civil justice reform organization, is a bipartisan, volunteer-led coalition with more than 15,000 supporters residing in more than 757 Texas communities and representing 1,253 different businesses, professions and trades.


Port of Beaumont
Port of Palacios
Port of Brownsville
Port of Port Arthur
Port of Harlingen
Port of Port Isabel / San Benito Navigation District
Port of Houston Authority
Port of Port Lavaca / Point Comfort
Jackson County Navigation District
Port of Victoria / Victoria Navigation District
Port Mansfield / Willacy County Navigation District
Port of West Calhoun
Port of Orange
City of Port Aransas
City of South Padre Island

Association of Chemical Industry of Texas
Texas Association of Manufacturers
Dredging Contractors of America
Texas Chemical Council
Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association
Texas Civil Justice League
Greater Houston Partnership
Texas Hotel & Lodging Association
Lumberman's Association of Texas
Texas Medical Association
Maritime Jobs for Texas
Texas Oil & Gas Association
National Federation of Independent Business
Texas Ports Association
Property Casuality Insurers Association
Texas Retailers Association
Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers Association
Texas Society of Professional Engineers
Texas Apartment Association
Texas Waterway Operators Association
Texas Association of Builders
Texans for Lawsuit Reform
TX Chapter - American Shore & Beach Preservation Assoc
Texas Association of Business

Affolter Contracting
Martin Gas Marine
Alafab, Inc.
Megafleet Towing
Anadarko Petroleum
Mike Hooks Dredging
Bollinger Shipyards
Occidental Petroleum Corporation
Buffalo Marine Service
Oil Patch Petroleum
Central Gulf Towing
Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
CF Bean Corporation
RLB Contracting, Inc.
Chevron USA
Shell Oil Company
CITGO Petroleum Corporation
Sherwin Alumina
Delta Towing
Steel Processors, Inc.
Dow Chemical
T&T Marine
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Temple-Inland Inc.
Gahagan Bryant Associates
Trinity Industries, Inc.
Goodloe Marine
T.W. LaQuay Dredging
Great Lakes Dredge Dock Company
United Tugs
Hagler Systems
Valero Energy Corporation
Inland Marine Management
Weeks Marine Company
Williamson Boat Works
Kingfisher Marine
Zachry Group. Inc.
Kirby Corporation

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