AUSTIN – Next month, members of the Texas House of Representatives will hear testimony on the trend of mass litigation that now follows every storm strike within the Lone Star State.
For the past several years, the Record has reported on the issue of trial lawyers drumming up business after hailstorms, advertising heavily in search of clients and in some instances apparently using insurance adjusters and contractors to funnel unknowing victims to law firms.
On Dec. 1, the Texas House Insurance Committee will meet to hear testimony on the following charge:
“Examine available data on the cost of weather-related property insurance claims and the incidence of litigation of these claims. Study whether these data reveal trends or patterns over time and what the drivers of these trends might be. Identify impacts on the property insurance market and on consumers from claims litigation.”
Groups such as Texans for Lawsuit Reform have long argued trial lawyers have become “storm chasers,” setting up shop in an areas pummeled by hailstorms in hopes of lining their pockets.
TALA and other tort reform groups maintain the practice is having ramifications across the state, including driving up insurance costs and driving away coverage, hurting homeowners and businesses alike.
On Nov. 14, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick declared hailstorm lawsuit reform one of his top 10 priorities this legislative session.
Members on the Insurance Committee include: Rep. John Frullo, Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr., Rep. Greg Bonnen, Rep. Bobby Guerra, Rep. Morgan Meyer, Rep. Dennis Paul, Rep. Kenneth Sheets, Rep. Hubert Vo, and Rep. Paul Workman.