Posts Tagged ‘Articles of Interest’

The Virtues of Arbitration

Via the New York Times

To the Editor:

Your three-part series on arbitration, beginning with “Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice” (front page, Nov. 1), is a one-sided view of arbitration and class-action lawsuits that parrots the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ talking points.

Does anyone in the year 2015 still honestly think that class-action lawsuits do a good job of compensating consumers for alleged corporate wrongdoing?

A recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that in 87 percent of class actions no class members get any money except (sometimes) the named plaintiff. When there is a monetary settlement, the bureau’s data shows on average that 41 percent of the money goes to the plaintiffs’ lawyers. On average, calculating from that data, lawyers get $1 million per case, while class members get $32.35.

Arbitration provides consumers with a fairer, simpler, cheaper and faster way of resolving disputes, and one with greater potential benefits to individual consumers.

The seven-million-member Kaiser Health plan in California uses arbitration to resolve its disputes with patients and employees; 90 percent of the claimants and their attorneys who participated in arbitration last year reported that it was better than or the same as going to court.

Arbitration clauses incentivize companies to settle disputes with their customers quickly in order to avoid litigating. Class actions discourage companies from trying to resolve disputes with individual consumers because the company knows that it will be sued anyway, even if it hasn’t done anything wrong.

Ironically, one of the American companies that includes mandatory arbitration clauses in its contracts with its Times Journeys customers is The New York Times.

LISA A. RICKARD

President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

Washington

Texas Congressman says asbestos reform needed to protect veterans, first responders

Via SE Texas Record

A U.S. Congressman from Texas says reform is needed to stop trial lawyers from draining billions of dollars from asbestos trust funds – money set aside for veterans, firefighters, industrial workers and other Americans suffering from an asbestos-related illness.

In effort to combat asbestos double dipping, Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, introduced House Resolution 526, the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act, earlier this year.

Double dipping in asbestos cases occurs when personal injury lawyers sue a company and claim its asbestos products harmed their clients while simultaneously filing claims with asbestos trusts blaming other products for the same exact harm.

On Oct. 2 Farenthold released a column, first published with The Hill, warning that without increased transparency, “asbestos trusts may be fleeced into nothingness.”

“The funds were supposed to provide fair compensation to past, present and future asbestos victims,” the representative writes. “Instead, 23 asbestos trusts have reduced their payments to victims since 2008. Some more than once.”

Farenthold says the decrease in trusts appear to be driven, at least in part, by fraud and abuse.

“A Wall Street Journal investigative report uncovered hundreds of inconsistencies between claims with trusts and in-court cases, as well as thousands of implausible claims that alleged children were exposed to asbestos while working in industrial settings,” he wrote.

“There’s also strong evidence of fraud and abuse in asbestos lawsuits. Last year, a federal judge in North Carolina found that plaintiffs’ lawyers regularly withhold and manipulate essential evidence in asbestos cases.

“Other judges agree. A Delaware judge explained that lying and non-disclosure ‘occurs a lot’ in asbestos litigation.”

Since 1994, bankrupt companies have been able to create trusts to compensate individuals suffering from an asbestos-related injury.

Farenthold says many trial lawyers involved in asbestos lawsuits are filing claims with asbestos trust funds, and some of those attorneys even sit on special advisory committees that influence trust payment decisions and audit procedures.

“Who makes sure that lawyers aren’t cheating the trusts? The Government Accountability Office studied the trusts and found they operate without meaningful federal oversight,” Farenthold wrote.

“It also asked the trusts if their audits uncovered fraud. Their response? Although they have received hundreds of thousands of claims and paid out more than $20 billion, they haven’t been able to find any fraud.

“That’s unbelievable.”

If passed, the FACT Act would require asbestos trusts to provide quarterly reports on their claims to bankruptcy courts.

“By shining a light on the trusts, the FACT Act will discourage abusive claims and protect the money owed to future asbestos victims,” Farenthold wrote.

The FACT Act was previously introduced in 2013, prompting a wave of criticism from trial lawyers across the nation.

For example, Jennifer Lucarelli, partner at the asbestos firm Early Lucarelli Sweeney Meisenkothen, posted a July 2013 column on mesothelioma.com, arguing the FACT Act was against the interest of asbestos victims.

“It (the FACT Act) would require private asbestos trusts to publicly release extensive individual information about victims and would slow down asbestos cases by allowing asbestos defendants to bury the trusts in information requests,” she wrote.

“The legislation is another attempt by Big Asbestos to delay payment to suffering victims.”

Conversely, Farenthold says plaintiffs’ lawyers who argue the act will make it harder for asbestos victims to receive compensation, are wrong, as trust claims are filed electronically and trusts could easily and inexpensively produce the reports required by the act.

“The bill’s opponents also claim that reporting will threaten asbestos victims’ privacy. This is absolutely false,” he added.

“Federal bankruptcy courts zealously guard asbestos victims’ personal information, and they will ensure that reports filed under the FACT Act are properly protected. The FACT Act also forbids any disclosure of confidential medical records.”

In the state of Texas, Farenthold says more than 600,000 veterans are supporting the act.

“Don’t our veterans and first responders deserve the same compensation as the asbestos victims who came before them? I believe they do,” he wrote. “To make this possible, Congress must pass the FACT Act to keep asbestos trusts from running dry due to fraud and abuse.”

The resolution was reported by committee on May 14.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Texas House Bill 1492 to end asbestos double dipping in the Lone Star State.

Since 2011, Farenthold has represented Texas’ 27th Congressional District.

Lawmakers Taking Closer Look at Litigation Funding

Via the Wall Street Journal

The practice of advancing millions of dollars to help people and companies file lawsuits has had critics for years.

While proponents of the “litigation finance” industry say it helps level the playing field for those who would otherwise be unable to pursue lawsuits, critics have long complained that such third-party investors give outsiders undue influence over legal decisions and allow frivolous lawsuits to go forward, driving up the overall cost of litigation.

In a typical litigation finance arrangement, a funder will give money to a plaintiff to pay for the cost of litigation, and take a chunk of any recovery in the end. If the case is unsuccessful, the funder usually doesn’t get its money back. But the details of such deals are usually undisclosed.

The latest pushback against litigation finance comes from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R.,Texas). The pair is calling for more transparency in the litigation finance industry, in part by sending letters to three of the largest litigation funders with a list of demands.

The letters, to Burford Capital, Bentham IMF and Juridica Investments Ltd., ask for a slew of information, including a complete list of cases each company has funded from 2009 to 2014, how much money they made, and whether the financing arrangements were disclosed to other parties in the litigation.

“It’s vitally important to our civil justice system that litigation decisions aren’t unduly influenced by third parties,” Mr. Grassley said.

All three litigation finance companies named in the letters are publicly traded on foreign exchanges, but often invest in U.S. cases.

A Burford spokewoman said Thursday that the company is reviewing the letter and noted that Burford’s business “exists at the request of lawyers and businesses to address the ever-increasing burdens of litigation.”

In 2013, Burford co-founder and Chief Executive Christopher Bogart told the Wall Street Journal that funding frivolous litigation would be “the fastest way for me to go out of business.”

A Bentham spokesman said late Thursday that the company plans to “provide all information necessary to help Congress and the American people better understand our business” and that it looks forward to explaining how commercial litigation funding “serves the legal profession, clients and the American civil justice system.”

We reached out to a rep from Juridica and will update this post if we hear from them.

The industry has had its ups and downs but is showing signs of expanding into news areas, including a focus on specifics types of suits such as class-action injury cases and eyeing bankruptcy court as a potentially lucrative new venue.

AB 465: Trial Lawyers’ Attempt to Enrich Themselves

Via Fox and Hounds

The final weeks of the legislative session have arrived, and that means it is silly season in the State Capitol. At this time of year, trial lawyers use every trick they have to expand litigation and make sure our state’s lawsuit system continues to mainly serve the interests of lawyers rather than ordinary people.

One of their top priorities is getting Gov. Brown to sign AB 465 (Hernandez), which seeks to eliminate pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements. Put simply, this is a terrible idea. AB 465 would only drive up litigation costs by increasing individual claims and class action lawsuits against California employers.  Who stands to profit from all this additional litigation? That’s right, trial lawyers.

Arbitration has many advantages for both businesses and consumers, including being a faster, simpler and less expensive alternative to litigation. It helps California’s small businesses by cutting down on their legal expenses. And it helps consumers by allowing legal disputes to be fairly and efficiently resolved without incurring the cost, stress and often lengthy ordeal of a lawsuit.

The only ones who don’t benefit from using arbitration are the trial lawyers. When a dispute is resolved quickly and efficiently using arbitration, it means lower legal fees for lawyers. This is, of course, why they support AB 465 – at the end of the day, it means more money in their pockets.

AB 465 has been passed by the legislature, and if it is signed by Gov. Brown, it will create more lawsuits in California – a state that is known nationally as a “Judicial Hellhole” and has ranked dead last for 11 straight years in CEO Magazine’s annual “Best and Worst States for Business” survey. That’s why the California Chamber of Commerce has labeled it a “job killer” and it is opposed by a vast coalition of organizations.

If AB 465 is signed by the Governor, all Californians will pay the price.

Support legislation to halt storm-chasing lawyers

Via San Antonio Express News

When we began fighting lawsuit abuse in Texas 22 years ago, we had no idea how long the battle would take. We have won some great tort reform victories that strengthened the Texas economy and helped make the Texas civil justice system a model for the nation.

But today, we are seeing a new wave of personal injury trial lawyers — storm-chasers — who must be stopped.

Storm-chasing trial lawyers go from hailstorm to hailstorm, filing massive numbers of hail-damage lawsuits that are reducing consumer access to property insurance and will increase property insurance deductibles and premiums for all Texans.

At least two insurance carriers have decided they must quit writing homeowners insurance in Hidalgo County, and other carriers are contemplating doing so. Some property owners have reported such a high increase in deductibles that hail claims are essentially going uncovered.

Even without lawsuit abuse, hailstorms cost the Texas marketplace $10.3 billion in damages from 2004 through 2013. Now hail damage is becoming even more expensive because of the explosion in lawsuits generated by storm-chasing trial lawyers.

This latest plague of lawsuits started in Hidalgo County, but a growing body of statistical and anecdotal evidence shows the litigation abuse is spreading across Texas. Storm-chasing trial lawyers are following the same model used to bankrupt the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association ) following Hurricane Ike. They troll for clients using massive advertising campaigns — TV, direct mail, even door-to-door solicitation — to push homeowners to file new claims even after their initial claims have been paid. Some have joined with unscrupulous roofers, public adjusters, contractors and others to help them find clients.

One small Texas insurance carrier who insured homes in Hidalgo County had 2,517 hail claims and 688 lawsuits generated from those claims — 27.33 percent. Prior to the onslaught by storm-chasing trial lawyers, the percentage of lawsuits to claims was less than 1 percent.

Plaintiff attorneys and their solicitors often pursue these policyholder claims because an attorney-fee award and an 18 percent penalty interest are mandatory under Texas law if an insurance company is just a day late or a dollar short in paying a claim. Even a small claim carries automatic attorney fees that are often many times greater than the amount of the claim itself. This enriches the lawyers, but ultimately every Texas policyholder will pay the price in higher premiums.

The Texas Department of Insurance reports that complaints against insurance companies have actually declined for the past five years. It makes no sense that people would file fewer complaints about their insurance but sue more.

Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, and Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, have filed bills in theTexas House and Senate aimed at stopping the abusive practices of the trial lawyers and public adjusters. Texans who understand the importance of keeping our economy strong by reducing job-killing lawsuit abuse should support this legislation.

Richard W. Weekley is co-founder and CEO of Texans for Lawsuit Reform.

 

Dallas lawyer brings $5M+ class action against Ford, GM & Toyota; alleges autos are easily ‘hacked’

via The Southeast Texas Record

Seeking damages in excess of $5 million, a Dallas trial lawyer hit three of the largest automobile manufactures in the world with a federal class action Tuesday, alleging their vehicles are prime targets for hackers.

Through attorneys for the Stanley Law Group, the suit was filed against Toyota, Ford and GM in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, San Francisco Division. Three west coast residents make up the class so far, Helene Cahen, Kerry Tompulis and Merrill Nisam.

The class alleges the automobile manufactures failed consumers by selling vehicles “that are susceptible to computer hacking and are therefore unsafe.”

No class member alleges damages for being hacked while driving.

“Because Defendants failed to ensure the basic electronic security of their vehicles, anyone can hack into them, take control of the basic functions of the vehicle, and thereby endanger the safety of the driver and others,” the suit states.

“When Defendants sell or lease any vehicle to a customer, they have a duty to ensure the vehicle functions properly and safely, and is free from defects.”

Most modern automobiles contain some level of networked components that work to monitor and control the vehicle.

To drive this point home, the action cites a 2013 study funded by the U.S. Defense

Advanced Research Projects Agency, which states: “Drivers and passengers are strictly at the mercy of the code running in their automobiles and, unlike when their web browser crashes or is compromised, the threat to their physical well-being is real.”

The suit comes one month after U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., released a report entitled: “Tracking & Hacking: Security & Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk.”

“New technologies in cars have enabled valuable features that have the potential to improve driver safety and vehicle performance,” the report states.

“The proliferation of these technologies raises concerns about the ability of hackers to gain access and control to the essential functions and features of those cars and for others to utilize information on drivers’ habits for commercial purposes without the drivers’ knowledge or consent.”

On top of punitive damages, the class seeks injunctive relief in the form of a recall or free replacement program.

Attorney Marc Stanley represents the class.

Case No. 4:15-cv-01104-DMR

Fearing coastal ‘economic chaos,’ Texas lawmaker files first of 3 windstorm insurance bills

via Dallas Business Journal

Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, has filed the first of his three bills to address issues with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

Taylor’s Senate Bill 498 extends TWIA’s waiver program, which would otherwise expire at the end of the year. Avoiding that lapse in windstorm coverage is important because many homeowners lose policies through no fault of their own, such as a carrier’s decision to stop writing in a particular market, Taylor has said.

Current law says TWIA is the insurer of last resort in 14 coastal counties. To qualify for a TWIA policy, a homeowner must provide proof he or she has been turned down for coverage in the private market. Then TWIA is expected to do its own inspection and paperwork before extending its coverage to the homeowner.

“The process for a homeowner to prove after the fact that their home meets eligibility standards is unnecessarily cost prohibitive in many cases,” says Taylor of his first TWIA bill filed this session. “Extending the waiver program is essential to maintaining economic stability on the coast.”

The key TWIA bill Taylor is still expected to file this session is to bid out the operations of TWIA to a potential private vendor. Taylor, a conferee on the bill that overhauled TWIA operations in special session in 2011, says he is still dissatisfied with the quasi-agency’s operations. The private market is more than qualified to take over many of the functions “that TWIA does so poorly,” Taylor said.

Coastal properties carry three forms of insurance: property, flood and windstorm. Law constrains TWIA as the market of last resort by requiring homeowners to prove the private market has turned them down. That might be an especially attractive premium drop for property owners directly on the coast, but most private insurers don’t bother to write policies in coastal areas such as Galveston County.

Some 40,000 homeowners participate in the waiver program until permanent policies can be written, Taylor said. To end the program “would result in economic chaos along the coast,” according to Taylor.

Taylor does not chair, or even sit on the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Economic Development this session. Instead, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tapped Taylor to chair the Senate Committee on Education.

Lawsuit Over Barking Dog Could Cost A Seattle Family Their Home

via The Inquisitr

Denise Norton of North Seattle may learn the hard way that you cannot ignore lawsuits even ones about a barking dog. Ignoring her neighbor’s lawsuit over her dog Cawper’s barking could now cost Norton her home.

Norton’s neighbor Woodrow Thompson filed a lawsuit that alleges that the sound of Cawper’s barking intentionally caused him “profound emotional distress.” Thompson filed a 36-page complaint claiming that Cawper’s “raucously, wildly bellowing, howling and explosively barking” could reach 128 decibels, reports Yahoo.

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration states that a person should not be exposed to a noise of 115 decibels for more than 15 minutes a day. If Thompson’s claims about Cawper are true that means that his bark is louder than an ambulance siren and just short of being as loud as a jet engine at takeoff.

“In my head, everything was so bogus that he’d been doing, I don’t know why, I just didn’t think it was real or something,” Norton told the local ABC News.

Even when Norton was served papers about the lawsuit she did not reply.

The lawsuit was genuine and because Norton took no steps to challenge it Thompson was awarded $500,000 by default.

“The sheriff comes, puts the papers on the garage and the wall and everything and saying they were going to put the house up for sale,” Norton said.

Norton and her family are now taking action in hopes of getting the decision reversed and saving their home.

Mike Fandel, a civil attorney who has no connection to this lawsuit states that winning a frivolous lawsuit is simple when the other side fails to respond, but he adds getting the decision reversed will not be an easy or inexpensive task, reports KOMO News.

“If you think it ought to be dismissed, it will only be dismissed if you ask the court to do it,” Fandel said.

Norton says that she made a big mistake, but is now determined to fix it. Norton adds that she takes full responsibility for not responding to the suit.

“How can you give somebody a half-a-million-dollar lien over a dog barking?” Norton asked, defending her beloved Cawper. “He’s just a loving, nice dog.”

Recently Norton noticed that Thompson had a camera on his awning pointing directly at her backyard.

“I don’t know if it’s fake or real or what, but it makes you want to not even go out in the yard,” she said.

The camera is part of the evidence Norton plans to bring to court, however right now that is on hold because the family has poured so much money into fighting the judgment.

A previous judge didn’t dismiss the case in part because of the family’s admitted financial troubles in the past.

Attorneys, Insurers Facing Off over Hail Litigation in Texas

via Insurance Journal

The vestiges of twin hailstorms that ravaged the south Texas coast in 2012 are now blowing through the halls of the Capitol in Austin.

Two of the state’s most-powerful lobbies, the insurance industry and trial lawyers, are gearing up for a fight over a push to ease penalties against companies that deny homeowners their hail-damage claims.

“The litigation is just off the scale,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, an Austin trade group that represents firms including Allstate Corp. and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. “We’ve had insurance companies say we can’t take this anymore.”

In Texas, home to some of the nation’s most severe weather, no scourge is more costly to homeowners than the baseball-sized pellets that fall from the sky, toppling fences, shattering windows and ripping through roofs. Hail storms caused $10.4 billion in damage to homes from 1999 to 2011, more than hurricanes, thunderstorms and tornadoes combined, according to the Texas Department of Insurance.

Allstate spokeswoman Kristen Freis and Nationwide spokeswoman Elizabeth Stelzer declined to comment.

Extreme weather has made Texas the third-most-expensive market for insurance premiums, behind Florida and Louisiana, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Kansas City, Mo. It’s also left insurers and policyholders battling in court over what type of damage gets paid and when.

Lawsuit Blitz

The legal aftermath of the hailstorms three years ago, which left behind $330 million in residential damage, gave the insurance industry pause.

In Hidalgo County, which sits along the Mexican border inland from the Gulf Coast, 6,700 lawsuits have been filed since the 2012 storms, according to data from the county clerk’s office. Hidalgo, which includes the city of McAllen, has a population of 816,000, more than a third of whom live in poverty.

“There are enough hailstorm cases that they could constitute their own court,” said Laura Hinojosa, the county clerk.

The insurance industry says the flood of lawsuits is directly tied to lawyers who flocked to Hidalgo County to cajole storm-weary policyholders to sue, increasing the odds that they could collect damage awards and fees.

“This whole process is not about ensuring that people get their hail-damaged roofs paid for,” said Steven Badger, a Dallas-based attorney with Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP who represents commercial property insurers. “It’s about people making money and pocketing money at the expense of the insurance industry.”

Stonewalling Homeowners

Consumer advocates and the trial lawyers, many of whom contribute to Democrats, say policyholders are asserting their rights.

“If those claims don’t have underlying merit, then the courts will shake that out,” said Bryan Blevins, president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

“Hidalgo had what I call a Biblical hail storm,” said J. Steve Mostyn, a Houston trial attorney and Democratic Party donor who filed 13 percent of the county’s cases. “You had hail drifts that would stack up along houses six feet tall.”

Mostyn said he had never filed any hail lawsuits before the storm. He did so only after hearing stories of people stonewalled by their insurance companies.

“The conduct I have seen toward the people in the Rio Grande Valley has been rather horrific,” he said.

Austin Statehouse

In the Austin statehouse, the insurance industry wants to make it harder for trial lawyers to profit from catastrophic weather. In January, R Street Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit, wrote a report titled “Come Hail or High Water: Texas’ Litigation Explosion.” The group, whose five-person board includes State Farm Insurance vice president Steve McManus, advocates changing the law to prevent “legal gamesmanship” after catastrophic weather events like hail. Gary Stephenson, a State Farm spokesman, declined to comment.

Lawmakers are acting on the advice. Republican state Senator Larry Taylor plans to introduce legislation that would ease an 18 percent annual penalty on insurance companies that don’t pay claims within 60 days.

Pocketing Fees

Attorneys pocket those fines, critics say.

“They’re incentivized to drag these claims out,” said Taylor, who owns the Truman Taylor Insurance Agency in Friendswood, a Houston suburb. “I don’t know of any savings account that offers eighteen percent. There’s too much of an incentive for abuse.”

Taylor said he plans to frame the legislation as a “consumer-bill-of-rights type bill” because the costs of litigation could cause insurers to increase their premiums.

Texas homeowners already pay an average of $1,661 per year for insurance, 60 percent more than the national average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Consumer protection advocates balk at the notion that consumers will be helped.

“It looks like what they want to do is roll back meaningful protections designed to ensure that policyholders are paid,” said N. Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, a consumer advocacy group in Austin. “Policyholders are especially vulnerable after a widespread loss like a hail storm when a lot of people are filing claims. This is when we need insurance. We paid our premiums. Now it’s their turn to pay claims.”

‘Junk Lawsuits’

The legislation will be the latest turn in a decades-long Republican push to curb Texans’ ability to profit from lawsuits.

In his 1994 run for governor, George W. Bush campaigned on stopping “junk lawsuits.” Once in office, the future president signed laws that capped punitive damage awards and raised the bar to prove negligence.

His successor, Rick Perry, a Republican, went on to enact laws making it harder to sue for medical malpractice and asbestos-related illnesses, among other things. Texans for Lawsuit Reform, based in Houston, called Perry “the most effective tort reformer in our nation’s history.”

The insurance industry won protections, too. After Hurricane Ike struck the Texas coast, leaving thousands homeless, insurers were on the hook for $12 billion of losses, making it the single costliest Texas storm since 1950, according to the Insurance Council of Texas. Courts were deluged by disputed claims.

In 2011, Texas lawmakers passed legislation that made it more difficult for coastal dwellers to sue after hurricanes.

“Now we’re hearing about hail,” said Blevins, of the trial attorneys group. “I guess we’ll be hearing about tornado claims in a couple of years.”

Texas Bill Would Modify ‘Claimant’ Definition in Medical Liability Cases

via Claims Journal

Texas state Rep. Chris Turner, House District 101- Grand Prairie, has filed a measure that would clarify the definition of “claimant” in respect to a healthcare liability claim.

HB 956 stems from the Texas Supreme Court’s decision in the Texas West Oak case, which held that an on-the-job injury claim brought by a hospital worker was required to have an expert report like those required in a traditional medical malpractice case, according to Turner’s announcement.

As a result of this decision, cases stemming from sexual assault, racial discrimination, or basic slip and falls, are considered a “Health Care Liability Claim” under the Texas Medical Liability Act, simply because they occur in a health care environment.

HB 956 would restrict the definition of a healthcare liability claimant to patients.

“Under current law, if a person is assaulted or injured in a healthcare setting and seeks legal relief, they are subject to the liability limits and other provisions laid out in the Texas Medical Liability Act. I am confident that this was not the intent of the law and something must be done to address it this session,” said Turner. “By making the definition apply solely to patients, we’ll ensure that a case filed by nurse who is sexually assaulted on the job or an electrician hit by a falling beam isn’t treated as medical malpractice.”

 

Source: Texas House of Representatives