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Thursday, May 4, 2006

Texas as Reform Model

That's what Newt Gingrich and Dallas surgeon John Gill say in today's WSJ, citing to the state's caps on noneconomic damages, spread-out payments on large awards, and "Good Samaritan" protections.  (The actual piece costs money; this Law Blog piece summarizes it.)

One excerpt:

physicians are returning to the state, particularly in underserved specialties and counties. Insurance premiums to protect against frivolous lawsuits have declined dramatically, with the state’s largest carrier reporting declines up to 22% and other carriers reducing premiums by an average of 13%. The number of lawsuits filed against doctors has been cut almost in half.

Some questions (real questions - I'd love to know the answers):

  • What is the basis for "physicians are returning to the state, particularly in underserved specialties and counties"?  Is there a basis for tying this to Texas's legislative changes?
  • Do insurers really separately insure "frivolous lawsuits"?  Have only frivolous suits been reduced?
  • Is it an unmitigated good to report that "the number of lawsuits filed against doctors has been cut almost in half"?

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2006/05/texas_as_reform.html

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Comments

I'm not familar with Texas law, but is that a cap on just medical malpractice or on all tort claims? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I just dont want/can't pay another subscription right now.

Posted by: Bill | May 4, 2006 9:25:53 AM

The Constitutional proposition 12 allowed the legislature to impose caps first in med mal cases, and then on other cases starting in 2005. I thought that it had in fact been extended beyond med mal cases, but can't find anything to support that on a quick search, so I may be wrong.

Posted by: Bill Childs | May 4, 2006 10:17:15 AM

This is nothing but a bunch of post hoc reasoning. Prop 12 passed in the latter part of 2003. There has not been enough time following implementation to show causation for any alleged impact.

Posted by: Seth (not a lawyer) | May 5, 2006 10:49:32 AM

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