Court decision fixes concerns addressed in SB 207
AUSTIN—The Keep Texas Trucking Coalition (KTTC) today released the following statement regarding Senate Bill 207, which addresses abusive practices in commercial vehicle lawsuits by allowing relevant evidence to be presented to juries about the true value of healthcare services provided to the plaintiff, not just the amount billed by the healthcare provider:
The abuse of Texas’ paid or incurred statute by personal injury trial lawyers—which has long been an issue in Texas courts—was addressed by the Supreme Court of Texas in a recent decision, In Re Allstate Indemnity Company. In a unanimous opinion, stated logically and precisely by Justice Rebecca Huddle, the court set a clear precedent for how trial courts should handle medical damages in personal injury lawsuits. It will end the practice in some trial courts of wrongfully denying defendants’ use of pre-trial affidavits to contest plaintiffs’ affidavits on medical expenses, and also the practice by some judges of denying a defendant the right to offer evidence at trial concerning the necessity and reasonableness of the medical expenses claimed by a plaintiff.
Therefore, we agree with the decision of Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) and Rep. Greg Bonnen (R-Friendswood)—the Senate author and House sponsor of SB 207—to no longer pursue passage of the bill.
As medical doctors, Sen. Schwertner, Rep. Bonnen and their physician coauthors on this legislation, are deeply knowledgeable about the issues and intricacies of how our legal system treats medical damages. Their diligent work to develop this legislation resulted in a common-sense legislative fix to address the abusive practices by certain plaintiff lawyers and their medical-provider collaborators to inflate medical expenses in personal injury lawsuits. We are grateful for Dr. Schwertner’s and Dr. Bonnen’s leadership on this issue and the tireless work they put into this matter over the past many months.
With more than 600 members spanning businesses and associations of all sizes across nearly every sector of the Texas economy, the Keep Texas Trucking Coalition is working to ensure the Texas economy, small businesses and employers are not harmed by abusive commercial vehicle litigation. For more information, please visit www.keeptexastrucking.com.