Greene & Schultz Trial Lawyers
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May 2016 Archives

What "Caps on Damages" Means to Real People

The "Tort Reform" movement often tries to limit the recovery of injured people by putting "caps on damages." Texas is full of "tort reformers," and thus a good example of what unintended consequences happen when caps on "pain and suffering" are passed. Back in 2003, the citizens of Texas were told by the insurance industry and the state Chamber of Commerce that "frivolous lawsuits" supposedly threatened their access to healthcare. Doctors and hospitals were going to go out of business if something wasn't done to stop all the lawsuits, and the only way to do that was to get rid of consumer protections in their state Constitution. Proposition 12 was proposed and passed as the solution to this so-called crisis. It changed the law in Texas and put a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages, or "pain and suffering," in medical malpractice cases. It sounded reasonable to the voters. That is, until malpractice happened to them.

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