Exporting Lawsuit Abuse
Gov. Abbott announced this week that Texas was again named the top exporting state in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the 19th consecutive year Texas has taken the top spot, and the eighth year in a row the Lone Star State has been named the top exporting state for technology products.
According to the bureau’s data, Texas had $279.3 billion in exports in 2020, more than California and New York combined.
That’s a lot of cargo moving on Texas roads. And a lot of targets for abusive litigation against commercial vehicle operators.
We’ve recently taken a closer look at the abusive lawsuit cottage industry that is driving litigation against commercial vehicle operators. This litigation scheme started by targeting the trucking companies that are essential to Texas’ supply chain and to maintaining our status as the top exporting state in the nation. But it’s expanded since then, setting its sights on any vehicle of any size with a company’s logo on it.
While other types of personal injury litigation are decreasing, Texas has seen a 118 percent increase in automobile litigation. A lawsuit was filed after one out of every ten accidents in 2019, up from one out of 17 about a decade earlier.
This environment has become unsustainable for companies of all sizes across the state. Whether it’s a small business facing a massive increase in insurance premiums or a major commercial carrier shipping goods across the country, Texas businesses are feeling the effects of this lawsuit abuse. While some have been forced out of business because of it, others have been able to survive only by raising prices on their products and services.
Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation for Texas.
Commercial vehicles drive our economy, helping transport Texas-made products across the globe and supporting Texas-based jobs. They keep our grocery store shelves stocked, they deliver our packages and they help repair our homes.
Without commercial vehicles, our entire economy breaks down.
As we have said before, we simply cannot allow lawsuit abuse to continue targeting one of the most essential functions of our society. We look forward to working with the Texas Legislature this session to address this critical issue.