Last week, the Texas House took important steps to improve our state’s legal system by passing House Bill 19 (Murr), creating a specialized business court to handle complex business-to-business litigation more efficiently, while freeing up other courts to focus on other kinds of cases.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the federal law issues in this case is certainly disappointing because it risks the creation of a patchwork of state court approaches to important public policy matters that are inherently federal and global in nature.”– Phil Goldberg, special counsel to the Manufacturers Accountability Project
Concerns are growing that personal injury trial lawyers’ advertisements on television and billboards are contributing to “social inflation,” resulting in longer trials and larger settlements that aren’t supported by facts or case law.
Texas must explore options to streamline litigation and enhance efficiency across the legal system. TLR supports efforts to improve and specialize Texas’ legal system to ensure every litigant has access to a fair and efficient resolution of their dispute.
Throughout its 700-year history, public nuisance was always intended to address actions that blocked the public’s access to real property, not products. And the remedy has always been abatement. SB 1034 and HB 1372 clarify that for lawsuits moving forward.
Whether in the 1990s tobacco litigation or more recently in opioid litigation, courts have consistently ruled that public nuisance laws only apply to real property—not products. Despite courts rejecting those claims, the broad misperception remains that public nuisance is what brought down big tobacco and opioid manufacturers, leading local governments, plaintiff’s attorneys and some courts across the nation to consider its use outside of its traditional function.
A viral TikTok challenge demonstrating how to steal vehicles has led to an uptick in thefts across the country, frequently by teenagers… but they are not the ones targeted by public nuisance lawsuits. Should a company that sells a legal product be held accountable for the illegal actions of the general public?
Minnesota’s “attempt to set national energy policy through its own consumer-protection laws would effectively override the policy choices made by the federal government and other states.”—Judge David Stras of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
When competing to attract new job opportunities or business expansions, other states leverage their specialized business courts as a major selling point. If we’re serious about attracting businesses to the Lone Star State, we need to have a fair and efficient system for them to resolve their disputes once they get here.