By: David Yates
AUSTIN – With both the Texas Senate and House cleared, House Bill 1774, a piece of legislation aimed at ending abusive and frivolous hailstorm litigation, is now on its way to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.
The bill has been a focal point for state and national organizations dedicated to combating lawsuit abuse.
On May 17, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which owns the Record, issued a statement applauding the Texas legislature for prioritizing legal reform and urging Gov. Abbott to sign H.B. 1774 swiftly.
“Lawsuits over hailstorm damage have become the worst form of lawsuit abuse in Texas, with storm-chasing attorneys using loopholes in the law to amass huge, and unwarranted, damage awards and millions of dollars in ill-gotten attorney fees,” The Chamber statement reads.
“While these attorneys are getting rich, property owners in Texas are bearing the financial brunt of this scheme through increases in premiums. H.B. 1774 addresses this abuse while protecting Texas property owners’ legal rights.”
Texans for Lawsuit Reform also commended the final Senate passage of House Bill 1774, calling the legislation a consumer protection bill that will stop rampant weather-related lawsuit abuse.
“The Texas Senate has sent a strong message to storm-chasing lawyers who exploit our legal system for their own gain – Texas will not turn a blind eye to any type of lawsuit abuse in our state,” TLR Communications Director Lucy Nashed said.
“By passing House Bill 1774, the Senate has put Texas property owners first, ensuring they are protected from all of the bad actors, whether that’s an insurer that unfairly denies and delays claims or an unscrupulous storm-chasing lawyer.
“We are grateful for Lt. Gov. Patrick and Sen. Hancock’s leadership on this critical issue, and look forward to seeing HB 1774 on Gov. Abbott’s desk.”
Both Abbott and Patrick have openly called for legislation to end hailstorm lawsuit abuse.