The litigation environment for owners and operators of commercial or company vehicles has reached a tipping point that, unless addressed by the Texas Legislature, will result in growing small business failures, increased costs of doing business for the companies that survive, and increased costs for goods and services purchased by all Texans.
The cost of doing business in the state of Texas is on an unsustainable trajectory. Insurance rates are climbing by double digits every year. Texas is now widely known as an unfriendly state to do business for insurance underwriters. We cannot continue down this path. As someone who witnesses the daily impact frivolous lawsuits have on the insurance and trucking industries, I am dedicated to raising awareness on this pertinent issue and proud to serve as vice-chair of TXTA’s Lawsuit Reform Task Force.
As you know, nuclear verdicts awarded in court are on an alarming rise. Unscrupulous personal injury trial lawyers who are abusing the legal system constantly boast of such awards on tv and radio. Awards can range in the hundreds of millions and too often result in businesses closing their doors almost overnight.
But what raises the cost of insurance more than nuclear verdicts are the settlements reached outside of the courtroom in order to avoid grossly inflated judgements. It has become commonplace to settle a claim for just under the amount of liability coverage carried by the trucking company. One and two million-dollar settlements add up quickly and this is happening on a regular basis. The cost of these claims is unsustainable for both the insurance and trucking industries.
Members, I am proud to join you and personally contribute to the Lawsuit Reform Initiative. We need your financial support to make our voices heard at the Texas Capitol this January as we seek relief against lawsuit abuse. We are halfway through our 6-month campaign to raise $150,000 and we are two thirds of the way to our goal.
As part of our efforts to raise awareness, we are ramping up our social media presence, highlighting the issue and the essentiality of Texas trucking. The reach of social media is unlimited, but like most things, it comes with a price tag. By boosting and paying for promotion, we can strategically target legislators and their constituents as well as interested stakeholders. Your donations will help fund our digital marketing campaign and allow TXTA to take full advantage of the power of grassroots technology.
Make sure you are following TXTA’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages and please share TXTA’s posts with your followers to spread the word about lawsuit abuse against the trucking industry.
In addition to financial support, we are asking the membership to share your experiences with lawsuit abuse with TXTA and join the Keep Texas Trucking Coalition. I look forward to partnering with every member of TXTA to fight lawsuit abuse. If I can be a resource for anyone, please contact me.
John L. Mondics
Mondics Insurance Group
Vice-Chairman TXTA Lawsuit Reform Task Force
Transport Topics, December 15, 2020
By Eric Miller
Trucking officials and tort reform advocates in Texas have introduced legislation seeking to end schemes between plaintiff attorneys and doctors under which medical costs related to truck accidents are overstated in court litigation, a practice that critics charge is contributing to a rise in large jury verdicts and lawsuit settlements against trucking companies.
“I consider it the largest issue that this industry in Texas has seen since deregulation,” said John Esparza, president of the Texas Trucking Association, which is leading the charge to block medical bill inflation practices aimed at motor carriers.
To read full TLR article, CLICK HERE.
The biggest threat to many Texas businesses today? Abusive lawsuits targeting commercial vehicle fleets. Texas has seen a 118 percent increase in motor vehicle lawsuits since 2008, with one in ten crashes resulting in a lawsuit in 2019. And any vehicle with a company logo is a target. In case after case, some personal injury trial lawyers have teamed up with complicit doctors to inflate medical bills, overbilling and even recommending unnecessary procedures—all to leverage a larger settlement in a lawsuit.
Watch these videos from the Keep Texas Trucking Coalition to learn more about how this lawsuit abuse leverages medical billing to turn the legal system into a profit center.