‘Why companies were blamed for the actions of people who sucked smoke into their lungs - obviously an unhealthful habit’ wonders Tony Benitez. For him the $17.3 billion settlement between the tobacco industry and the state of Texas for health-care costs is absurd and ridiculous.
"I should smoke for that kind of money, but I know it's not good for me," he said, describing the settlements as one example of a judicial system that is off course. "There is way too much money paid out for ridiculous reasons."
One reform passed this year - and supported by Texans for Lawsuit Reform - was a bill that added checks and balances to approving contingency fees in state contracts.
The legislation was inspired by former Texas Attorney General Dan Morales' approval of multibillion-dollar fees for five lawyers handling the tobacco litigation, which alleged companies committed fraud by concealing tobacco-health dangers.
Future reforms the group plans to advocate include a bill that would allocate punitive damages to the state instead of the plaintiff. The plaintiff would still receive compensatory damages for lost wages, medical bills and emotional distress.
Many people like Leo E. Linbeck, Jr., Richard J. Trabulsi, Jr., Allan Shiversare involved in Texas Lawsuit Reform (TLR), Dick Weekley
is the Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Texans for Lawsuit Reform.