While maintaining our strong protections from the 2005 Texas tort reform, the Governor advanced a new law this year that will further protect everyone in Texas. With the new “loser pays” law, we should see fewer frivolous lawsuits and the monetary judgements from genuine litigation against wrong-doers will not be eaten up by legitimate legal expenses.
Imagine this: Emily, whose right kidney has failed, goes to the hospital for a transplant. Instead of replacing her right kidney, the surgeons mistakenly replace her left kidney. Left with her failed kidney and an uncertain transplant, Emily sues for medical malpractice. After months of costly litigation, Emily’s original damage claims are swallowed up by the cost of her legal fees.
Should she, the injured party, bear the costs of litigation?
This example demonstrates the problem of the “American Rule,” which is nearly universal in the American legal system with regard to torts. The American Rule requires each party to pay its own litigation costs, regardless of outcome. Most other Western democracies use the “English Rule,” or “loser pays,” which quite literally means that the loser pays the costs of litigation for all involved parties.