Gov. Perry: Loser Pays Lets Employers Spend Less Time in the Courtroom, More Time Creating Jobs

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 274, which brings important lawsuit reforms to Texas courts, including implementing a loser pays system for frivolous lawsuits in the state. The governor designated this issue as an emergency item for this legislative session. Gov. Perry was joined by Rep. Brandon Creighton and Sen. Joan Huffman for the signing ceremony.

"HB 274 provides defendants and judges with a variety of tools that will cut down on frivolous claims in Texas," Gov. Perry said. "This important legislation will help make Texas that much more attractive to employers seeking to expand or relocate from countries all over the world by allowing them to spend less time in court and more time creating jobs."

HB 274 implements several measures to streamline and lower the cost of litigation in Texas courts, allowing parties to resolve disputes more quickly, more fairly and less expensively. This includes:
• Allowing a trial court to dismiss a frivolous lawsuit immediately if there is no basis in law or fact for the lawsuit;
• Allowing a trial judge to send a question of law directly to the appellate court without requiring all parties to agree if a ruling by a court of appeals could decide the case;
• Allowing plaintiffs seeking less than $100,000 to request an expedited civil action; and
• Encouraging the timely settlement of disputes and helping prevent a party from extending litigation by seeking a "home run" if they have already been offered a fair settlement.

"House Bill 274 signifies a major landmark for tort reform in Texas," Rep. Creighton said. "I am pleased with the outcome and am positive that this bill, now signed into law by Governor Perry, will make litigation in Texas fair, expedient, and affordable - helping to create jobs, make plaintiffs whole and protect defendants from meritless cases."

"Texas remains a national leader of tort reform with the signing of HB 274. The legislation curtails the frivolous lawsuits that can harm individuals and small businesses and fosters a more efficient and accessible court system for all parties," Sen. Huffman said. "I was pleased to sponsor the bill in the Senate and thank my colleagues for supporting these important improvements to our legal climate."

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