Monday, May 19, 2008

Texas Tort Reform

Last Thursday, the office manager of a cardiologist client of mine contacted me about a medical malpractice insurance carrier vying for his business at substantially lower premiums than he currently pays. My firm has a substantial, but dwindling, med-mal defense practice (interestingly to me, run by the most liberal lawyers in my firm) so I was able to find out about the company. My firm also is counsel of choice for the firm vying for the biz and it’s a good carrier.

In the WSJ this weekend from a former Texas state congressman:

Over the past three years, some 7,000 M.D.s have flooded into Texas, many from Tennessee.

Why? Two words: Tort reform.

In 2003 and in 2005, Texas enacted a series of reforms to the state's civil justice system. They are stunning in their success. Texas Medical Liability Trust, one of the largest malpractice insurance companies in the state, has slashed its premiums by 35%, saving doctors some $217 million over four years. There is also a competitive malpractice insurance industry in Texas, with over 30 companies competing for business. This is driving rates down.

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