When there is no rule of law, anarchy will ensue. When the rights guaranteed in the Constitution are blatantly disregarded by government and those sworn to uphold it, then those same officials rob from us -- We, the People -- those rights promised in that declaration of legal protection.
In 2003 Texas voters were given a choice, which was a blatant lie. Either the people of Texas give up their access to the judicial system -- or lose their doctors. Voters were inundated by slick, alarming advertising, paid for by insurance corporations and designed to scare them into thinking that their health care system would collapse if they didn't give up their constitutional right to seek justice in our courts. That was a lie. 1. [Texas Watch 2007]
As Texans were going to the polls to vote on an amendment to the state constitution known as Proposition 12, which placed severe and arbitrary restrictions on medical malpractice suits. This Proposition 12 made it nearly impossible for those devastated by medical negligence to seek justice through Texas courts.
They promised this “Reform” would clear the state’s courts of what they called “frivolous” lawsuits over imagined injuries. Your mother accidentally died because she was exposed to someone else’s disease? Oh, well, these things happen. Your spouse was left unattended in an ER in agony and died? Oh, that’s tough break, better luck next time. The surgeon left a clamp inside your belly? Well, nobody’s perfect. This "reform" didn’t help patients,, it just eliminated the possibility of finding a lawyer who could afford to work for you for free.
What it did do is put a cap on damages paid to a wronged patient or their survivors, a cap high enough that lawyers who had formerly made a living fighting for patient rights on spec, on an “if-come” basis, could no longer practice. This in turn drove these patients’ lawyers out of the state, leaving mostly lawyers who worked for the doctors and major corporations.
Rick Perry signed that “Tort Reform Act” in 2003 when he was governor. He was in the pockets of the medical community, the insurance industry, Big Pharma and Texas Realtors -- goons who hated the idea of individuals having the right to demand accountability the only way they could, by legal redress in court, presenting the facts. Since then, Texans who have slammed up against this statutory stone wall call the barrier “Tort Deform.”
Texans can congratulate Rick Perry for fooling them and now Texans must foot the bill themselves for the amount of money that “tort reform” prevents them from collecting from the medical community which left them maimed or killed their loved ones cavalierly without remorse. Rick Perry added another job description to his resume: Tort Reform Hypocrite. It was supposedly designed to prevent “frivolous” lawsuits; now it is Perry and his ass-kissing colleagues are the very ones filing frivolous lawsuits. The injustice of what he did to Texans was not about "lawsuit abuse" or "jackpot injustice" It was about preventing Texans from seeking justice under our 7th Amendment, the Constitutional right to demand accountability when avoidable injuries and unnecessary death result from breaches of conduct by the medical cartel.
Thanks to Rick Perry and the “tort reform” law, Texas became a "bug out" haven for dangerous doctors, removing any chance injured Texans could demand accountability from doctors, hospitals or medical corporations. Doctors could erase harm they’d done in another state, and then avoid paying for harm caused in the future in Texas. How convenient is that? Take this example of a doctor who left collateral damage then took up a new practice in Texas: Dr. Stefan Konasiewicz. He left a trail of medical incompetence in Minnesota that resulted in nine medical malpractice lawsuits, some involving patient deaths, as well as public reprimand by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.
Rick Perry made it impossible for Texans to seek justice and accountability because he killed our 7th Amendment Constitutional right by allowing that right to suffer a slow and silent death.
How much longer will Texans remain silent and allow their constitutional rights erode one by one, before anarchy will ensue?
By Ted Newsom and Cilla MItchell