Texas Bill Will Make It Difficult For Victims To Get Due Compensation
HB19 is a bill that intends to lower “unnecessary” lawsuits against commercial vehicle companies. Fox 4 reported that the bill may soon be close to passage.
The bill would split any lawsuit against a commercial vehicle company, from big-rig drivers to Uber, into two phases. In order to sue the company, the plaintiff has to win a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle. If the vehicle driver is held liable, then the plaintiff can sue the company.
The jury would not even be informed of the driver’s employer unless liability was proven. What this causes is a huge transfer of risk to commercial vehicle drivers and away from their employers. Furthermore, it may be much harder to bring in evidence that it was the employer that put the driver in an unsafe situation.
In addition, this legislation will drag out the process of receiving compensation even longer, as well as the expense of filing. We feel this legislation will have a chilling effect on filing necessary lawsuits against trucking companies who force their workers to drive unsafely for profit.
The bill is waiting on passage of a Senate amendment. If the House signs off on it, the bill will go to Gov. Abbott’s desk. It is unknown if he’ll sign the bill, but this bill is a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.