Texas Tort Reform Sadly Insufficient

Governor Rick Perry talks frequently about how tort reform in Texas has turned around a medical malpractice crisis.

Possibly it did work. But after reading the article linked below, ask yourself if deceptive HOA fines, liens and foreclosures in Texas shouldn’t attract the same kind of reform?

Texas is one of the top states where the HOA system has deprived homeowners of fundamental Constitutional rights.

I used to live in Texas. In fact, I grew up with the ‘Blue Book’ which was required reading for all Texas elementary school students. It taught Texas kids to be proud of their state’s revolutionary heritage and to question authority. Back then it was a thing of pride to be a Texan. But that was before the HOA Movement put millions of Texas homeowners in a death grip.

If you know someone who lives in a Texas HOA, ask him or her if they’ve observed out-of-control HOA boards and ridiculous fines and lawsuits. Or give them to link to my blog from last night about the San Antonio man who’s facing $200,000 in fines and legal fees for not keeping his grass short enough.

Come on, Governor Perry. Do the right thing! Get your HOA lawyers under control, too!


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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

3 thoughts on “Texas Tort Reform Sadly Insufficient

  1. R.T.O.

    Silly Ward.

    The Republican proponents of tort reform want to stop individuals from suing corporations, but not the other way around. When Republicans refer to parasitic tort lawyers harming society, they don’t mean the lawyers who represent corporations against individuals.

    As an exercise, I challenge you and your readers to find stories about H.O.A. corporations abusing homeowners on the web site OverLawyered.com, which self-describes its mission as “Chronicling the high cost of our legal system”.

    As for the claim that tort reform has reformed the medical practice in Texas, see “The Cost Conundrum. What A Texas Town Can Teach Us About Health Care” (New Yorker. June 1, 2009).

    One night, I went to dinner with six McAllen doctors. All were what you would call bread-and-butter physicians: busy, full-time, private-practice doctors who work from seven in the morning to seven at night and sometimes later, their waiting rooms teeming and their desks stacked with medical charts to review.

    Some were dubious when I told them that McAllen was the country’s most expensive place for health care. I gave them the spending data from Medicare. In 1992, in the McAllen market, the average cost per Medicare enrollee was $4,891, almost exactly the national average. But since then, year after year, McAllen’s health costs have grown faster than any other market in the country, ultimately soaring by more than ten thousand dollars per person.

    “Maybe the service is better here,” the cardiologist suggested. People can be seen faster and get their tests more readily, he said.

    Others were skeptical. “I don’t think that explains the costs he’s talking about,” the general surgeon said.

    “It’s malpractice,” a family physician who had practiced here for thirty-three years said.

    “McAllen is legal hell,” the cardiologist agreed. Doctors order unnecessary tests just to protect themselves, he said. Everyone thought the lawyers here were worse than elsewhere.

    That explanation puzzled me. Several years ago, Texas passed a tough malpractice law that capped pain-and-suffering awards at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Didn’t lawsuits go down?

    “Practically to zero,” the cardiologist admitted.

    It is also probably no coincidence that of “The Top Ten States For Business All Led By Republican Governors

    1. Texas
    2. Florida
    3. North Carolina
    4. Tennessee
    5. Indiana
    6. Arizona
    7. Virginia
    8. South Carolina
    9. Nevada
    10. Georgia

    at least 5 of them are known for their oppressive and corrupt H.O.A. regimes: failed business models that threaten the property rights and economic security of 60 million Americans.

    ‘Tis a pity, because this is one issue where the Republicans could really trounce the Democrats in 2014 and 2016, if and only if they adopted the same stance toward H.O.A. corporations as they have toward labor unions: prohibition of mandatory membership. Unfortunately, I fear the Republican Party is too stupid to seize this opportunity, and will continue to promote the interests of collective corporatism over the individual.

    On the other side, the Blue Meanies who have taken over our state have just passed a bill — The Colorado Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act (HB 1303) — which will ensure that local, state, and federal elections will be as corrupt and unaccountable as H.O.A. elections.

  2. coach outlet online

    Greuel, meanwhile, seems to think the sidewalk problem is “right up my alley, no pun intended.” The former councilwoman once enjoyed being called the ‘pothole queen’ for organizing volunteers and city workers to scour her district in search of potholes. The same can be done with sidewalks, she said, and she also suggested reinstating a program in which sanitation truck drivers kept a log of abandoned cars and other problems.


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