Statesman.com has an article about the efforts of the Texas Legislature to undo damage done by the Texas Supreme Court in a recent, flawed decision regarding lawsuit protection for work-site owners. The Court twisted logic to take laws intended to protect general contractors and used them to protect property owners from negligence suits. Unfortunately, the Legislature can’t get enough agreement to rewrite the law yet, but they’re still working on it. Here are excerpts from the article:
House members Monday rehashed the complicated worker’s compensation issue at the heart of a conflict between legislators and the Texas Supreme Court.
In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in a run-of-the-mill worker’s compensation case, Entergy v. Summers, that the work-site owner has the same kind of lawsuit protection in worker’s compensation cases that general contractors now have. The court re-heard the case this fall and has not yet ruled for the second go-round.
Legislators who have dug into the state’s worker’s compensation laws over the years say it was not their intent to extend that lawsuit protection and the court overstepped its authority.
Representatives from Texans for Lawsuit Reform argued Monday that the Legislature never precluded the work-site owners from the legal protection so the court was right in its interpretation. Business and industry groups lined up behind that reading of the case.
The committee left the bill pending Monday night after four hours of testimony.