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Lawsuit filed to overturn tort reform amendment

I will be keeping an eye on this.

Former Dallas Cowboy Ron Springs, who has been in a coma since the fall after surgery to remove a cyst, is one of 11 plaintiffs challenging Texas’ medical malpractice cap in a lawsuit filed Monday.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall, challenges the 2003 Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act, which limits awards in Texas. The lawsuit asks the court to declare the cap unconstitutional.


In January, Springs’ wife filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against two doctors she said caused her husband’s brain damage during a routine surgery to remove a cyst.

Springs, who suffered Type 2 diabetes, had received a kidney from his former Cowboys teammate Everson Walls in February 2007. Les Weisbrod, Springs’ attorney in the medical malpractice lawsuit, has said the coma had nothing to do with the kidney transplant.

The damages cap has been a disaster, and has had no effect on the things that it was supposed to do, like solving the problem of rural doctor shortages. I feel pretty confident that if it were to go to a vote again, it would lose. Given that we’re never going to get 2/3 of the Lege to pass a repeal amendment, this may be the only hope for that. They’re going to ask for class action status, so we’ll see how this goes.

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  1. Kevin Whited says:

    ** The damages cap has been a disaster **

    Yep, it’s a disaster… for people who were opposed politically to the move, anyway. ­čśÇ

  2. Kenneth Fair says:

    Given the current makeup of Texas appellate courts, I sure doubt this suit is likely to be successful.

  3. Steve Levine says:

    I beg to differ, kind sir. The cap on noneconomic damages has worked. The 200d health care liability reforms have lived up to their promise. Texas physicians´┐Ż No. 1 challenge now is how to cure the patient, not how to avoid a frivolous lawsuit.
    the people of Texas.

    More doctors, especially emergency room care and high-risk specialists, are practicing in Texas since the passage of Proposition 12. This has allowed more patients to get the timely and specialized care they need closer to home

    Texans have more access to the medical care they need, especially in emergencies, so the caps on the non-economic damages have helped save peoples’ lives.

    The 2003 liability reforms were good medicine, the right medicine, for Texas. We now have a much healthier and robust system that is much better able to give Texans the medical care they need.

    For details, see the Texas Medical Association Web site.


    Steve Levine
    VP, Communication
    Texas Medical Association