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A point of order was raised and sustained on the House Floor on May 11. The House Committee report has not been modified. We continue to support the bill as reported from the House Committee when first placed on the House Calendar.
First analysis below:
HB 969 affirms the principle of limited government. A proper role of government is to provide for a just legal system and uphold policies that promote those aims. The Texas Supreme Court case, Lunsford v. Morris, has allowed for the discovery and use of a defendant's net worth for exemplary (punitive) damages, however, this has caused contentious an invasive pretrial litigation in an attempt to discover this. Texas, however, now has a cap on the amount of punitive damages that is correlated to the injury caused, not the net worth of the defendant, making this pretrial discovery of net worth unnecessary and therefore, causing unnecessary invasions of privacy. The depth of the injury caused, not how much a defendant is worth, should decide the amount of punitive damages, if any are needed.HB 969 supports the goal of a more just legal system and not one that operates on gamesmanship, therefore we support this legislation.