HB 968

84(R) - 2015
House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
Criminal Procedure
Human Trafficking

Vote Recommendation

Vote Yes; Amend
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive


Ana Hernandez

Bill Caption

Relating to civil liability of shareholders and members of certain legal entities that engage in the trafficking of persons.

Fiscal Notes

There is no significant fiscal implication to the State or local government.

The bill would amend the Civil Practice and Remedies Code to make a shareholder or member of a business entity liable with the business entity for damages arising from human trafficking if the shareholder or member of the business entity caused the business entity to be used for human trafficking and engaged in these practices for the direct person benefit of the shareholder or member from this trafficking.

Bill Analysis

HB 968 would amend code to provide the ability to sue the owner and shareholders of a corporate entity that engages in human trafficking.

Vote Recommendation Notes

The purpose of this bill is to provide legal recourse to victims of human trafficking to hold the actual individual responsible for engaging in the offense, rather than being unable to do so because corporate entities act as a shield to the offenders. This affirms individual liberty for the victims.

The bill may be just vague enough to place shareholders of a company under civil liability for something they had no idea was going on in a company they happened to be a shareholder of but had no operational responsibility for. In order to protect innocent shareholders from civil liability, this legislation could be strengthened with some additional language. 

The bill is worded so that a plaintiff would have to demonstrate "that the shareholder or member caused the entity to be used for the purpose of trafficking that person and did traffic that person for the direct personal benefit of the shareholder or member" 

An amendment to add the word "knowingly" between the word's "member" and "caused" in the quoted text above would help to prevent people from being wrongly held civilly liable.