Texas House Approves Bill To Limit Lawsuits

Texas – Powerful business interests have scored a victory in the Texas House with final passage of a bill restricting lawsuits.

The bill, which passed Monday on a 96-49 vote, pitted the business lobby against trial lawyers and Republicans against Democrats. It would make it more difficult for Texans to bring a civil lawsuit. The so-called "loser pays" legislation would also allow defendants to collects costs if they prevail in cases of breach of contract of an oral or written contract.

Gov. Rick Perry has declared the tort reform bill to be emergency legislation, and it now heads to the Senate. Supporters say it will cut down on frivolous lawsuits. Opponents say it will discourage people from bringing suits because of the fear of paying huge legal costs if they lose.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.