You might have thought "tort reform" had long ago decimated a plaintiff's right to get justice against huge corporations in a Texas courtroom, but you'd be wrong. From the viewpoint of huge corporations, that is.
The Harris County area was still officially considered a "Judicial Hellhole" for companies who got sued by, say, injured refinery workers, in the view of the Texas Civil Justice League.
But now, a glorious new day of corporate-defense law has dawned even in these parts, and the hellhole ranking has been removed.
"Texas has worked hard to recover from its reputation as the 'world's courtroom,' and we've enjoyed a great deal of success reining in abusive litigation over the past 25 years," said TCJL president Lee Parsley. "The Lone Star State has weathered the worst of a weakened economy in part because of a fair and predictable legal environment that encourages business expansion and investment."
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Don't get your hopes up too high, though, corporate defendants. The TCJL says it will remain eternally vigilant in case Houston juries somehow begin to backslide, if they are given half a chance by Houston judges, which they usually aren't.
"The Gulf Coast of Texas has long been recognized as one of the toughest places in America for corporate defendants to receive a fair trial," according to the 2010-11 report. "Once a perennial Judicial Hellhole, the area, which includes several of Houston's surrounding counties, is at the center of numerous mass litigations and is infamous for huge awards."
Therefore, the Houston area remains on the TCJL "watch list."