Proposed Texas house bill could make it harder to file lawsuits against truck companies over crashes

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas trucking industry is pushing to overhaul injury liability in the state. Texas House Bill 19 proposes to change who could face penalties when a commercial vehicle driver injures or kills someone on the road.

As KTSM 9 News previously reported, El Paso Police investigators said they believe brake failure caused the deadly crash between a cement truck and a semi-trailer Wednesday morning at the intersection of Transmountain and North Desert Boulevard.

Police said Ricardo Moreno Esparza, 46, of San Elizario, died Wednesday morning after the cement mixer truck he was driving crashed into a semi-truck, then collided with three passenger cars.

Police told KTSM the cement truck was privately owned by Omar Rivera. It is unknown if a lawsuit will be filed at this time.

In March, injury attorney Kevin Glasheen said in a news conference that Texas H.B. 19 was a “bad bill” that would make it harder to hold trucking companies liable.

“What they want to do is make it to where you can only sue the truck driver and not the trucking company and they want to make it to where we can’t even make discovery, like look at documents or ask questions about what the company has done wrong,” Glasheen said.

The Keep Texas Trucking Coalition issued a statement, in part:

“Abusive commercial vehicle lawsuits are jeopardizing small businesses and the essential services Texas families rely on. As our state works to recover from the pandemic and from the recent devastating winter storm, we can’t let lawsuit abuse kill these critical jobs and endanger our supply chain. The Texas Legislature can provide balance in commercial vehicle litigation by ensuring juries receive the full and accurate facts of a case, ensuring these cases are tried consistently across the state and addressing the ‘phantom damages’ that create a lawsuit profit center. This will make trials fair for both Texans who are legitimately injured and owners of commercial vehicles, while shutting down this job-killing lawsuit abuse.

Keep Texas Trucking Coalition

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