Legislation that makes it a crime for lawyers or health professionals to solicit crash victims within the first 30 days of an accident has finally become law in Texas. House Bill 148 by Rep. Todd Smith of Euless was approved by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009.
Chiropractors Donald McKinley and Christopher Villasana filed suit to stop the legislation because they said it would hurt their business. Austin federal Judge Lee Yeakel agreed and the legislation was never enforced.
The Office of the Texas Attorney General appealed the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans which reversed Judge Yeakel’s decision on June 8. The 5th Circuit Court has refused the plaintiff’s motion for rehearing.
The Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud hailed the 5th Circuit’s final ruling as a huge victory in maintaining one’s personal privacy and the battle against insurance fraud.
“Enforcing this law will be a giant step toward eliminating frivolous lawsuits and questionable medical treatment. Its ultimate success will be our goal of lowering auto insurance rates,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud.
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