Sen. Kelly Hancock

Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) plans to introduce legislation providing broad liability protections to Texas health care providers, first responders, product manufacturers, businesses, schools, houses of worship, and other entities on the front lines of the battle against the novel coronavirus.

Senator Hancock, chair of the Senate Business & Commerce Committee, has been working with the TCJL Pandemic Task Force, which includes representatives of Texans for Lawsuit Reform and virtually all of the industry, health care, business, and trade associations in the state, to develop the legislation. TCJL has also called upon the expertise of former Texas Supreme Court Justice Tom Phillips, former Senator and Texas Tech University System Chancellor Bob Duncan, and longtime TCJL adviser Shannon Ratliff, to provide counsel and guidance on the proposed legislation.

“We are grateful to Senator Hancock for undertaking this critically important legislation,” said Carol Sims, TCJL President. “Enacting strong liability protections will be crucial to reopening the Texas economy, getting students back into the classroom, and providing health care to those affected by the virus. We could not have asked for a better or more effective champion for this issue than Senator Hancock.”

Senator Hancock is no stranger to statewide liability issues with significant effects on the Texas economy. As chair of Senate Business & Commerce Committee, Senator Hancock played a major role in the successful passage of the 2017 legislation that reined in runaway litigation tactics that threatened Texas property owners with ruinous premiums for windstorm insurance coverage.

“Senator Hancock knows how to handle complex litigation-related legislation like this,” said George Christian, TCJL Senior Counsel. “He not only understands these issues from the perspective of a business owner, he sees the larger impacts of excessive litigation on our economy and society as a whole. It’s a privilege to work with Senator Hancock, his staff, Lt. Governor Patrick, and members of the Senate to get this done. We don’t need our health care providers, businesses, and non-profit organizations worrying about being sued for trying to do the right thing in a crisis situation.”

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