The measure changing Texas’ malpractice landscape, Proposition 12, was narrowly approved in a constitutional referendum on Sept. 12, 2003. It barred the courts from interfering in limits set by the Legislature on medical malpractice recoveries. For pain and suffering, so-called non-economic damage, patients can sue a doctor and, in unusual cases, up to two health care institutions for no more than $250,000 each, under limits adopted by the Legislature. Plaintiffs can still recover economic losses, like the cost of continuing medical care or lost income, but the amount they can win was capped at $1.6 million in death cases. All but 15 states have adopted some limits on medical damage awards, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the restrictions in Texas go further than in many states, where the limits are often twice as high as they are here. Some experts say that the lack of a state income tax, combined with what William M. Sage, a law professor at the University of Texas in Austin, called a “relatively rapid transition in its tort reputation as a plaintiff-friendly state,” has contributed to the state’s appeal to doctors.
The New York Times
More Doctors in Texas After Malpractice Caps