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How to avoid getting sued in Texas?


Ordinary Shoes
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I don't want to get sued under that new law. There are no penalties for bringing false claims. Anyone can bring suit against anyone and you'd going to be on the hook for legal fees from defending yourself. 

So there is now a huge risk of liability for anyone who steps foot in the state of Texas. 

I don't live in Texas so I think avoiding Texas is the best option for me. 

What are your plans for avoiding liability in Texas? What about those of you who live there? 

Basically any contact with a pregnant woman in Texas creates risk of liability. I'd definitely be worried about liability if I lived in Texas. 

What are the plans of the people who live in Texas to avoid being sued? 

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3 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I don't want to get sued under that new law. There are no penalties for bringing false claims. Anyone can bring suit against anyone and you'd going to be on the hook for legal fees from defending yourself. 

So there is now a huge risk of liability for anyone who steps foot in the state of Texas. 

I don't live in Texas so I think avoiding Texas is the best option for me. 

What are your plans for avoiding liability in Texas? What about those of you who live there? 

Basically any contact with a pregnant woman in Texas creates risk of liability. I'd definitely be worried about liability if I lived in Texas. 

What are the plans of the people who live in Texas to avoid being sued? 

I am all ears on this one. I fear for healthcare workers, and wonder if many of them will flee the state. I cannot imagine just how much liability insurance premiums will increase!

 

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5 minutes ago, Vintage81 said:

If you don’t live in Texas, why are you concerned?

Do you really think this is going to be limited in Texas? 

One political party has been working toward this for my entire lifetime and I’m nearly 50. 


Every woman in the US—and every man who cares about women—ought to be very, very afraid. When someone shows you who they are and all that.

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9 minutes ago, sassenach said:

I don’t understand. Are you an abortion  provider? I must be missing something…

You are missing something. The law creates the opportunity to bring a claim against anyone who aids and abets an abortion. It doesn't require that you actually have proof that there was an abortion. It also states that if you are sued and you lose that you are responsible for your legal fees so there is no incentive against filing false claims. 

Let me provide an example. If you drive your pregnant friend to the doctor and she has a miscarriage. Someone could sue you for aiding and abetting an abortion. You would defend yourself but you're still responsible for paying your attorneys. 

There is a huge risk. 

Usually when you sue someone without evidence, you are liable for the defendant's legal fees. That's what stops people from suing for no reason. 

 

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3 minutes ago, sassenach said:

I don’t understand. Are you an abortion  provider? I must be missing something…

The way the law is written anyone can be sued for aiding.  Multiple attorneys and law professors have said it’s written broadly enough that a taxi driver or friend could be sued for driving someone to a clinic, an airline could be sued for flying someone out of state to have an abortion, you could be sued for babysitting someone’s kids while they go to an appointment, etc.  

Most of those suits would (probably) not result in you having to pay damages, but you would still have the cost of defending yourself and they are explicitly excepted from the laws that would otherwise let judges require the person suing to pay the defense’s costs if the suit is found to be frivolous.  

 

 

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Texas is a part of the US so being concerned makes sense for anyone in the States.

I certainly do think anyone setting foot in TX needs to be concerned about people who would be looking to profit.  As I understand giving a ride, loaning money for an uber, providing any sort of help is reportable.  I wonder if there will be any stings by regular people?

 

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3 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Do you really think this is going to be limited in Texas? 

One political party has been working toward this for my entire lifetime and I’m nearly 50. 


Every woman in the US—and every man who cares about women—ought to be very, very afraid. When someone shows you who they are and all that.

QFT! This has the potential to end up popular in many states, Missouri, Mississippi, and even Ohio come to mind. I think, hope highly, it won't be a thing in Michigan, that there are enough of us out there to hold out against the religious folk pushing this.

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10 minutes ago, Vintage81 said:

If you don’t live in Texas, why are you concerned?

I sometimes visit Texas. I want to protect myself from liability so I think I will avoid Texas in the future. 

But what if I have to change planes in Texas? That creates a risk for me. 

But I thankfully have a way to protect myself because I don't live there. I'm more curious about people who live there. What are they doing to protect against being sued? 

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2 minutes ago, Danae said:

The way the law is written anyone can be sued for aiding.  Multiple attorneys and law professors have said it’s written broadly enough that a taxi driver or friend could be sued for driving someone to a clinic, an airline could be sued for flying someone out of state to have an abortion, you could be sued for babysitting someone’s kids while they go to an appointment, etc.  

Most of those suits would (probably) not result in you having to pay damages, but you would still have the cost of defending yourself and they are explicitly excepted from the laws that would otherwise let judges require the person suing to pay the defense’s costs if the suit is found to be frivolous.  

 

 

This. Very dystopian!

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6 minutes ago, happi duck said:

Texas is a part of the US so being concerned makes sense for anyone in the States.

I certainly do think anyone setting foot in TX needs to be concerned about people who would be looking to profit.  As I understand giving a ride, loaning money for an uber, providing any sort of help is reportable.  I wonder if there will be any stings by regular people?

 

 Not a many as those orchestrated by anti-abortion groups, lobbyists for the extreme right wing fanatical politicians, and the group of bottom dwellers also known as Project Veritas.

No one knows yet how the courts will deal with these cases. Other states are waiting. I think that many don't care to figure out details, because they believe Roe v Wade will be dissolved by 2022 or 2023.

Once again, one party has had decades to make this permanent,but prefers to use it as an outrage fueler, and the other party has actually spent decades chipping away at R v W and now are using their subset of extreme hatemongers and hypocrites to cement their own power. Hopefully there are American states that will choose the correct path when that time comes. 

Edited by Idalou
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The WSJ points out from a conservative perspective how absolutely stupid that TX law is and how, because we live in a country where legal precedent matters, is will bite conservatives in the butt.  https://www.mediaite.com/news/wsj-editorial-board-blasts-texas-abortion-law-blunder-an-awful-precedent-that-conservatives-should-hate/?fbclid=IwAR0rWyzxkqn8pWCcyr91ykqdEHeO1KouesjstMJpc0pc6B6N54EMyXT6xh8
 

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ
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To avoid this getting shut down under the ban on political discussion, let's limit our discussion to ways to avoid liability. 

Easy answer for people who don't live in Texas is to avoid Texas. 

What about the posters who live in Texas? What are your plans? 

BTW, the law is written such that you can sued even if you don't know there's an abortion. It says "know or should have known." 

As a practical matter, you probably shouldn't babysit the kids of anyone that you know is pregnant. 

Definitely don't drive a pregnant woman anywhere. 

If you're pregnant, your husband shouldn't drive you places. 

You should know that your husband is definitely at risk if you're pregnant. 

And remember defendants must pay for the lawyer's fees even if there is no evidence that there was an abortion. 

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It needs to be clear that is creating an absolute dystopian hellscape for every woman in the US, no matter an individuals opinion on abortion. Anti choice/forced birthers are equally suspect under this new law. Lose some weight in the belly? Grounds for getting sued by a nosy neighbor. There are zero boundaries as far as I can tell. Do I think regular people will turn others in? We don’t need to look past Nazi Germany to know they will. 

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2 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

'm more curious about people who live there. What are they doing to protect against being sued? 

Currently looking into birth control for my special needs 12 year old. And the possibility of having Plan B at home. And rethinking the sterilization argument from a past thread. We could and would travel to get her the care she needed but I'd prefer not being sued when we got home.

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Avoid Texas is the easiest answer. But I’m sure AL is next. Well, looks like Florida is beating us to it by a bit. I know women are stocking up on pregnancy tests. I think pregnant women should hide their pregnancies for as long as humanly possible. 

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7 minutes ago, happi duck said:

And no one can say "then don't help with abortions" because lives will be turned upside down by overzealous "deputies" making false accusations.  

They've weaponized their citizenry.

 

 Literally and figuratively.

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1 minute ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

One more thing - I'd definitely be worried if I worked in the hospitality industry in Texas. Prudent people are going to avoid visiting Texas. 

I saw multiple travel nurses saying they won’t return to TX, regardless the pay. Makes sense to me. 

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23 minutes ago, sassenach said:

I don’t understand. Are you an abortion  provider? I must be missing something…

 

20 minutes ago, Vintage81 said:

If you don’t live in Texas, why are you concerned?

Are you serious?!?!

Legal precedent matters in the US, and establishing precedent where any rando can bring a civil suit against anyone they claim they think might have been involved in having or aiding someone in having an abortion is a radical departure from the due process and standards of proof we have in criminal courts.

I'm deeply concerned about women in TX having miscarriages and needing medical intervention (BTDT) since there have been cases in the past when abortion was illegal and medical staff was hesitant and/or unwilling to intervene to avoid liability.  You can't prove miscarriage (known medically as a spontaneous abortion) vs. induced abortion during or after the fact in most cases. When hemorrhaging is involved, immediate intervention is required-not time to dither and wonder what initiated it.

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6 minutes ago, Anne Elliot said:

Currently looking into birth control for my special needs 12 year old. And the possibility of having Plan B at home. And rethinking the sterilization argument from a past thread. We could and would travel to get her the care she needed but I'd prefer not being sued when we got home.

i wonder if their next move would be to make buying plan b illegal for Texans? I don't think that bill is classified as an abortion pill, correct?

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2 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

 

Are you serious?!?!

Legal precedent matters in the US, and establishing precedent where any rando can bring a civil suit against anyone they claim they think might have been involved in having or aiding someone in having an abortion is a radical departure from the due process and standards of proof we have in criminal courts.

I'm deeply concerned about women in TX having miscarriages and needing medical intervention (BTDT) since there have been cases in the past when abortion was illegal and medical staff was hesitant and/or unwilling to intervene to avoid liability.  You can't prove miscarriage (known medically as a spontaneous abortion) vs. induced abortion during or after the fact in most cases. When hemorrhaging is involved, immediate intervention is required-not time to dither and wonder what initiated it.

If I was a woman of childbearing age in Texas, I would definitely be concerned about my access to healthcare. 

I would definitely think twice about sending a daughter to college in Texas now. Actually I'd worry about a son too because of the liability issue. They drive their girlfriend somewhere and get sued. 

Back to avoiding Texas is the best option for everyone. 

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1 minute ago, Idalou said:

i wonder if their next move would be to make buying plan b illegal for Texans? I don't think that bill is classified as an abortion pill, correct?

Plan B still legal although rumors are they are going after it. Also important to note there are weight limits to plan b. I think 150 pounds? It’s not effective in people who weigh more. 

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1 minute ago, lauraw4321 said:

Plan B still legal although rumors are they are going after it. Also important to note there are weight limits to plan b. I think 150 pounds? It’s not effective in people who weigh more. 

Another situation where medical staff in the ER might wonder if a hemorrhaging women who says she's having a miscarriage might really have used plan B is and is having know complications from it.  Will medical staff be willing to risk being sued by someone?

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1 minute ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

Another situation where medical staff in the ER might wonder if a hemorrhaging women who says she's having a miscarriage might really have used plan B is and is having know complications from it.  Will medical staff be willing to risk being sued by someone?

I think there are exceptions for the life of the mother. But the fact that doctors / nurses now have to think twice is frightening. 

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5 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

I think there are exceptions for the life of the mother. But the fact that doctors / nurses now have to think twice is frightening. 

There are exceptions but remember anyone can bring suit and defendants must pay legal fees even if they win. Basically being a provider in the state of Texas means you're at risk even if you follow the law. 

 

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1 minute ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

There are exceptions but remember anyone can bring suit and defendants must pay legal fees even if they win. Basically being a provider in the state of Texas means you're at risk even if you follow the law. 

 

Yes. Definitely.Yes. Definitely.

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36 minutes ago, happi duck said:

And no one can say "then don't help with abortions" because lives will be turned upside down by overzealous "deputies" making false accusations.  

They've weaponized their citizenry.

 

Right. The church two blocks away would be gleeful if it thought it could spy and report on anyone they suspected of being pregnant. They believe that the only value a woman has is as an incubator. All of the non- right wing religious folk plus the secular folks are very worried about a group like that having so much power.

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19 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

BTW, people are thinking about ways to cash in. And remember the law doesn't impose any penalties for bringing frivolous suits. 

 

 

This is obviously an idiot or a troller. Or both.

He'd be the one to be able to be sued for driving her there knowingly.

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Just now, RootAnn said:

This is obviously an idiot or a troller. Or both.

He'd be the one to be able to be sued for driving her there knowingly.

Probably but remember the law doesn't provide any protection against frivolous lawsuits. So an idiot or a troller could bring suit against anyone and the defendant will be responsible for attorney's fees. 

I'm sure smarter people are already thinking of ways to cash in on this. 

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3 minutes ago, Faith-manor said:

Right. The church two blocks away would be gleeful if it thought it could spy and report on anyone they suspected of being pregnant. They believe that the only value a woman has is as an incubator. All of the non- right wing religious folk plus the secular folks are very worried about a group like that having so much power.

If the church was smart (if?), they would concerned about their own liability. They have pregnant members. Anyone could bring suit against them. 

It's probably best for Texas churches to not allow pregnant woman on their premises now. Too much risk of being sued. And again remember, anyone can bring suit and there's no requirement that there be any proof and defendants must be legal fees even if they win. 

 

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Well, she could counter sue him.

2 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Probably but remember the law doesn't provide any protection against frivolous lawsuits. So an idiot or a troller could bring suit against anyone and the defendant will be responsible for attorney's fees. 

I'm sure smarter people are already thinking of ways to cash in on this. 

Smarter people are smarter than that.

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20 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

I think there are exceptions for the life of the mother. But the fact that doctors / nurses now have to think twice is frightening. 

And to avoid constantly defending themselves in lawsuits, many hospitals will probably go an ethics board approval for any treatment that could affect pregnancy outcomes negatively. With pre-eclampsia and many other conditions, minutes and hours count. Waiting for a board to convene and decide is a killer. BUT, in all likelihood a career saver for the staff, and a lawsuit averted because chances are lawyers won't take cases in which a board collectively decided best course. If they do take those cases, it is far less likely they will win any substantiation money. Meanwhile, the family really won't be able to sue for wrongful death/negligence because the law makes any practitioner, family member authorizing treatment, etc. an accessory to the outcome. So the default, "right path" will be a multi-layered bureaucratic nightmare that takes hours if not days to come to conclusion, but then be somewhat lawsuit resistant.

It will be medieval.

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Because upon the first such lawsuit, the case will be thrown out. 

1 minute ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Why? This is a gift to the legal industry. 

The ones who are going to make bank are the lawyers. 

Likely those who feel the most strongly against this law will be among the first to sue with the stupidest situation to get the law overturned. The media will be all over it.

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25 minutes ago, lauraw4321 said:

I think there are exceptions for the life of the mother. But the fact that doctors / nurses now have to think twice is frightening. 

And there are times when it isn't immediately life threatening to the mother and intervention is still required. And wouldn't life of the mother exceptions mean the pregnancy is life threatening?  When non-life threatening pregnancies end in miscarriage or abortion that causes life-threatening hemorrhaging, wouldn't the liability remain and a suit be possible? 

So now we live in a country where a woman might avoid the ER due to the skyrocketing cost of uninsured medical care AND the possibility of a civil lawsuit. 

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Just now, RootAnn said:

Because upon the first such lawsuit, the case will be thrown out. 

Likely those who feel the most strongly against this law will be among the first to sue with the stupidest situation to get the law overturned. The media will be all over it.

True. The case will be thrown but remember the defendant has to pay the legal fees regardless. 

Remember, SCOTUS has refused to overturn the law so there's no guarantee that the law will be overturned. 

Also, if I lived in the State of Texas I would be mad that my legislatures passed a bill that imposes huge risks to me with some hope that the court will throw it out in the future. 

Also the law specifically forbids defending yourself on the basis of the law being unconstitutional and requires that cases be tried in Texas courts. 

 

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1 hour ago, sassenach said:

I don’t understand. Are you an abortion  provider? I must be missing something…

Because under the law, a college professor having a conversation with a pregnant advisee who later has an abortion, an Uber driver who drives a woman to an appointment at Planned Parenthood, or a neighbor who helps by providing child care so their neighbor could go to said appointment could each be sued. 

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