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June 19, 2019

ACEC/Texas Wins Limit on Frivolous Lawsuits

ACEC/Texas Wins Limit on Frivolous Lawsuits

ACEC/Texas has won a significant victory with passage of a law to cut down on the number of meritless lawsuits against design professionals.

Since 2003, Texas has required a certificate of merit for a plaintiff that sues a design professional.  For several years, Courts of Appeals in Texas had differing opinions about who qualified as a “plaintiff” in cases with multiple parties, but in 2014, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the term referred only to the original plaintiff and did not include “third party plaintiffs.”

ACEC/Texas sought clarification of the court opinion through a statutory change by pursuing legislation, Senate Bill 1928, which replaces the term “plaintiff” with “claimant,” and defines “claimant” as both an original plaintiff or a third-party plaintiff. It requires that each “claimant” file a certificate of merit. 

Additionally, the law strengthens the requirements for signing the certificate of merit by requiring the signer to be “practicing in the same area of practice” as the defendant, rather than just “knowledgeable” in the area of practice.

The bill was signed by Governor Abbott on June 10th, and takes effect immediately.

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.


June 19, 2019



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