Top 10 Texas Legal News for 2022: #3

Texas was once again at the forefront of some of the biggest legal stories of the year. The following are the state’s top stories of 2022 as determined by the staff of Androvett Legal Media & Marketing.  

Texas Jurors Return Blockbuster Verdicts

It was a year of staggering verdicts in Texas (and elsewhere,) particularly so-called exemplary damages meant to punish civil defendants for their actions.  

Headlining this trend was a Dallas jury’s $7 billion verdict in September against Charter Communications for the family of an Irving woman who was robbed and murdered by a Spectrum internet installer. The company not only ignored red flags surrounding the installer, but also forged paperwork that would have relegated the litigation to arbitration, according to testimony.  

Just a month earlier, an Austin jury returned a nearly $50 million defamation verdict against InfoWars and its conspiracy-slinging host Alex Jones. The verdict included $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, an event Jones has routinely claimed was faked.  

Between February and April, there were also six large employment discrimination verdicts, including a $70 million verdict for 10 employees of a Dallas IT company who were subjected to a hostile work environment.  

“What large, nuclear verdicts, like these do to the process is create fear amongst defendants across all walks of business that they cannot place their trust or faith in what 12 ladies and gentlemen on a jury might do. It causes more cases to result in resolution or settlement,” said attorney Bill Chamblee of Dallas-based Chamblee Ryan.  

“I think we’ll see in 2023 that fears about trying lawsuits will calm down somewhat. We’ll get back to a more logical, reasonable routine of looking at lawsuits and making determinations, not based on fear but based on fact, and trusting these cases to jurors to decide.”  

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