If the Larry Taylor-Steve Mostyn battle over windstorm insurance payouts wasn't a proxy war for the tort reformists and the trial lawyers before, it certainly is now. Mostyn, the president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, subpoenaed state Rep. Taylor, R-Friendswood, last week for a deposition over what Mostyn believes is a potential abuse of power.
Taylor said yesterday he has hired former lawmaker Joe Nixon to represent him. You may remember Nixon as the architect of 2003's sweeping tort reform law. "He called me and offered to help," Taylor said.
If you're just joining this saga, Taylor requested information from the quasi-public Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, known as TWIA, about how much Mostyn and other attorneys made in settling a multimillion dollar claim on behalf of homeowners earlier this year. Mostyn objected on the grounds Taylor asked for private homeowner information and won a temporary restraining order to keep the information private at least until a hearing next week.
Taylor has maintained that he's only seeking information so he can fix policy. He co-chairs a TWIA oversight board that has a report due Nov. 15, and since the settlement with Mostyn's 2,400 clients was the state's largest this year, Taylor says it's reasonable to be asking how much the state paid out to homeowners and attorneys.
No date has been set for the depositions.