Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1106
By: Bernsen
Civil Practices
Committee Report (Amended)


The Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act of Texas (Act) was
enacted in 1977 in response to the medical malpractice insurance crisis.
Optometrists were not included at the time because the incidence of
malpractice suits against optometrists was low, and it was thought that
adding them to the Act might increase the number of optometry malpractice
claims rather than lower them.  Senate Bill 1106 adds optometrists and
therapeutic optometrists to the list of health care providers covered by
the Act.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


Senate Bill 1106 amends the Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act
of Texas to include optometrist or therapeutic optometrist in the
definition of "health care provider." 


September 1, 2001.


Committee Amendment No. 1 provides that any motion to extend a deadline to
furnish a curriculum vitae of experts or to voluntarily nonsuit an action
against a physician or provider must be filed with the court not later than
the later of the 180th day after the filing of a health care liability
claim or the last day of an authorized extension.  If the court does not
rule before the expiration of such time period, the 30-day extension is
required to be measured from the date of the ruling rather than from the
180th day after the date on which the health care liability claim was
filed.  The amendment requires a court to grant a grace period of 30 days
if the failure of a claimant to comply with a deadline was the result of a
clerical, administrative, electronic, or machine error, rather than if the
failure was not intentional or the result of conscious indifference but was
the result of an accident.  If the court grants such a grace period, the
amendment requires the court to state on the record or in a written order
the factual and legal basis for its decision.  If the party producing an
expert report utilizes that report to support or oppose a motion for
summary judgment or a motion to exclude expert testimony as being
scientifically unreliable under the Texas Rules of Evidence, then the
amendment requires that the restriction upon such a report be deemed

The amendment provides that an objection to the sufficiency of an expert
report must be made not later than the 21st day after the date the
objecting party receives a copy of the expert report if the expert report
is furnished on or before the 150th day after the date on which the health
care liability claim was filed.  The amendment requires the court to
conduct a hearing to determine any objection as soon as practicable after
the filing of an objection.  In the event the court finds the report to be
insufficient, the amendment provides that the claimant shall have 30 days
after the order is signed to comply and provide a sufficient report.  The
amendment  provides that no sanctions shall be entered until after the
claimant has failed to comply with the order striking the expert report.
The amendment provides that a failure to object to the expert report within
the time allowed results in a waiver of any deficiencies of the expert