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  By: Sheets H.B. No. 1692
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the doctrine of forum non conveniens.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Sections 71.051(e) and (h), Civil Practice and
  Remedies Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (e)  [The court may not stay or dismiss a plaintiff's claim
  under Subsection (b) if the plaintiff is a legal resident of this
  state.] In determining whether a case should be dismissed under
  this subchapter, the plaintiff's choice of a forum in this state
  shall be given substantial deference, provided that the plaintiff
  is a legal resident of the state and the underlying litigation has a
  significant connection to this state. [If an action involves both
  plaintiffs who are legal residents of this state and plaintiffs who
  are not, the court may not stay or dismiss the action under
  Subsection (b) if the plaintiffs who are legal residents of this
  state are properly joined in the action and the action arose out of
  a single occurrence. The court shall dismiss a claim under
  Subsection (b) if the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence
  that a party was joined solely for the purpose of obtaining or
  maintaining jurisdiction in this state and the party's claim would
  be more properly heard in a forum outside this state.]
         (h)  In this section, "plaintiff" [:
 
               (1)     "Legal resident" means an individual who intends
  the specified political subdivision to be his permanent residence
  and who intends to return to the specified political subdivision
  despite temporary residence elsewhere or despite temporary
  absences, without regard to the individual's country of citizenship
  or national origin. The term does not include an individual who
  adopts a residence in the specified political subdivision in bad
  faith for purposes of avoiding the application of this section.
               (2)  "Plaintiff"] means a party seeking recovery of
  damages for personal injury or wrongful death. In a cause of action
  in which a party seeks recovery of damages for personal injury to or
  the wrongful death of another person, "plaintiff" includes both
  that other person and the party seeking such recovery. The term does
  not include:
                     (A)  a counterclaimant, cross-claimant, or
  third-party plaintiff or a person who is assigned a cause of action
  for personal injury, or who accepts an appointment as a personal
  representative in a wrongful death action, in bad faith for
  purposes of affecting in any way the application of this section;
                     (B)  an intervenor, beneficiary, next friend, or
  other derivative party to the plaintiff's claim; or
                     (C)  a decedent's estate, if the decedent was not
  a legal resident of this state at the time of death.
         SECTION 2.  This Act applies only to a suit commenced on or
  after the effective date of this Act. A suit commenced before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law applicable to the
  suit immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that law
  is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.