Yesterday, in El Paso, Greg Abbott made a broad statement: “I’m proud to say there is nobody in the state of Texas who has done more to fight to help women than I have in the past decade.” Abbott’s words are not just hyperbole, they are fundamentally dishonest.
Greg Abbott’s record of indifference to the point of hostility toward Texas women and their families is extensive. The Lone Star Project has already documented much of it.
Abbott’s statement yesterday, though, is an extraordinarily cynical and disturbing fabrication that can be directly and specifically rebutted by a dissenting opinion he wrote as a State Supreme Court Justice in 1998.
Abbott saw “no duty” to protect women from known sexual predators
As one of nine State Supreme Court Justices, Abbott broke with the majority of the Court to side with a vacuum cleaner company over a woman brutally raped by the company’s salesman in her own home.
Here’s what happened.
- A Texas woman living in Seguin was raped by a salesman with the Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Company.
- The man entered her house after convincing her to see an in-home demonstration but, instead, brutally raped her while her children slept in a nearby room.
- At the time of the rape, the Kirby salesman was out of jail on probation on a charge of indecency with a child.
- The woman sued Kirby arguing that the company had an obligation to screen their sales representatives to determine if they had criminal histories and posed a threat to customers.
- The District Court ruled in the woman’s favor and awarded her $160,000 in actual damages and $800,000 in punitive damages. Kirby appealed the decision.
- Eventually the case reached the State Supreme Court. The Court ruled 6 to 3 in favor of the woman and against Kirby.
- Rather than “fight to protect women” who are raped in their own home by a known sexual predator with children sleeping close by, Greg Abbott took the side of the company saying there is “no duty” to screen out potentially dangerous sales representatives.