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Houston Personal Injury Blog

Man Commits Suicide After Taking Antidepressant

Photo of Imrana Manzanares

Stewart Dolin, a 57-year-old Chicago lawyer, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of an oncoming train. He had started paroxetine, the generic form of Paxil, five days before his death. His wife, Wendy Dolin, sued the original manufacturer of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, claiming the company failed to sufficiently warn of the risks associated with the drug.

Nursing Home Negligence in Wake of Storm

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Amidst the disaster and destruction brought about by Hurricane Irma, Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, lost power leaving more than 150 of its residents without air conditioning. Eight of the Center's residents died from respiratory distress, dehydration, and heat-related issues, with some patients feeling temperatures up to 106 degrees after the air conditioning system failed during the Hurricane.

Fire at Chemical Plant

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Another chemical plant posed a risk in southeast Texas. As reported by news sources, components of the Enterprise Products plant on FM 1942 in Mont Belvieu in Chambers County caught on fire Friday night. The fire was finally contained at about 8:00 p.m., according to an announcement by a local sheriff. The plant was initially closed off, and later both the location was confirmed and the nature of the blaze: a petrochemical fire. The flames were observed shortly after 7:00 p.m. from another plant some six or seven miles away. There has been no official statement of the cause of the fire, though a company executive confirmed that it came from an over-pressurized well. Fortunately, no injuries have yet been reported, though a prior pipeline explosion in 2011 at the company was fatal.

Volkswagen Engineer Fined and Imprisoned

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James Robert Liang a 63-year-old German engineer, who played a significant role in the Volkswagen's diesel emission scandal, attempted a cover up, according U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox. During sentencing in Detroit the judge stated "The conspiracy perpetrated a massive...stunning fraud on the American consumer that attacked and destroyed the very foundation of our economic system."

South Carolina Couple Suing Amazon for Selling Faulty Solar Eclipse Glasses

Photo of Jonathan Sneed

A seriously injured South Carolina couple is suing Amazon under negligence, negligent misrepresentation, negligent failure to warn, the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act, Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment, seeking monetary relief of more than $75,000. Amazon sold "Eclipse Glasses" to the public so that they may view the total solar eclipse that occurred last August. According to the lawsuit, the couple alleges that the eclipse glasses were extremely defective and dangerous, and that their use resulted in vision damage and other physical injuries.

Baylor University Reaches Confidential Settlement in Title IX Sexual Assault Case

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Last week, Baylor University and an alleged victim of a gang rape by then-Baylor University football players announced that they had reached a confidential settlement in a Title IX lawsuit the woman filed in January. The victim, referred to in court documents as Elizabeth Doe, alleged that she was raped by Baylor football players Tre'Von Armstead and Myke Chatman in April 2013 after an off-campus party. Both men are currently awaiting trial on criminal charges arising from the incident. Elizabeth Doe's lawsuit is the fourth Title IX lawsuit Baylor has resolved related to its sexual assault scandal. In July, Baylor announced that it had reached a settlement with another former student who alleged that she was assaulted in 2015. Baylor has also reached settlements with at least three other alleged victims of sexual assault who did not file lawsuits. Each of the pending lawsuits includes claims that the school's discriminatory policies and inadequate response to allegations of sexual assault created a heightened risk that students would be sexually assaulted.

Settlement Reached in Pressure Cooker Explosion Lawsuit

Photo of Reed Burritt

Tristar Products Inc. and plaintiffs Ninfa and Jose Vasquez have reached a settlement in a products liability lawsuit filed in Brownsville, Texas. The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs were severely burned after a pressure cooker purchased from Tristar exploded on August 2, 2014. The plaintiffs allege they were using the pressure cooker for the first time to prepare pinto beans for a family dinner-following all instructions provided with the device-when the device suddenly exploded without warning. The explosion allegedly occurred after the device had been unplugged for two hours. Mrs. Vasquez was allegedly severely burned by the scalding hot contents and steam. The plaintiffs allege that Tristar failed to use reasonable care in designing and manufacturing the device and failed to adequately warn consumers of the device's dangers, among other allegations.

Accident Involving Truck Carrying Harvey Relief Supplies Results in Two Deaths

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On August 30, 2017, a tragic accident occurred involving an 18-wheeler and a small car and resulted in the death of two people. The crash took place around 6:30 p.m. on the southbound lanes of I-45, just south of Malloy Bridge Road, near the town of Wilmer on the Dallas-Ellis County line. The 18-wheeler was carrying a large amount of relief supplies to Houston to help those affected by the devastation caused by hurricane Harvey. According to the Sheriff's deputies, the small car was heading north on I-45 when it crossed the median and ran into the 18-wheeler. After ramming into the 18-wheeler, the small car was stuck under the truck and busted into flames.

Texas Ranked 5th Most Dangerous State for Workplace Accidents

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After a search of 19,937 reports comprised of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) injury reports, the Bureau of Labor Statistics job fatalities statistics, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data reports, the website Zippia was able to determine what the most dangerous states to work in are, along with the most dangerous industry in each state. Unlike previous research which primarily depended on Social Security Disability claims and days on leave (treatment varies depending on the state), Zippia's emphasis on the OSHA data in particular is significant as in 2015, OSHA required employers to report ALL work-related fatalities, hospitalizations, etc., whereas before, OSHA only required fatalities and hospitalizations to be reported if the injuries being reported involved three or more people. Sadly, Zippia's findings did not place Texas in a favorable light.

Woman Hit by Support Vehicle in Coeur D'Alene's Ironman Race

Photo of Kelly Woods

An event support vehicle struck 52-year-old Crystal O'Connor in Idaho's Coeur D'Alene Ironman race on August 28, 2017. O'Connor was participating in the 112-mile bike portion of the race on Highway 95, near Putnam Road, Kootenai County, when she was hit by the vehicle and seriously injured. Authorities reported that due to her injuries, she had to be transported by Life Flight to Kootenai Health hospital. The authorities indicated that O'Connor, who was initially listed in critical condition, is currently in 'fair condition.'

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