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July 2009 Archives

Recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Regarding Failure to Administer t-PA

The 5th Circuit recently decided a case dealing with the failure to administer t-PA to a stroke patient, Young v. Memorial Hermann Hospital System. The plaintiffs alleged that Randall Young should have been given t-PA and that the failure to receive proper treatment, t-PA is now the standard of care in most stroke patients, caused Mr. Young harm. The Court decided that the Youngs did not meet their burden of proof on the issue of causation.

Insurance Companies & Advertising: Shouldn't your word be your bond?

I think we have all seen the commercials and read the magazine advertisements created by the insurance companies. Some insurance companies take a cost approach to their marketing and stress the savings that can be had by the average consumer. For example, Geico markets to the public by representing that you can save lots of money by switching to one of their policies. Other insurance companies, often the ones that charge higher premiums and have been around much longer, market to the public with a message like "you're in good hands" or "like a good neighbor, we will be there." Seemingly, these companies are seeking to differentiate themselves by advertising their insurance as superior, albeit for a higher premium.

"Expect the Unexpected"

In every case we handle there are always moments where certain evidence changes the way the case ends up. Whether it's a document produced by the defendant which shows they knew what they were doing was wrong or a video tape of your client doing the daily activities they just claimed they can't. Every lawyer has experienced this moment at least once in their career. Usually this moment takes place during the discovery phase of litigation. That is before the case goes to trial while the parties are still figuring out exactly what happened. However, sometimes this happens when you least expect it. Right in the middle of trial. That's exactly what happened in my trial last week. Things seemed to be going well until late afternoon on the second day of trial. I had subpoenaed one of my client's treating doctors to come live to trial to explain to the jury about the injuries my client experienced. When the doctor showed up, he brought with him records no one had ever seen before. He then proceeded to admit on the stand to opposing counsel that he basically committed perjury. Needless to say, things were not going well for my client at this point and no one saw this coming. I spent the entire night trying to figure out how to diffuse the situation and realized that there was nothing I could do. And that's exactly what I told the jury in closing arguments. There is nothing I could do to change what had happened. At the end of the trial, the jury greatly appreciated my honesty and still compensated my client some for his injuries. Bottom line is you never know what is going to happen and when surprises appear, you better be prepared to think on your feet!

Maintaining a Balance

Well, it is that time of year, my wife is asking for a vacation. I always hesitate because I don't want to miss work. But since my wife puts up with my long hours during the week and weekend--usually missing dinner with her--I agreed to take a trip to Barcelona, Spain.

Heavy Truck Crashworthiness

The firm is investigating a potential 18 wheeler cab crashworthiness case. Given the large size and weight of heavy trucks, also known as tractor-trailer vehicles, a serious safety threat can be posed to the vehicle's occupants in the event of a rollover collision. Studies have been conducted in order to determine the number of incapacitating and fatal injuries that occurred when the occupants were contained in the cab during a rollover accident.

10 Habits to Break at Work

I am always trying to be the best that I can be, especially at work because a lot of clients depend on me. I recently received an article discussing how to be better employee. I thought that I would pass on the tips to you.

Motorcycle Riders Beware

If you are a motorcycle rider in Harris County, it's likely that you use the HOV lanes throughout town. If so, BE CAREFUL! METRO is the entity responsible for the HOV lanes and they don't always warn you of the dangers out there. The latest example is the 45 South HOV lane. If you use this HOV lane to come from Clear Lake in the mornings, you better be careful when you get to the downtown exit. There is a metal gate arm at the exit into downtown which is operated by a electric motor. The electric motor is turned off and on by the "loop sensors" located in the pavement. Unfortunately, these loop detectors and gate arm mechanisms were never designed for motorcycles. This recently came to my attention in a current lawsuit I have filed against Metro. When we inspected the scene, I noticed a big warning on the gate arm itself which says "Cars Only, No pedestrians, motorcycles or bicycles." The reason the manufacturer of this equipment puts this warning on there is because the "loop sensors" operate on an electromagnetic force. Cars are the only thing which contain enough metal to trip the "loop sensors" and make the gate arm go up and down. Metro knew of this limitation the day the gate arm was installed. However, they never told any one about this. Instead, they promote the HOV lanes to motorcycles as a safe place to travel. Bottom line is be very careful. These unassuming gate arms can cause serious injury to those on motorcycles.

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