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Firm Case News Archives

Harris County v. Harris County Appraisal District and PRSI Trading, LLC

Harris County, represented by firm attorneys Benny Agosto, Jr. and Brian S. Humphrey II, received an important win from a Houston appellate court in a property tax case involving a Houston oil refinery. In a 2-1 decision handed down last Thursday, the First Court of Appeals in Harris County v. Harris County Appraisal District reversed the trial court's ruling and rendered judgment that inventory held in a refinery operated by Pasadena Refining System, Inc. was not exempt from local property taxes under the federal Foreign Trade Zones Act. The exemption was claimed on crude oil, refined products, and other inventory valued at over $100 million during the relevant tax years, representing millions in tax revenue for Harris County and the other taxing jurisdictions.

Justice Department Blocks Texas Voter ID Law Over Hispanic Impact

The Department of Justice rejected a new Texas voter ID law, stating that the state failed to show how its photo-ID requirement would not discriminate against minority voters, particularly Hispanics.

Delta 737 Rolls Off Taxiway

Around 5 a.m. (ET) today, a Delta Air Lines plane rolled off a taxiway and down an embankment on the east side of the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. This Boeing 737-700 was undergoing maintenance and engine testing by two Delta mechanics this morning when an issue arose with the plane's braking system causing the plane to move and eventually roll off Taxiway E into a nearby embankment.

DePuy Orthopaedics VP's E-mail Confirms Knowledge of Defect

An August 2009 internal e-mail from DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.'s vice president confirms that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary (DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.) were well aware of the FDA's refusal to approve the metal-on-metal ASR hip replacement and resurfacing systems a year prior to issuing the now-famous recall. In August of 2010, Johnson & Johnson and DePuy recalled both the ASR XL Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System, after data revealed that both DePuy ASR hip replacement products have excessively high failure rates. Both companies now face thousands of lawsuits from patients that received these implants. Recently, thousands of documents were produced and released under seal in the multidistrict litigation (MDL), one of which is an e-mail from DePuy Orthopaedics vice president, Pamela Plouhar.

Tort Reform Doesn't Save Money

According to a new study from the Center for Progressive Reform, medical tort reform won't provide significant savings. The article explains that the costs of malpractice insurance and paying injured patients amounts to only 0.3 % of total healthcare costs each year. The authors blame the insurance companies, saying the focus on tort reform and alleged costs of "defensive medicine" is nothing more than "a politically expedient straw man, allowing policymakers and the insurance industry to ignore or obscure the real drivers of rising medical costs, including the high costs of prescription drugs; the high demand for, and increasing use of, state-of-the-art technology; the growing incidence of chronic diseases; and an aging population that lives longer and consumes more medical care."

Chrysler Recalls 210,000 Jeep Liberty Vehicles

Chrysler recently announced plans to recall nearly 210,000 Jeep Liberty vehicles because of a dangerous auto defect that may result in a loss of vehicle control by the driver. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the recall affects certain SUVs from model years 2004 and 2005 which may be equipped with rear lower control arms that can experience a rear suspension lower control arm fracture due to excessive corrosion caused by road salt used in certain states. Chrysler reported that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue.

"Small" Collisions Sometimes Produce Serious Damages

When a collision occurs that seems to be "minor," sometimes those involved fail to take the appropriate steps to investigate and document the incident. This can lead to major problems when the injuries from a motor vehicle accident are more severe than anticipated.

Texas Tech Coach Involved in Investment Fraud

Texas Tech head football coach, Tommy Tuberville, his partner, and the investment company the two own, TS Partners, have been named defendants in a financial fraud lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Montgomery, Alabama, and alleges more than $1.7 million in damages.

Texas City Fire Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Texas City senior living apartment complex, Colonial Park Apartments, suffered a fatal fire on April 7, 2010. In that blaze, Melody Fitzgerald Rivera, 52, lost her life after the fire erupted in her room. The fire spread through the complex while Rivera was asleep in her room. Firefighters were onsite by 1:30 a.m. and able to stop the spread of the fire. However, Rivera, a Colonial Park resident, suffered third-degree burns to over sixty five percent (65%) of her body. Rivera was admitted to The University of Texas Medical Branch's (UTMB's) burn unit and underwent several skin grafting procedures prior to passing from sepsis.

Goodyear Recalls 41K Wrangler Silent Armor Tires

According to Reuters, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company said it would recall about 41,000 of its Wrangler Silent Armor tires produced in 2009 over concerns that a number could tear, leading to crashes. Two people died in a 2011 rollover crash in Texas involving a vehicle equipped with these tires. It is estimated that about 27,000 of the tires are still believed to be in service. The tires are used on pickup trucks, vans and sport-utility vehicles, often at construction sites or for off-road applications. If you or someone you know has these defective tires on a vehicle, take them immediately to a Goodyear retailer to have them replaced.

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