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January 2010 Archives

U.S. Bans Texting By Drivers of Large Trucks and Buses

In January 27, 2010 the United State government issued a hand-held "texting" ban on drivers of large commercial trucks and buses. Hailed by safety advocates, the ban carries fines of us to $2,750 per violation. This ban follows a similar ban issued in December for drivers of federal government vehicles.

Another Major Auto Manufacturer Recall ? This Time Honda

Just today, after Toyota's massive and unprecedented recall of millions of its vehicles, Honda has announced that it is now going to recall 646,000 units of the Fit/Jazz and City models globally. This recall includes 140,000 units that are currently in the Unites States. A spokeswoman from Honda announced that the recall covers the models sold across the globe, with the exception of models sold in Japan.

Supreme Court Rules Against Insured

The Texas Supreme Court ruled last month that an insurance agency which failed to procure insurance for its customer will not be liable for his losses. In the case of Metro Allied Insurance Agency, Inc. v. Lin, handed down on December 11, 2009, the Supreme Court overturned a Court of Appeals decision, the jury's verdict, and decades of legal precedent to require proof of the terms of a specific policy that the insurance agent failed to obtain.

Toyota Recall Prompts Unprecedented Halt of Production & Sales

Toyota made an unusual move Tuesday suspending the manufacture and sale of eight of its most popular models. This comes on the heals of two massive recalls involving millions of vehicles because of mechanical failures which might cause the accelerator to get stuck in the depressed position. Also, some vehicles had issues with floor mats getting stuck which caused the accelerator to get stuck. The Japanese carmaker told its dealers to stop selling the RAV4, Highlander and Sequoia sport-utility vehicles; Corolla, Camry and Avalon cars; Matrix hatchbacks; and Tundra pickups . The suspension of sales and production covers models and model years: the 2009-10 RAV4, 2009-10 Corolla, 2009-10 Matrix, 2005-10 Avalon, 2010 Highlander, 2007-10 Tundra, 2008-10 Sequoia and certain 2007-10 Camry.

Teen Drivers At Higher Risk Of Accidents

According a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2007, young rivers (those between the age of 15 and 20) accounted for close to 1/5th of all traffic accident fatalities in the country. Those drivers made up just 9 percent of the national population in 2007, but accounted for 19 percent of traffic fatalities the same year. Those rates must be taken as a wakeup call by our law enforcement agencies - they need to focus harder on this vulnerable section of the Texas population.

Getting Charged For Medical Bills You Never Saw Coming

In early 2009, I underwent a medical procedure. I had spoken with the doctor and hospital regarding how much I will need to pay and how much my health insurance would pay for the procedure. I was given the amounts. A couple of months after the procedure, I received a bill from an anesthesiologist for several thousand dollars. I was of course surprised and disappointed-this anesthesiologist was not covered under my health insurance plan and I was stuck paying this bill. This is called balance billing.

Toyota recall

Toyota issued a recall covering 2.3 million late model cars, SUVs and pickup trucks Thursday, broadening its largest such action ever and acknowledging that potential accelerator pedal problems were deeper than previously acknowledged.

Record Number of Bird-Strikes Posing Special Problems for Plane and Helicopter Safety

A recent report out of Washington, D.C. confirms the little-known fact that mid-air collisions between birds and aircraft, or "bird-strikes," are not only much more common than most people know, but they have reached a problematic level. The report, which follows last year's highly publicized emergency river landing of a US Airways jet that struck a flock of geese, shows that FAA experts are already estimating that the total number of bird-strikes last year exceeded 10,000. This figure represents not only a record high, surpassing the previous record of just over 7,500 set two years ago, but also a sharp surge in frequency, bringing the average to around twenty seven bird-strikes per day.

Do Caps on Damages Bring In Doctors? NO!

The most recent data released from the American Medical Association shows there are more doctors in the United States than ever. Additionally, there are more doctors per capita in the U.S. than ever before. Tort reform advocates have long taken the position that without legislatively produced caps on damages, doctors will flee states until caps are put in place. With this recent release of data, that theory can be tested - and has been tested.

Chrysler Recalls Thousands of Vehicles Over Brake Problems

Chrysler Group LLC has announced that it is recalling 24,177 of its vehicles because of potential defects in the brake system. According to the automaker's filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the defect with the brake system to could result in sudden brake failure. While Chrysler has stated that it is not yet aware of any accidents caused by or related to this defect, there are problems with its 2010 model-year Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Avenger and Nitro, Jeep Liberty, Commander, and Grand Cherokee, and its 2009-2010 Dodge Ram trucks. Chrysler said that in some vehicles, the clip retention tab on the brake pedal pin was improperly formed, or not installed at all, during the manufacturing process. Chrysler has admitted that this particular defect could result in sudden brake failure without any warning to the driver and that this defect could cause an accident or crash. This recall is expected to start during this current month.

Texas Supreme Court Reviews New Trial Order

In a recent case, the Texas Supreme Court continued its review of orders granting new trial. The ruling involved a worker who had been seriously injured when he fell from scaffolding. He and his wife sued the scaffolding company and won at trial, but they sought a new trial because the damages were far too low. The trial court granted the motion and ordered a new trial "in the interest of justice and fairness," which, until recently, was the standard for granting new trials in effect for about a century. However, last year, the Supreme Court overruled all of that precedent with its opinion in a case named In re Columbia Med. Ctr. of Las Colinas, 290 S.W.3d 204, 212-13 (Tex. 2009). In Columbia, the Supreme Court held that providing a new trial "in the interest of justice" is insufficient; the trial court must detail all of the evidence requiring a new trial.

Tylenol/Motrin/Aspirin Recall

Johnson & Johnson issued a massive recall on January 15, 2010 on several over-the-counter drugs including, Tylenol, children's' Tylenol, Simply Sleep, Motrin and St. Joseph's aspirin. But the Federal Drug Administration was unhappy with the length of time it took Johnson & Johnson to put out the recall because they know of a problem long before the 15th.

"Gas Grill Recalls"

Following an investigation by Consumer Reports, the federal government issued a recall of 663,000 gas grills whose burners can deteriorate, causing irregular flames and lid fires. The affected models are SLG series Perfect Flame grills. The grills were sold exclusively at Lowe's. Consumers should stop using the grills and contact LG Sourcing for free replacement burners as well as lids in some cases. If you or someone you know has been injured or their home destroyed as a result of one of these gas grills, please contact our office.

28% Of Incidents Involve Use Of Cellphones

According to a study released by the National Safety Council, twenty-eight percent of traffic incidents occur when people talk on cellphones or send text messages while driving. The vast majority of those crashes, 1.4 million annually, are caused by cellphone conversations, and 200,000 are blamed on text messaging, according to the report from the Council. The Council is a nonprofit group recognized by congressional charter as a leader on safety.

Cold Weather Safety Tips

With weekend temperatures expected to be low across the country it is a good idea to protect yourself and help others who may be at increased risk of health problems from the cold. Seniors, infants, the homeless, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk. If you know of friends, neighbors, or family members who may be at risk check in on them to sure their heat is working and that they are OK.

Home Repair Books Recall

One of the most trusted names in DIY, Menlo Park-based Sunset Publishing, was forced to recall six of its titles after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said consumers who followed some of the wiring instructions in the books risked electrical shocks or could start a fire.

Supreme Court Rules Against Family of Man Killed

Recently, the Texas Supreme Court protected the City of Waco, and all landowners, from bearing responsibility for their negligence in failing to warn recreational users of known dangerous land formations. The case is entitled City of Waco v. Kirwan. It represents another decision by the court to deny a person harmed by the negligence of others from having an opportunity to present his case to a jury.

Nursing Home Neglect

It was reported last week that a Texas-based nursing home operator, Cathedral Rock Corporation, agreed to settle suits involving patients who were mistreated while living as residents in one of their nursing homes. The allegations from the suits are far too familiar to cases we have seen in the last few years:

A Weakened U.S. Refining Industry Could Spell Doom For Workers

A recent report by the fuel market industry shows that a weakened U.S. refining industry could spell opportunity for foreign oil companies wanting to enter the world's biggest fuel market or to buy plants on the cheap. Although this report may sound good to those wanting to buy into the oil industry, this report also could spell doom for the workers in the U.S. that make the fuel industry run and make large profits for its owners. Apparently, in 2009 the U.S. refining industry struggled greatly and refiners now face pressure to unload more plants.

Ford Settles Seatbelt Suit Before Jury Can Assess Punitive Damages

Recently, Ford settled a suit involving one if its 2002 Explorer SUVs while the jury was deliberating the amount of punitive damages. The jury had already assessed compensatory damages in excess of $16 million against Ford for design defects, which attorneys for the plaintiffs argued caused one of the occupants, Lynn Wheeler, to become paralyzed in a collision. The lawsuit alleged that Ford's design for both the back seat latch and the decision to install a lap belt rather than a three-point shoulder belt was negligence. The jury agreed after it was presented with evidence that Ford had known about the dangers of lap-only belts for over 30 years and that Ford had delayed plans to install the three-point shoulder belt in order to save money. According to accounts of the trial, evidence was presented showing Ford's crash tests, some of which dated as far back to the 1960s, where the rear seats collapsed and the crash-test dummies sustained head injuries similar to the injuries sustained by Lynn Wheeler.

"Stork Craft Cribs Recalled"

According to Consumer Reports, 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs sold between 1993 and 2009 have been recalled. The drop-side plastic hardware could break or deform creating an entrapment danger for infants. It is recommended to stop using the cribs and contact the manufacturer at 877-274-0277.

Health-Personality-Society-Life

Health:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's - energy, enthusiasm and empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep at least 7 hours..
10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile. Personality:
11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts on things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Maintain your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Daydream more.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't weight the present.
21. No one but you is in charge of your happiness.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum and fade away but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. Society:
25. Call your family and friends often.
26. Each day give something good to others. A tight hug is always welcomed.
27. Forgive everyone for everything..
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31.
When you are sick your family and friends will take care of you. Life:
32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. Good food, good friends and good times heal everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

MAY YOU HAVE A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

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