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July 2011 Archives

Dying from Infection After Hospital Visit More Likely Than Dying in a Car Crash

The odds of dying in a plane crash are about 1 in 10 million. Sounds like a relatively small risk, especially compared to the odds of dying in a motor vehicle crash -- which are about 1 in 5,000. But even riskier than dying in a transportation accident is dying due to a medical error.

Widow of Texas Pizza Delivery Man Sues Dominos for Wrongful Death

The widow of a Texas pizza delivery man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the pizza giant Domino's after her husband died due to injuries received while on the job.

Immigration Law Review Article Written by Houston Attorney [email protected] Jr. Has Appeared In Several Publications

[email protected] Jr. of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend is receiving nationwide recognition once again.

High Speeds Involved in Fatal Car Accident Involving Texas Police Officer

Two teenagers were killed a few weeks ago in an accident that involved distracted driving, prescription medications and a speeding patrol car.

Hilton Hotel Heir Hit Hard

Alliteration aside, Barron Hilton, an heir to the Hilton Hotel fortune, was recently ordered to pay $4.9 million to Fernando Tellez, a gas station employee in Malibu. According to the Los Angeles Times, Barron Hilton struck Tellez with his Mercedes Benz back in 2008 after witnesses said Hilton drove the wrong way for miles down Pacific Coast Highway. At trial, Hilton denied that he had driven the car and claimed amnesia for the entire incident - despite witnesses that identified Hilton as being the driver.

Banks Still Cheating Consumers with Robo-Signing

According to the Associated Press, mortgage industry employees are still signing documents they haven't read and using fake signatures more than eight months after big banks and mortgage companies promised to stop the illegal practices that led to a nationwide halt of home foreclosures. County officials in at least three states say they have received thousands of mortgage documents with questionable signatures since last fall. Lenders say they are working with regulators to fix the problem but cannot explain why the practice, known collectively as "robo-signing," has continued. Allegedly, the nation's largest banks and mortgage lenders, including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and an arm of Goldman Sachs, suspended foreclosures last fall while they investigated their foreclosure paperwork. These new findings point to a systemic problem with the paperwork involved in home mortgages and titles. If you or a family member believes you have been the victim of "robo-signing" contact one of our attorneys to discuss your rights.

Sony Data Breach Case Update

I will be attending the MultiDistrict Litigation hearing for the Sony data breach litigation in San Francisco next week. Abraham Watkins filed one of the forty class action lawsuits arising out of the hacking of Sony's PlayStation Network. Sony's PlayStation Network was hacked in April 2011 and resulted in personal data, including credit card information, of millions being compromised. The hearing will determine whether all of the class actions will go forward as one case and which court will preside over the case.

FDA Issues Warning About Use of Mesh In Certain Surgical Procedures

Women who have undergone certain surgical procedures involving the placement of surgical mesh are being warned by the Food and Drug Administration that the added risk associated with the surgical mesh may outweigh the intended benefit. Earlier this month, the FDA released an updated safety bulletin warning health care providers and patients that this product (commonly used in surgery to treat pelvic prolapse) may increase the risk of pain, bleeding and infection in women - as compared to women who have traditional surgery with stitches.

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Data Breach

Personal information belonging to 34,000 investment clients of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has been lost, and possibly stolen, in a data breach. Morgan Stanley sent two letters to clients warning them of the breach. The information includes clients' names, addresses, account and tax identification numbers, the income earned on investments in 2010, and in some cases Social Security numbers.

Death of Texas Rangers' Fan Reveals Ball Park Falls All Too Common

The 39-year-old firefighter who died after falling from the stands as he attempted to catch a ball at a Texas Rangers game was laid to rest on Monday. It was reported that hundreds attended his funeral in central Texas and thousands more lined the street of the small town, watching as a fire truck led the funeral possession to the cemetery.

Ford Sued for Patent Infringement

A federal lawsuit was filed last week against Ford Motor that claims Ford infringed on Eagle Harbor Holdings' and its subsidiary MediusTech's patents. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Ford's popular SYNC technology violates Eagle Harbor's patents. The SYNC system allows drivers to integrate all of their personal electronic devices, including their cell phones. Further, upon a driver's verbal request, the SYNC system has the ability to read emails and pick songs. Not only does Eagle Harbor claim Ford infringed on its patents with the SYNC technology, Eagle Harbor also alleges Ford used the companies' patented Active Park Assist, Blind-Spot Identification system with Cross Traffic Alert, and MyKey systems.

Rape Victim Loses Case Against KBR & Halliburton

On Friday, July 8, 2011, a Houston jury returned its verdict in Jamie Leigh Jones' case against KBR, Inc., Halliburton Co., and Charles Bortz. Jones is the former KBR employee that was allegedly drugged and raped by fellow employees while working in Iraq. The companies and Bortz denied all allegations of rape and a subsequent cover-up; Bortz admitted to having sex with Jones but said the sex was consensual. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants on all counts.

New Study Shows High Number of Wrong Site Surgeries

A recent study released some very shocking data: Even in 2011, with all of the medical advances and new technology, The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare estimates that surgery occurs on the wrong site of a patient's body about 40 times a week. These numbers represent a preliminary finding of a project with eight hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, and are extrapolated to represent a nationwide estimate.

General Motors Issues Recall for Transmission and Steering Problems

According to the New York Times, General Motors ("GM") is recalling almost 6,800 pickups from the 2011 model year because they might roll away even when the automatic transmission's selector appears to be in "Park." The automaker also said it recalled 739 pickups and sport utility vehicles because of a possible loss of steering.

Having Fun, Preventing Injuries and Staying Safe This Holiday Weekend

Fourth of July: barbeques, boating, fireworks and fun in the sun. As the extended holiday weekend kicks off, it is important to remember a few basic safety tips in order to make sure that the holiday doesn't end with a trip to the emergency room or even worse.

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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    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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