December 2011 Archives


In a recent case, the Texas Supreme Court allowed a corporation that lost a jury verdict to appeal its case even though it had missed a deadline to file an appeal. The decision occurred in Ryland Enterprise, Inc. v. Weatherspoon, ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2011)(12/16/11).

Is New Year's Eve The Most Deadly Night for Car Accidents?

It is a widely-held belief that New Year's Eve is the most dangerous night of the year for motorists traveling on the roadways. This belief most likely stems from the idea that revelers ringing in the New Year drink copious amounts of champagne and alcohol and then get behind the wheel, posing a danger to themselves and others.

Is New Year's Eve The Most Deadly Night for Car Accidents?

It is a widely-held belief that New Year's Eve is the most dangerous night of the year for motorists traveling on the roadways. This belief most likely stems from the idea that revelers ringing in the New Year drink copious amounts of champagne and alcohol and then get behind the wheel, posing a danger to themselves and others.

NFL Players who Filed Suit Face an Uphill Battle

Four former National Football League ("NFL") players sued the NFL on Wednesday, December 21, in a federal court in Atlanta. The four players-Jamal Lewis, Dorsey Levins, Fulton Kuykendall, and Ryan Stewart-allege that the NFL misled them and failed to protect them from on-the-field head injuries.

Fatal Car Accidents Cost $6 Million, Plus Emotional Tolls

Each time there is a fatal car accident on any of Texas's roadways, each accident not only results in emotional costs but also millions of dollars in financial costs.


On Tuesday, a Fayette County jury awarded $150 billion to the family of Robbie Middleton. The verdict was rendered against Don Wilburn Collins, who doused Robbie Middleton with gasoline and set him on fire on Middleton's eighth birthday. This incident happened as young Robbie Middleton walked through a wooded area in Splendora, Texas. Middleton somehow survived the incident, but remained horribly scarred and disfigured from his injuries. He passed away when he was twenty years old from a rare form of skin cancer - which his attorneys attributed to his substantial and extensive burn injuries.

$209 Million Settlement Reached for Surviving Families of Upper Big Branch Disaster

Money is of little comfort to the families of the victims of the Upper Big Branch Mine collapse that occurred in April 2010. Just over a week ago, federal prosecutors announced a $209 million settlement with the new owners of the coal mine. It is the largest workplace injury settlement that has ever been received for a coal mining disaster in the U.S.

NTSB Recommends Nationwide Ban on Cellphones While Driving

According the Associated Press, the federal safety investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended Tuesday that all states impose a ban on cell phone use while driving except for emergencies. Inspired by recent deadly crashes, including one in which a teenager sent or received 11 text messages in 11 minutes before an accident, the recommendation would apply even to hands-free devices, a much stricter rule than any current state law. The unanimous recommendation by the five-member National Transportation Safety Board would make an exception for devices deemed to aid driver safety such as GPS navigation systems. The NTSB declared that texting, emailing or using a cellphone while driving is simply too dangerous to be allowed anywhere in this country. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed as a result of an automobile crash, contact our office for a free consultation.

United States v. Jones: The Supreme Court to Decide if Government Needs Warrant to Track a Suspect Using GPS

With the rapid advances in technology, it's no surprise that the law has been slow to address the possible reaches these new techniques and devices may have on individuals. However, with United States v. Jones currently pending before the Supreme Court, the law may be close to catching up.

Ford Recall - The Wheels Are Coming Off The Wagon

On Friday, Ford Motor Company recalled nearly 130,000 vehicles in the United States, including its Mercury Milan and Ford Fusion. According to a posting on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, the affected vehicles with model years 2010 and 2011 may suffer fractures in the wheel studs and, if ignored, can cause the 17" steel wheels to fall off while the vehicle is in motion or operation.

Supreme Court Reviews E-Filing

On Thursday, December 8, 2011, the Supreme Court of Texas reviewed proposals for the electronic filing of court papers in the state courts. In federal courts, a system of electronic filing named PACER has existed for years. Under that system, when a party files a pleading with the court electronically, a copy is sent to all other parties automatically. In addition, citizens can research cases online from any location where they have access to the internet, and they can print copies of court filings and decisions.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Refinery Wrongful Death Case

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations to Austin Industrial Specialty Services, L.P. (Austin Industrial). Austin Industrial is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Muhammad Aziz on behalf of the widow, two minor children and estate of deceased employee David Godines. Mr. Godines died on February 23, 2011 while cleaning a tank car at the Lubrizol refinery in Deer Park, Texas. Lubrizol is also a defendant in the pending lawsuit.

Honda Recalls Motorcycles Due to Brake Problems

Honda Motor Company announced today that it is recalling 126,000 GL-1800 Goldwing motorcycles for model years 2001-2010 and 2012 because of problems with the rear brakes. According to Honda, under certain conditions the rear braking system's secondary master cylinder may cause the rear brake to drag unexpectedly. Unexpected dragging can increase the risk of a crash, and riding on a motorcycle with the rear brake dragging might generate sufficient heat for the rear break to catch fire. Honda's recall notice to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not specify whether the defect has caused any crashes or injuries. But according to papers filed with the federal agency, Honda has received 26 complaints about the brakes, including two fires. In one case, an owner had to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.

Honda Recall Due to Faulty Airbags

Honda has again recalled more of its vehicles as a result of airbags that may inflate with too much pressure in the event of a crash and deployment. Reports indicate that dangerous pieces may fly out upon deployment causing injuries or death to its passengers. The latest December 2011 recall involves 304,000 vehicles, including the Honda Accord, Civic, Odyssey, Pilot, CR-V, and several other models made between 2001-2003.

Airline Giant Sued After Passenger Died from Food Poisoning

Aviation giant American Airlines, headquartered in Texas, was named in a wrongful death lawsuit after a passenger is believed to have died because of food poisoning during a connecting flight.

Battery Fires Prompt Federal Investigation Into the Chevrolet Volt

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) has launched a formal defect investigation into the Chevrolet Volt after two vehicles caught fire as part of testing conducted by regulators. Last week, a Chevy Volt battery pack caught fire after being intentionally damaged a week earlier by NHTSA. The agency also recorded a temperature increase in another battery pack one day after it was damaged, and a third pack emitted smoke and sparks after a similar test. These latest fires are in addition to a battery fire in a crash-tested Volt in June. There, a fire occurred at a storage facility three weeks after the Volt was crash-tested. General Motors attributed that fire to a failure to deactivate the lithium-ion battery in the vehicle.

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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