June 2012 Archives

IKEA Recalls Track Lighting System Due to Electric Shock Hazard

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with IKEA, announced a voluntary recall of a track lighting system sold exclusively at IKEA stores because of an electric shock hazard.

Recent Supreme Court Healthcare Decision

Today, the Supreme Court announced one of the most anticipated decisions in the past decade, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. This case challenged the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In a split decision of 5-4, the High Court struck down the Act's Medicaid expansion, but upheld its "Individual Mandate."

Supreme Court Rules Once Again Against a Worker

In the case of Weeks Marine, Inc. v. Garza, ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2012), the Texas Supreme Court ruled last week against a worker who was injured on the job. This time, the worker was a seaman. The Court ruled that he was not harmed by the employer's failure to pay for his medical care.

Survey Says Half of Teen Drivers Text While Driving

We've recently written posts about the problems with texting behind the wheel and other distractions common while driving. We've also blogged about teen drivers and some of the deadly situations that result when inexperienced drivers fail to comprehend the dangers of thrill-seeking. But what happens when you combine the two?

Texas Supreme Court's 5-4 Decision Keeps Injured Workers Out of the Courthouse

Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court eliminated the rights of injured workers to sue workers' compensation insurance carriers that act in bad faith. The 5-4 decision argued that such litigation interferes with the state's workers' compensation system.

Welding Explosion Kills One, Injures Another

According to Channelview Emergency Medical services, a welding accident on June 2, 2012 at the Oiltanking Partners plant killed one person and injured another in Channelview, Texas. While the cause of the explosion remains under investigation, it has been reported that fumes inside of a pipe that was being welded ignited and caused an explosion. Officials with the company have not identified the person who died, but they did say he was an independent contractor. Oiltanking issued a statement, saying: "Oiltanking is concerned by this unfortunate accident, and our main focus right now is on the welfare of the injured worker and to the families of those two workers."

Car Surfing Among Teens Leads to Severe Brain Injuries and Even Death

Eight teenagers in Georgia decided to skip class one morning and cruise around the neighborhood in a classmate's SUV. Three teens rode outside of the SUV, holding onto the roof and sides. When the SUV took a corner too fast, the vehicle rolled, crushing the legs of one of the teens that had been riding on the side. One teen ended up in a medically-induced coma.

Car Surfing Among Teens Leads to Severe Brain Injuries and Even Death

Eight teenagers in Georgia decided to skip class one morning and cruise around the neighborhood in a classmate's SUV. Three teens rode outside of the SUV, holding onto the roof and sides. When the SUV took a corner too fast, the vehicle rolled, crushing the legs of one of the teens that had been riding on the side. One teen ended up in a medically-induced coma.

Family of Marine Corps Veteran Sues Eagle Lake

The surviving family members of United States Marine Corps (USMC) Corporal James "JP" Salinas recently filed suit against the City of Eagle Lake in Colorado County. Corporal Salinas died on April 28, 2012 from injuries he sustained in an auto collision while riding his motorcycle and wearing his helmet. The lawsuit alleges that Corporal Salinas was traveling on FM 1013 near Eagle Lake to his job at a Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Sealy, Texas when an Eagle Lake officer, David Lee Weatherall, "inexplicably and without excuse attempted to make an illegal and ill-advised u-turn in front of Corporal Salinas." The lawsuit further alleges that Corporal Salinas skidded into the patrol car causing fatal injuries.

Loya Insurance Fined $300,000 for Deceptive Business Practices

According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), Loya Insurance, Co. has been fined $300,000 for filing inaccurate information on the rates it charges customers and unfair and deceptive practices. TDI criticized the insurance company for running advertisements stating that coverage could be obtained with no fees or down payments.

NuvaRing Users Suffer Serious Side Effects

NuvaRing is a popular internal birth control device, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 and marketed and sold by subsidiaries of Merck, Organon USA Inc. and Schering-Plough. Currently, over a thousand NuvaRing lawsuits have been filed around the country alleging that female users of the medical contraceptive suffered serious side effects as a result of using the NuvaRing birth control.

Improved Safety Technology in Cars Leads to Fewer Fatal Car Accidents

Is it possible that safer vehicle design is reducing the number of serious and even fatal car accidents on roadways throughout Texas and the nation? Safety advocates, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), think so.

The Dangers of Cruise Control for Truck Drivers

The use of cruise control by 18 wheelers in this country in misunderstood by most truck drivers and the public. In a recent case being handled by the firm that resulted in the tragic loss of a family member, it has become clear that the public is in greater danger when big rig drivers use cruise control at night at highway speeds. It seems clear that drivers become more reliant and relaxed -- with less focus on the task at hand.

Doctor Accused of Unapproved Human Testing Has Resigned

A doctor accused of performing unauthorized research at a public psychiatric hospital recently resigned after being accused by stated officials of making a DVD in which patients were videotaped against their will and identified without permission as part of an unauthorized human research project.

Women's Basketball Coach Sued for Employment Discrimination

National Basketball Association ("NBA") security official, Kelley Hardwick, has filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against Geno Auriemma, head coach for the United States women's basketball team. The suit, filed in a Manhattan State Supreme Court last Friday, also named the NBA and USA Basketball as defendants.

Teen Deaths from Auto Accidents on the Decline

While car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens between the ages of 15 and 19, a recent report by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm indicates that the rate of teen fatalities due to auto accidents is falling-and drastically. In the report, "Miles to Go: Monitoring Progress in Teen Driver Safety," the statistics show a 46 percent decline in teen driver fatalities in crashes between 2005 and 2010. There was also a 41 percent decline in deaths among passengers.

Brain Injury Lawsuits Against the NFL Consolidated, Including Several Wrongful Death Suits

Is there a link between the suicides of ex-NFL players and permanent brain injuries caused from hits during the game? The recent lawsuits filed against the National Football League think so.

Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion in Texas Sends One Worker to the Hospital

A pipeline explosion in Hemphill County, near Canadian, Texas, not only destroyed construction equipment, but also resulted in one worker being sent to a nearby hospital where he was treated for burn injuries.

Kia Recalls Rio Models

Last Tuesday, Kia announced that it is recalling nearly 73,000 of its Rio models due to a hazard existing with the passenger airbag system, which could erroneously deploy with a small child seated in the front passenger seat. This recall is now posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website at: According to the information posted on the NHTSA website concerning the recall, the front seat passenger "occupant sensor mat can experience fatigue cracking...If sufficient cracking occurs, the classification system (OCS) will cease to function such that the system will not be able to detect whether a child passenger is in the seat and the airbag will deploy during a crash necessitating deployment." Such a defect obviously increases the risk of injury to children riding in the front seat.

Too Many Recalls Numbing Consumers

According to a recent article in USA Today, experts are concerned that the number of products being recalled is resulting in "fatigue" which could increase the chance people do not pay attention to them. In 2011, recalls rose 14% from the 2010. Recall include consumer productions, automobiles, drugs, food, and medical devices. In 2012 alone, hundreds of recalls have already been announced. Some of the companies already issuing recalls include Pfizer, Toyota, Lexus, and IKEA.

Recalled Products: 10 Consumer Products Often Still in the Home

Did you know that only about 10 percent of recalled products are actually returned or repaired? This means that 90 percent of products with known defects remain in people's homes. And many of these defective products can result in serious injury or even death.

Effectiveness of the FDA's Notification Process

There are questions being raised about the effectiveness of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) notification process. In a new study examining the United States Food and Drug Administration's recall process, researchers found that the FDA did not send notifications for one in five of the most serious recalls through its two electronic systems used to alert doctors and the public. The study focused on recalls between 2004 and 2011, and counted more than 1,700 drug recalls listed in the FDA's enforcement reports. Ninety-one of those were noted to be serious Class 1 recalls.

Evenflo Highchair Recalled

According to an article published by, reports of children falling from a popular high chair prompted the federal government to issue a recent recall. In the article it stated that Evenflo's convertible high chair tray can detach unexpectedly, causing kids to fall out.

After Blast Injures Workers at Texas Site, Questions Are Raised About Energy Company's Safety Records

A recent explosion at a south Texas energy company raises questions abou t the company's health and safety record.

Mother Sues Las Vegas Police Department

A lawsuit was filed in federal court on Monday against the Las Vegas police department by the mother of an unarmed, disabled veteran who was shot and killed by the police. The lawsuit alleges that faulty Las Vegas police policies and the use of an AR-15 assault rifle contributed to the death.

Keeping Your Kids Safe in the Water

Summer is upon us, and children will likely seek the fun of a swimming pool throughout the season. But the fear of a child drowning is a fear that has haunted every parent's mind at some point. Luckily, there are some important safety precautions parents can take to prevent such a tragedy from happening.

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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Firm News & Updates

  • $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.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

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