An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Texas Supreme Court Overrules the Unlawful Acts Doctrine

The unlawful acts doctrine has been overruled by the Texas Supreme Court. In a 6-3 decision, the court said that there is no longer use for the unlawful acts doctrine. In the past, the doctrine barred plaintiffs from recovery in suits in which plaintiffs were involved in the commission of a crime at the time of the incident. However, Texas has a statute which recognizes proportionate responsibility and reduces the need for the common law doctrine. Proportionate responsibility allots a percentage of negligence to each individual responsible for the damages sustained by a plaintiff, including, and not limited to the plaintiff himself.

The decision arose out a negligence dispute in which, Martinez, a Texas man, died of complications related to illegal drug use with a friend who failed to timely contact emergency responders following Martinez's overdose. The family of the deceased brought a wrongful death suit against the friend and the friend raised the unlawful acts doctrine defense, proclaiming that Martinez chose to indulge in illegal drugs.

As this defense, which would normally prevent a defendant from being liable in such instances is no longer a viable option, defense attorneys are concerned. They assert that the ruling reduces the availability of a bar-all remedy in wrongful death and personal injury suits and that it makes it easier for admitted lawbreakers to recover. Supporters of the decision are confident that statutes such as "assumption of risk" will substantively serve the purpose of both sides. Those supporters assert that assumption of risk limits recovery in instances in which plaintiffs are involved in illegal activities, yet encourages the public to act with ordinary care notwithstanding the plaintiff's participation in illegal activities.

If someone you know has been a victim of wrongful death, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or 1-800-594-4884.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • $50+ Million Fire & 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 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 Plant Fire & 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 Worksite 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 18-Wheeler Collision

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

  • $48 Million Catastrophic Burns

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $48 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.

Read More Success Stories

Let Us Help You Request a Free Consultation Today

Get Help Now

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Back to top