June 2014 Archives

NTSB Claims Plane Crash Partially Caused by Relying Too Much on Automation

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the fatal crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was caused by the pilots mismanaging the descent toward San Francisco's airport and not aborting the landing to try again.

Innocent Houstonian Seriously Injured By Careless Pharmacy's Mislabeling Of Prescription Drug

Our attorneys have been retained to represent a Houstonian who has been seriously injured by a pharmacist's careless mistake.

The Cost Of Gas: Recent Texas Oil Boom Creates Safety Hazards

Texas and the rest of the country have benefited from a rapid increase in domestic energy production in the past few years.

North America's energy boom comes at a large rice however -- Politico reports that oil train accidents have skyrocketed in the in the last few years.

Closing of Living Centers for the Disabled Recommended

The Sunset Advisory Commission of Texas recently released a report recommending state legislators close down six state supported living centers for people with disabilities. The Sunset Advisory Commission is tasked with identifying and eliminating inefficiency in Texas State agencies and relaying their concerns to the Texas Legislature. The report said that these living centers should be shuttered because they are expensive, unnecessary, and falling apart.

American Bar Association Says Social Media Is Fair Game

In April of this year, the American Bar Association (ABA) issued a formal opinion from its Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. In Formal Opinion 466, the ABA provided guidance to trial lawyers with regards to researching potential jurors' social media websites. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and others are considered fair game for viewing so long as the research does not involve contact with the prospective juror, either by the attorney or someone acting on the attorney's behalf.

Federal Investigators Overlook Design Defects in Small Planes

In the last fifty years almost 45,000 people have been killed in incidents involving private planes and helicopters. This is almost nine times the number of people that have died in commercial airline crashes. Federal investigators cite pilots as causing or contributing factors in 86% of private crashes.

Scammers Target New Homeowners

After moving into a new home, you will probably receive a number of "welcome to the neighborhood" offers, many of them advertising services and local businesses. But a number of those letters will be for no purpose other than to separate you from your hard-earned money.

Patient Abused at Parkland Memorial Hospital

In March of 2014, a psychiatric ER nurse at Parkland Memorial Hospital shoved a toilet paper roll into a patient's mouth while another staff member covered her head with a sheet. A police report noted "blood stains can be seen on the toilet tissue."

Do Malpractice Threats, Real or Imagined, Lead to More C-Sections?

Doctors' fears of medical malpractice lawsuits have led to an increasing number of unnecessary repeat cesarean sections. Even where vaginal birth is possibly safer option, obstetricians increasingly choose the surgical procedure as a legally safe alternative. One major concern underlying the increase in cesarean sections is the obvious infringement on the rights of the mother.

Rise of Transportation Apps Brings Many Questions

For the time being at least, driving is almost a requirement to living in Houston, which ranks in the top ten largest cities in the United States in terms of area. With Houston covering just less than 680 square miles, it is often necessary to call a taxi, as walking around this massive city is just not feasible. Some of the trendiest new apps available today assists individuals with just that: Uber and Lyft. Uber Technologies Inc. is a San Francisco based company that is rapidly expanding. Dallas is currently the only city in Texas offering the service. But Uber is committed to bringing their services to the Houston area.

Data Shows Connection Between Fracking and Methane in Well

For the past two years, residents of Parker County have experienced eruptions of flames shooting from their water wells as a result of dangerous levels of methane gas traveling into their water supply. Barnett Shale gas producers have claimed zero connection to their gas and oil operations, but a pair of scientists are now disputing this. This new connection has been made based on test results released by state regulators providing a direct connection to the fracking and groundwater contamination.

GM's Recall List Keeps Getting Longer and Longer

One day after GM released a scathing report on their safety shortcomings, they announced four additional recalls, three of them involving air bags that may not deploy in a crash. Including the latest four, GM has now had 34 recalls this year involving 13.9 million vehicles in the U.S.

Tracy Morgan Accident Brings National Attention to Trucking Regulations

The June 7th truck crash that claimed the life of James "Jimmy Mack" McNair and critically injured Tracy Morgan and three other passengers has given new urgency to a long-running debate over federal rest rules for commercial truckers. According to the criminal charges against the driver of the Wal-Mart truck, Kevin Roper, he had not slept in 24 hours before he struck the limousine bus carrying Morgan, McNair, and others. Mr. Roper has been charged with vehicular homicide for reckless vehicle operation causing the death of McNair, and recklessly causing serious bodily injury for the injuries to Morgan and others. The crash occurred at about 1 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014 on the New Jersey Turnpike when Roper drove the Wal-Mart tractor trailer into the rear of the limousine bus.

"Nonsubscribers": What happens when you aren't covered by workers' compensation?

In 49 states, most or all employers are required to participate in a workers' compensation program to provide benefits to employees injured on the job. In Texas alone, it is entirely up to the employer whether to provide workers' compensation benefits to employees. Employers who chose not to are called "nonsubscribers." So, if you are injured on the job, what is the difference between having an employer with workers' compensation and having an employer who is a "nonsubscriber"?

Yaz Birth Control Lawsuit Filed After Patient Suffers a Stroke

A woman in Washington, D.C. has filed a lawsuit against Bayer as a result of a stroke that occurred from taking the birth control product called Yaz. In early 2008, Sharon Paez, the plaintiff, was prescribed Yaz by her health care provider which she took as a contraceptive but also as treatment for other menstrual complaints such as acne, cramps, and PMS.

Cancer Center Compensates Patient for Extending Chemotherapy

Elizabethtown Hematology Oncology PLC and its owners paid nearly $4 million dollars to resolve allegations that they filed false claims for payment to Medicare, Medicaid, and the military's medical provider for extending the duration of chemotherapy to patients and inappropriately billing office visits for infusion therapy.

Open FDA Project Releases Millions of Reports

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has publically released troves of data related to drug side effects that it hopes will increase awareness of adverse drug events and lead to new developments in research. The more than 3 million reports document adverse drug events occurring between 2004 and 2013. These findings were previously only available through the use of Freedom of Information Act requests.

Fire Investigated in Local High Rise

Friday afternoon, the Houston Fire Department reported a two-alarm fire at a high-rise building. The structure is located near the intersection of Kirby and the Southwest Freeway. Preliminary information indicated smoke in the lobby of the ninth floor, but the actual fire had not been identified, and no one has yet been evacuated. Arson may be involved.

May 16, 2014, A Tragic Day for Houston Cyclists

Many of us have experienced just how thrilling and addicting it can be to feel the freedom of riding your bike on the blacktop road or a rocky trail. No matter what terrain you chose to ride on, cyclists all share in the experience of the outdoors and open road together. Tragically we lost yet another member of the cycling community. The Daily News, a Galveston newspaper, reported that Jon Trevelise passed away after a long battle with injuries he sustained after being stuck by a motor 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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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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