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September 2014 Archives

Doctor Posts Surgery Photos without Patient's Consent

Sabrina Kropp has sued Dr. Robert Walton, a Chicago plastic surgeon, alleging that he posted before and after photos of her facial reconstruction surgery on his website and without her consent. The photos were labeled "cocaine nose."

Important Information to Keep in Mind Following a Car Accident

Car accidents are a frequent occurrence in and around the Houston area. Approximately one and every four people will be in a car accident in their lifetime. It is important to know what to do if you are involved in a car accident.

Two Factors Reportedly Result in Traffic Death

Alcohol and a motorcycle reportedly were involved in the traffic death of a Houstonian this past weekend. But the combination may be different from what one might initially expect.

Some 6000 Speeding Tickets to be Dismissed

City of Houston prosecutors announced that in the interest of justice, more than 6,000 speeding tickets will be dismissed. The tickets to be dismissed were issued by four officers who are allegedly involved in a ticket-rigging scheme in order to collect more overtime. Houston Police Chief, Charles McClelland, said they are dismissing the tickets because it is far better to dismiss numerous amounts of valid speeding tickets in the interest of ensuring that any victims in this scheme do not have to pay unjustly.

4 Sexual Abuse Survivors Hold Church Abuse News Conference

Four survivors of sexual abuse, including a few at the hands of St. John's Abbey monks, will be at a news conference last Thursday where lawsuits will be announced against St. John's Abbey and the Dioceses of St. Cloud in Minnesota. Two victims that previously settled lawsuits with St. John's were not at the news conference.

Abraham Watkins Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend is proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month which kicked off September 15 and runs through October 15. This is a special time to celebrate the culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Celebrations in Houston begin as early as August 31, with a concert sponsored by local radio stations and businesses. For more information on events in the Houston area in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, please visit www.hispanichouston.com.

Study Shows Tort Reform Savings Are Mythical

According to an article from the New York Times, a recent study has found that so called tort reform savings are mythical. Tort reform has been a central plank in the Republican program for healthcare reform for decades. The idea was originally created to stop so called "frivolous lawsuits." The notion has lived on despite copious evidence that that the so-called defensive medicine practiced by doctors merely to stave off lawsuits accounts for, at best, 2% to 3% of U.S. healthcare costs. As for "frivolous lawsuits," they're a problem that exists mostly in the minds of conservatives and the medical establishment.

Airport Sign Fell and Killed Minor

On March 22, 2013, while walking through a new terminal at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, a large flight information sign weighing several hundred pounds fell and caused fatal injuries to 10-year-old Luke Bresette.

SEC: Futuristic Bitcoins Stolen in an Old-Fashioned Scam

In an ongoing lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a Texas man it has accused of defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme involving the popular "virtual currency" Bitcoin, Federal Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas re-affirmed in August his earlier denial of the defendants' motion to dismiss. In his ruling, Judgef Mazzant held that Bitcoin is "money" and that contracts involving the investment of Bitcoin rather than traditional currency are nonetheless subject to federal securities law. In an ironic twist, the ruling lends credibility to Bitcoin as a currency while simultaneously allowing the government to proceed in a case highlighting Bitcoin's risks and to potentially subject it to closer regulation-certainly an uncomfortable situation for a currency whose entire point is to serve as an alternative to government-sponsored legal tender.

Airbag Recall that Affects 14 Million Cars

Takata, a Japanese parts supplier company, has recalled more than 14 million cars that are equipped with their faulty airbags. These airbags have the potential to explode, injure, and even kill vehicle occupants. Takata has supplied these defective airbags to a number of American, Japanese, and German automakers over several years. Last year, Takata's automaker clients ordered the largest airbag-related recall in history.

Texas Ranks as the Deadliest State for Construction and Worksite Deaths in Country

A recent review by the Dallas Morning News discovered that Texas was the deadliest state for construction workers in the country. Within a nine year period from 2002-2012, Texas had 4,593 reported deaths. Many of these fatalities were related to electrical contracting, roofing, and framing jobs. The leading cause of death among construction workers are falls on the worksite.

Bicycle-Only Lane to be Constructed Downtown

Possibly as early as October, 2014, the City of Houston will install a two-way protected bike lane. The projected bike lane will be installed along Lamar Street in downtown Houston. It should help connect the Downtown are to both the Buffalo Bayou and Columbia Tap Trails. Initial plans call for the bike lane to be distinguished from the existing black-top road by being painted green. The bike trial will further be separated form vehicle traffic by what is called an armadillo. An armadillo is a hard plastic round hump which extends a few inches from the road. It is often used to designate a specific lane for certain types of traffic. In this case it will be used to designate a bicycle-only lane.

Protection for Bar Owners

Yesterday, I was called upon to address "dram shop" claims, and it reminded me again about the substantial protections the Legislature and courts have attempted to provide to bar owners to reduce their liability.

Two Killed in Head-on Crash in Baytown

Late last night, two men were killed and a child injured when two pickup trucks collided nearly head-on on North Main in Baytown. The 3-year-old child was rushed to Hermann Hospital in critical condition. There is no word yet as to the cause of the collision, as police are still investigating.

Lawsuit Settled in Death of 10-year-old Boy at Alabama Airport

On March 22, 2013, a large flight information sign at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama fell on a family returning home from a Florida vacation. The flight information sign, which was made of metal and glass and weighed as much as 400 pounds, was part of a $200 million airport renovation. The falling sign severely injured a mother, three children and killed 10-year-old Luke Bresette.

BP Facing Multi-Billion Civil Penalties After Judge's Ruling

On Thursday, a federal judge for the first time found that BP was indeed the primary culprit and that only it had acted with "conscious disregard of known risks." He added that BP's "conduct was reckless." By finding that BP was, in legal parlance, grossly negligent in the disaster, and not merely negligent, United States District Court Judge Carl J. Barbier opened the possibility of $18 billion in new civil penalties for BP, nearly quadruple the maximum Clean Water Act penalty for simple negligence and far more than the $3.5 billion the company has set aside.

Fatigued Truck Drivers and the Risks They Present

By now it should be common knowledge that truck and automobile drivers who are not well rested pose a danger on the roadways. Although awareness about driving safety has been at its all-time high, and even with steady initiative to implement stricter regulations on truck drivers, there has been an 18% increase in fatal truck accidents since 2009.

Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation Celebrates Its Ninth Annual Scholarship Luncheon

As many lawyers know, law school can be not only demanding of one's time and energy, but also on one's bank account. Fortunately, the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation (MABATx Foundation) hosted its Ninth Annual Scholarship Luncheon benefitting Hispanic scholarships for law students. The scholarships are awarded to outstanding law students who best exemplify leadership, commitment, justice and equality within the Hispanic community and beyond. Scholarships are awarded to law students from each of the three Houston-based law schools.

Texas Nursing Homes Are Found to be Overmedicating the Residents

A recent study found that state nursing homes are over-prescribing antipsychotic drugs. Further investigation found that state investigators cited Texas nursing homes 1,060 times for medication errors in 2011. In 2013, that number rose by nearly 200.

Safety Awareness with Increased Traffic after Labor Day

With the back to school season in its second week, it is important to remember that with the return of children in classrooms means heavier traffic and congestion on the streets of Houston. A couple years ago in 2012, just outside of Houston on I-10, one of the most severely documented car accidents in Texas occurred. The tragic event, involving almost 150 vehicles, left two dead and as many as 100 injured. The pileup, attributed to dense fog and high traffic, caused three separate pileups to begin on Interstate 10 in both directions. An officer reported that when an SUV crashed into vehicles in front of them, a tractor-trailer then rammed from behind, running over the SUV, killing its occupants.

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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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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