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December 2015 Archives

Reggie Bush Considering Lawsuit Against City of St. Louis Over Stadium Injury

San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush says he is "still strongly considering" a lawsuit against the city of St. Louis over a knee injury suffered during a November 1 game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Bush suffered a season-ending torn meniscus when he slipped on a large patch of concrete near the stadium wall after running out of bounds in a play at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The case highlights a number of issues in personal injury law, including premises liability, sovereign immunity, and assumption of the risk. The city of St. Louis's Sports Authority and Convention Bureau operates the Edward Jones Dome.

Contaminated Medical Device Allegedly Causes Fatal Infection

Carla Warner, widow of Willie Warner, has sued the makers of a diagnostic instrument and the machine designed to clean it after her husband contracted a fatal infection. Olympus America Inc. and Custom Ultrasonics Inc. have been sued over the safety and reliability of their medical scopes and machines. The suit filed in federal court in Pennsylvania alleges fraud, negligence, and breach of warranty and asks for compensatory and punitive damages.

Dangerous Toys

defective toys.jpgWinter holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and wonder, especially for young children. However, some aspects of holiday celebrations can have unintended consequences. Children's gifts, for example, can harm rather than delight.

Volkswagen Federal MDL Transferred to California's Northern District

On December 3rd 2015, the U.S Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heard various arguments on which district to transfer over 500 potentially related lawsuits which were filed against Volkswagen in 60 federal courts. California's Northern District has been selected as the appropriate district for the litigation against Volkswagen A.G in regards to its emission scandal, with Judge Charles Breyer presiding over combined pre-trial proceedings.

Diagnostic Errors

A new study from September has shown that errors in diagnostics are even more rampant than previously estimated. One in 20, or 5%, are effected annually, with 10% of patient deaths attributing to these types of errors. And while there are numerous recommendations by experts to improve this rate, the problem is that most recommendations would take years to put into place.

High-Speed Police Chases: Texas Is Out of Step

police car 2.jpgAcross the country, law enforcement officials engage in high-speed chases that put innocent bystanders and suspects at risk. A day seldom goes by without at least one report of injury, death or property damage because of high-speed police chases somewhere in the United States. Texas is no exception.

Foul Assumption: Father Will Most Likely Lose Suit Against Atlanta Braves for Injuries to Daughter When She Was Struck by a Foul Ball

On August 30, 2010, Melky Cabrera of the Atlanta Braves sliced a foul ball in to the stands above the visiting team's dugout, and hit a 6-year girl. The girl fractured her skill in 30 places and sustained a traumatic brain injury. The father brought suit against the Atlanta Braves, and just last Wednesday added Major League Baseball (MLB) to the suit. The suit alleges that the Braves and MLB are liable because they were negligent when they failed to extend the protective netting far enough to protect fans sitting adjacent to the field.

Concerns About Police Chases

After a recent, unsuccessful chase, there is mud on the police. Or, at least on one of their patrol cars. Media accounts report that a deputy working for the Precinct 5 Constable's Office lost control when chasing a suspect during the early morning hours of Thursday, December 17, 2015. While pursuing a motorist, the deputy chased the vehicle to the area of Old Richmond Road at Eldridge Parkway. There, the deputy crashed into a field after jumping the curb. The cruiser ended up stuck in the mud.

Southwest Airlines Jet Goes Off Tennessee Runway

At least 8 people were said to have been injured on Tuesday December 15, 2015 after a Southwest Airlines plane skid off the runway after landing at Nashville International Airport.

National Defense or Local Disaster? Nuclear Weapons Plant in Texas is Harming Its Own.

The Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas is the United States' only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. It also is charged with maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. Currently, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, over 1,300 people have been made sick or died due to exposure to chemicals and toxins in the plant.

Hoverboard Fire Dangers

In early December both the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and the UK's National Trading Standards issued an advisory on the top gift of this holiday season, hoverboards. Hoverboards are two-wheeled, self-propelled scooters that give the illusion of a flying skateboard and have a sales range from $200 to $2,000. In October the UK National Trading Standards issued a recall on the popular toy after finding a faulty plug that "increases the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire." Since the beginning of the recall, safety officials have seized more than 15,000 hoverboards. After inspection, an alarming 88% of the devices were found to be defective.

Personal Injury Compensatory Damages

When a person considers filing a personal injury lawsuit over a car accident, slip and fall, or any other kind of injury, it is reasonable to ask "What is my case really worth?" The answer comes down to "damages" and figuring out what your injuries have cost you monetarily, physically, and mentally.

Recreational Boating Accidents Pose Serious Danger to Texans

According to the United States Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security, more than 4,000 recreational boating accidents have been reported in each of the past five years. Recreational boating accidents occur year round and may involve jet skis, fishing boats, cruise ships, kayaks, canoes, and many other types of boating vessels. In 2014, which is the most recent year with available information, operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and alcohol were the most common causes of recreational boating accidents.

Diagnostic Errors Cause Harm to Patients

When health care providers fail to provide accurate and timely diagnoses, patients are placed at risk. Proper diagnosis is critical to medical care. In September, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report that found diagnostic errors are a persistent problem. The report found that annually, one in 20 adults receiving outpatient care experiences a diagnostic error.

Lax Worker Safety Culture in Texas?

construction workers 2.jpgLast July, three Texas construction firms were hit with nearly $800,000 in penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The federal agency noted that the three companies put workers in tremendous danger, according to a story in the Texas Tribune. The agency also noted that the state has a lax safety culture that results in more work-related deaths and injuries in Texas than in any other state.

Supreme Court Extends Immunity Procedure for Police

This weekend, the Texas Supreme Court further insulated police officers from responsibility when they injure citizens during reckless police chases. The decision came in the case of Texas Department of Public Safety v. Merardo Bonilla.

Defective Medical Equipment Results in Death

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued another warning in regards to artery clearing tools. The devices are part of a new system used to open constricted arteries to help blood flow via cutting plaque from artery walls. In September. the FDA reported an incident where a wire piece from the component broke off and punctured a blood vessel, resulting in the patient's death. Two similar fatalities have also been reported in relation to the defective product. Several additional incidents have prompted emergency surgeries to retrieve dislocated parts. In one surgery the debris was unable to be extracted. Marlborough based Boston Scientific, the product manufacturer, issued a recall on October 9th.

Porsche Raises "Assumption of the Risk" Defense in Paul Walker Wrongful Death Suit

Porsche Cars North America raised some eyebrows when, in an answer filed in the lawsuit over the death of The Fast and the Furious franchise star Paul Walker, it asserted that Porsche is not liable because Walker assumed the risk of riding in its car. While the significance of Porsche's rather routine pleading has perhaps been a bit overblown in media reports, it provides a good opportunity to highlight the rule the "assumption of the risk" doctrine plays in modern American tort law and why Porsche will likely be unsuccessful with this defense.

Home Depot Sold Products Which Were Recalled 3 Years Ago

On November 18, 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) put out a warning that Home Depot was selling products that had been recalled from 2012 to 2015. It was found that Home Depot had continued to sell 28 different products that had been recalled. Home Depot discovered the issue itself when it realized that some of its registers were not programmed to prevent sales of the recalled products. Once it was discovered, Home Depot informed the CPSC of the situation. Over 2,300 units were sold, of which approximately 1,300 were sold to consumers themselves. The CPSC has advised consumers to call Home Depot directly or go to their product recall section on their website. The CPSC is quite familiar with companies selling recalled products as a similar situation occurred in the summer of 2014, where Best Buy sold recalled electronic items.

Rail Worker Safety Affected by Falling Oil Prices

train oil and gas tankers.jpgRailroad workers in Texas and throughout the United States have a right to be concerned about their safety. Last week, a website devoted to news about the Eagle Ford shale oil field in Texas posted a story about BNSF railroad workers' concerns for their safety. They say that their long shifts create unsafe working conditions.

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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