July 2016 Archives

Abraham Watkins' Representation of Woman Claiming Sexual and Racial Harassment by Former Police Chief Gains Attention

Abraham Watkins' own Benny Agosto, Jr. and Scott Armstrong are proud to represent a veteran Galveston police officer for claims that she was sexually and racially harassed by former Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto from 2013 to 2015. In the complaint filed with the federal Equal Opportunity Commission, the officer says Porretto discriminated against her because of her African-American race and her gender and promised her job advancement in return for sexual favors. When she refused such requests, positions were denied and job opportunities were taken away.

E-Cigarette Explosions Resulting in Catastrophic Injuries

While e-cigarettes have been advertised as a safe alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, recent events have shown these devices can actually be extremely dangerous. The Internet reveals several pages of headlines about e-cigarette explosions resulting in catastrophic injuries. In 2016 alone, there have been several media reported injuries attributed to e-cigarette explosions, including a truck driver suffering facial injuries when his e-cigarette exploded while driving, a woman who suffered third degree burns to her leg when her e-cigarette exploded in her pocket, and a professional soccer player who received extensive facial injuries when his e-cigarette blew up in his mouth.

Four Automakers Found to Be Selling Cars with Potentially Defective Inflators

Some Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles from the 2016 and 2017 model years being sold are equipped with Takata airbag inflators, despite the devices being potentially defective and likely to be recalled within a few years, according to a Senate report. Takata has already agreed to recall about 69 million airbag inflators in the U.S. by the end of 2019, but these automakers can legally sell their newer model vehicles as they are not yet covered by the recall.

Another Fatal Wreck

Family members and loved ones are mourning the loss of a person whose name has not been released. The individual was killed in a fatal collision during rush hour this rainy morning. The incident occurred on the outbound side of U.S. 59 near Kirby, and it reportedly involved a pedestrian at the southbound ramp. The crash happened shortly after 6:00 a.m., snarling morning traffic. At this time, additional details have not been provided by authorities.

How Many Deaths Does It Take Before Our Texas Roads Get Safer?

Texas safety guidelines exist and mandate that protective barriers should barricade concrete bridge posts that are less than 30 feet from the freeway road. Not only does this safety precaution exist, it is often not adhered to in different locations throughout Texas. On numerous occasions, these precautions have been taken only after the loss of a life. Is death what is required to increase safety?

General Motors Recalls Over 1 Million Pickup Trucks

In order to save lives from vehicle collisions and improve the safety of innocent drivers, unsafe vehicles must be removed from roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 25,000 deaths have occurred on roadways in 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reducing the amount of traffic fatalities by mandating manufacturers to recall the vehicles that do not follow the Federal safety standards or have defects.

NTSB Releases Results of Preliminary Investigation into Amarillo Train Crash

On June 28, 2016, two trains barreled into one another near Amarillo, Texas. Each train was carrying two crew members. While one crew member was able to jump to safety, the three others tragically died.

Playing Games with Safety, Pokémon-Go

Pokémon-Go is a relatively new mobile phone game that has skyrocketed to holding the title of the most popular mobile game in U.S. history. It is a wonderful game that uses Google maps and the pedometer in smart phones to get people out of the house and to be active. To play the game people need to walk around their city and visit local land marks, and walk a certain amount of miles for the game to progress. The danger of this game is the hordes of people all looking at their phones while walking around. Everyone has heard the story of a person being distracted by their phone and walking into traffic. Now the largest mobile game in history requires people to look at their phones while walking around. This poses a significant problem of having a large amount of people not paying proper attention and potentially causing auto-pedestrian collisions.

Suspect Appears in Court after Deadly Police Chase

Garrett William Nee, 29, appeared in court to face charges of murder and manslaughter stemming from a police chase that occurred on June 19, 2016. He pleaded not guilty.

Jury Finds Radiologist Negligent for Failing to Note Lesion

In April 2010, Michelle Sanchez was seen at the Lovelace emergency room in New Mexico for left leg swelling and infection. She was treated and released with a recommendation for other tests. Later that month, she was hospitalized for about two weeks.

Avoidable Trauma Deaths

Studies on trauma incidents, such as car accident and gunshot injuries, all across the United States have shown that where people live might influence their rate of survival. With 148,000 people dying in the year 2014 and costing an estimated 167 billion dollars in medical expenses and lost productivity, the study revealed that 1 in 5 people may die unnecessarily based on a few factors. The study also showed that half of deaths occur at the scene of the injury or en route to the hospital, speaking on how important it was that bystanders begin the 'chain of survival.' Hemorrhages, in particular, are the leading cause of preventable deaths.

Rollercoasters, A Ride to Die For

Rollercoasters are a great experience. However, incidents can happen at any time. Two different incidents occurred in Texas in April.

Texas Supreme Court: Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code Does Not Protect Property-Owner Agents

In the latest of the Texas Supreme Court's recent string of decisions interpreting Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, the justices found that employees and agents of property owners do not enjoy Chapter 95's protections.

Federal Regulators Investigating Tesla's Autopilot Mode Following Fatal Crash That Killed a Tesla Driver Using the Software

The federal government is reviewing a fatal crash involving a Tesla driver in Florida who was using the company's autopilot software. A tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection, prompting the company to conclude that the autopilot system did not activate the brakes because it did not recognize the white side of the turning vehicle against a brightly lit sky. This is the first known fatality in over 130 million miles of autopilot testing.

Girl Killed, Mom Injured in Sealy Bridge Collapse

An accident involving an 18-wheeler killed a child and seriously injured a woman near Sealy yesterday. The truck hit a bridge located on Highway 36 at Highway 90, causing it to collapse. The truck had just dropped off a dumpster when it approached the bridge with the boom still raised. The truck hit the warning device that hangs over the roadway to alert drivers that they may hit the bridge. The warning indicators were struck, but the truck didn't stop. It hit the bridge with such force that it knocked off a section of concrete and dislodged the steel beam.

Feds Issue Massive Hoverboard Recall

On Tuesday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of more than 500,000 hoverboards due to fire hazards. The CPSC states that the "lithium-ion battery packs in the self-balancing scooters/hoverboards can overheat, posing a risk of the products smoking, catching fire and/or exploding."

IKEA Issues Recall in U.S. and Canada, But Potentially Deadly Products Still on Sale in China and Europe

On June 28, 2016, Ikea announced that it is recalling 29 million dressers due to a tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children.

Man Killed Using Tesla's "Autopilot"

An Ohio man died while using the "Autopilot" feature on his Tesla electric car. Joshua Brown of Canton, Ohio, died from injuries he sustained when a tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of his 2015 Tesla on a highway near Williston, Florida. The car's sensors system failed to distinguish the large 18-wheeler and the car attempted to drive full speed under the trailer. The bottom of the trailer ultimately impacted the windshield of the Model S. The police report said the top of the vehicle "was torn off by the force of the collision." The truck driver was uninjured. Brown had purchased the vehicle in mid-July of 2015.

Woman Sues Insurance Company After Being Injured in a Collision

On April 8, 2013, Gerri Koch was rear ended at a stop sign by an uninsured motorist. Ms. Koch, 50 years old, sustained a permanent spinal injury. Ms. Koch, who had coverage with Allstate for up to $250,000 in the event she was hit and injured by an uninsured driver, filed a claim with the company. Allstate denied the claim. Ms. Koch filed suit.

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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