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September 2016 Archives

Another Recall by General Motors Due to Faulty Air Bags

Over four million vehicles are being recalled by one of the largest car manufacturers, General Motors (GM). 3.6 million of the recalled vehicles are in the United States. After several reports of injuries, GM is working to fix the defective airbag software found in the 2014-2017 Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac models.

Woman Sues 24 Hour Fitness After a Treadmill Injury

In 2011, Etelvina Jimenez, then 60 years old, fainted while on a 24 Hour Fitness treadmill and fell backwards. She struck her head and fractured her skull. Based on her injuries, she underwent several surgeries to relieve pressure and remove blood clots. Ms. Jimenez, who remains with a permanent brain injury, has filed suit against 24 Hour Fitness for failure to provide an adequate safety zone behind the treadmill.

Friends are Concerned About Driver

Friends are concerned about the condition of an unnamed male driver who was transported from the Crosby area by Life Flight at about 3:00 o'clock yesterday morning. Preliminary reports indicate that the wreck happened near FM 2100. It was not clear from them whether the crash included more than one vehicle. It was also not reported whether alcohol was involved.

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. As a city with a large Latino population, Houston kicked off the celebration with the annual Fiestas Patrias parade. For more information on events in the Houston area in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, please visit www.hispanichouston.com.

Bicycle Insurance

Everyone knows insurance is available for purchase to cover a car on car collision; it is a state law requirement. So what coverage is available for a bicyclist? Comprehensive bicycle insurance is not sold in the United States unlike some European countries. What happens when a person on a bicycle is injured, or hit by a car? For a car on bicyclist collision the driver's liability insurance can cover the bicyclist's injuries. However, what if the driver's insurance is not enough or the driver doesn't have any insurance? A bicyclist can use their Underinsured/Uninsured motorist coverage.

Alabama Jury Returns a $1,725,000 Million Verdict Against Dollar General

On July 2, 2012, Deborah Revette slipped and fell in clear liquid laundry detergent that was on the floor in the chemical aisle at a Dollar General Store in Mobile, Alabama. As a result, she suffered severe leg and shoulder fractures, which necessitated eight surgeries, 395 doctor visits, and over $470,000 in medical bills. Revette, who was 60 years old when she fell, is permanently disabled.

Fatal Airplane Crash - Wrongful Death Suit Filed

On August 30, 2016, Kenneth Glazer filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court subsequent to his parents' fatal airplane crash on their trip from New York to their vacation home in Naples, Florida. After take off from the Greater Rochester Airport, Larry and Jane Glazer-prominent real estate developers and philanthropists-faced complications in the air, as the plane's cabin pressurization system failed mid-flight. The plane ultimately went down in the Caribbean Sea, Near Jamaica, resulting in the death of the couple.

Vessel Owners Owe Seaman an Ineligible Duty to Maintain the Vessel Seaworthiness

Vessel owners operating in navigable waters have a duty to maintain their vessels in a "seaworthy" condition. Whether an injured seaman has a claim for vessel unseaworthiness is often an issue in maritime injury litigation. "Seaworthiness" is more than a vessel's ability to travel from Point A to Point B. Courts often define the term to require that the vessel be constructed, outfitted, manned, and in all respects fit for a voyage at sea.

Bus Crash in North Carolina Results in 4 Deaths and 42 Injured

On September 17, a charter bus driving on U.S. Highway 74 near Rockingham, North Carolina crashed into a guardrail and then side swept a concrete bridge column when the front left tire blew out. Four passengers died as a result of the crash while forty-two passengers were injured.

The Trucking Industry and Politicians May Be Conspiring to Make Our Highways Less Safe

In 2013, the most recent year for which finalized statistics are available, 3,541 truck-related wrecks killed 3,964 people - an increase of 17.3 percent in just four years since the recession. In 2014, the number of deaths resulting from truck accidents was down slightly, but the total number of crashes and injuries increased. When the recession began in 2008, profit margins for shippers shrank and bankruptcies rose, prompting a desperate industry to step up its lobbying effort. Today, this lobbying has led to methodical and substantial changes in the trucking industry, leading to higher profits for companies, but at the expense of highway safety.

Samsung Recalls 2.5 Million Galaxy Note7 Smartphones 2 Weeks After Launch

On August 19, Samsung launched its new Galaxy Note7 smartphone, beating Apple's competing iPhone 7 to the market. However, two weeks later, Samsung commenced a global recall of the phone amid reports of the phone's lithium-ion battery exploding. The recall has been plagued with delays due to an apparent failure by Samsung to coordinate with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, who did not issue its own official announcement of the recall until September 9, nearly a week later.

Jury Awards Over $19M in Medical Malpractice Case

A Dallas County jury delivered a $19.7 million verdict against Dr. Jennifer Burris and her employer, Acute Surgical Care Specialists, for the wrongful death of Ms. Katina Clark. Prior to her death, Ms. Clark lived in a permanent vegetative state for a year and a half following the brain damage she sustained as a patient.

More GM Recalls

Last Friday, General Motors Company (GM) announced a recall on 4.3 million vehicles worldwide for defective software involving airbag deployment. The defect, which can prevent airbags from activating or seat belts to lock during a crash, has thus far been connected to three injuries and at least one death. The defect is described as a sensor problem that tricks the computer into thinking it is in test mode, and therefore doesn't register as a real crash. While the problem only triggers in rare circumstances, the recall covers a wide variety of cars, including all the newer models of Buick LaCrosse', GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Corvettes, Caprice, Spark EVs, and Tahoe's, Silverado HD and 1500, the Silverado Suburban, and Cadillac Escalades. GM said they would be notifying customers and offering a free software update, which is reported to already be available at their dealerships.

Patient with Needle Left Inside Her Back Obtains Verdict

As a society, we put considerable faith in professionals-deferring to their education and citing their professional titles as reliable. To that end, we trust that engineers will properly plan and construct buildings and roadways. We expect that our accountants are appropriately and accurately filing our yearly taxes, and of course, we rely on our physicians and medical experts to provide us with the medical care necessary to help us sustain healthy lives. But what happens when our expectations are not met-when our trust and reliance on these professionals fails us? What happens, for example, when a physician makes a costly mistake?

Crash Involving Unlicensed Bus Driver Results in 3 Deaths and 36 Injuries

On August 28, a charter bus crashed into vehicles at the scene of a prior accident on Interstate 10 near LaPlace, Louisiana causing 3 deaths and injuries to 36 people. The bus driver was unlicensed and was in the country illegally.

Maritime Casualty Investigations: How Technological Advances Create Opportunities for Collaboration

Civil litigation seeking recovery for injuries that mariners receive in the course and scope of their employment often draw upon the information obtained by governmental accident investigations. Often, the question that follows "did your employer fill out an accident report?" is: "Did the Coast Guard do an investigation?" The reason why lawyers who represent injured seamen are interested in governmental investigations is the same reason that lawyers who represent maritime companies are interested: We want the truth.

A Car Wreck, and the Two Parts to an Insurance Claim

While everyone knows car insurance covers the car, most people are not aware that the car insurance can cover medical bills. There are two parts to an insurance claim for a car wreck. The first part is a property damage claim that involves the damage done to the vehicle. The second part is a bodily injury claim that involves injuries sustained by the people in the vehicle.

Man Suffers Burns at Plant in Channelview

A man was hospitalized after being burned at the Lyondell Basell's facility in Channelview this morning. Life Flight responded to a report of a burn at the Energy Investment Fund-owned plant on Sheldon Road around 5:41 a.m. Energy Investments Fund is a cogeneration facility or power plant located next door to Lyondell Basell's petrochemical plant in Channelview. The Lyondell Basell medical team came over to aid the man until Life Flight and EMS crews arrived and transported the man to Memorial Hermann Hospital at the Texas Medical Center.

Truck Carrying Ammonium-Nitrate-Fueled Takata Airbag Inflators Explodes, Killing One

On Tuesday, August 23, a truck crashed, caught fire, and exploded in the small town of Quemado near Eagle Pass, Texas. The explosion leveled the nearby home of Lucila Robles, killing her, and left debris more than two miles away. On Monday, August 29, Takata Corp., the troubled airbag manufacturer, confirmed that the truck was carrying Takata airbag inflators with their ammonium nitrate propellant. Takata has a warehouse in Eagle Pass and a factory across the border in Monclava, Mexico.

Most Texas Doctors Do Not Lose Their Licenses for Sexual Misconduct

According to an analysis by the Austin American-Statesmen, between 1999 and 2016, three out of four doctors that were punished for sexual misconduct with patients did not lose their medical licenses and were allowed to continue working as physicians. The Texas Medical Board has challenged the Statesman's findings by claiming that the analysis provided to the board included starkly different allegations that were not in the same class of offenses. As Jarret Schneider explained, "We think it is misleading to group all of these cases together regardless of offense. There are very different and varying degrees of boundaries issues addressed in this list, ranging from a physician making an inappropriate remark to sexual assault."

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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