October 2016 Archives

Over Prescribing Antibiotics

Research published by Jama Internal Medicine found that only half of diagnosed patients with the 3 most common bacterial infections are receiving proper treatment. The study was from the data of a group of 44 million patients, meaning that only around 22 million received the recommended treatments. The other half has been shown to receive broad-spectrum antibiotics such as azithromycin, which poses a serious problem for strengthening superbugs. Already there have been reports on these antibiotic resistant strains of bugs, and the blame lies in practices such as these, where errors fall in the millions and provide potential ground zeros. The more broad-spectrum antibiotics are used, the greater the potential they stop working.

Traffic Fatalities on the Rise

Although cars and trucks now come with more safety features than ever, more people are dying on our nation's roadways. In the first six months of 2016, there have been almost 18,000 deaths. That number represents a 10.4 percent increase over the same time period in 2015. Sadly, traffic fatalities also increased from 2014 to 2015.

Food Truck Explodes Causing Third Degree Burns to Cook

A food truck, known as Porky's City Grill, located at 11616 Hempstead Road, Houston, Texas 77092, in the parking lot of Empire Tools, exploded on September 28, 2016 causing severe debilitating injuries to an employee. More specifically, on or about September 28, 2016, Brenda Guajardo Alvarado was working inside of the food truck preparing food for customers when she noticed that the warmer to heat the food was not working. Ms. Guajardo, who has several years of experience working in food trucks, proceeded to check the warmer by turning off the gas. Ms. Guajardo noticed that the climate control to determine the temperature was not on and no heat was emitting from the gas line. Ms. Guajardo located a lighter that the food truck provided, in attempts to light the burner. Suddenly and without warning, an explosion occurred, causing severe, third degree burns to Ms. Guajardo. Authorities rushed to the scene and Ms. Guajardo was rushed by ambulance to Memorial Herman in the Houston Medical Center, where she remained in the burn intensive care unit for weeks.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against HISD Principal

On the evening of September 11, 2016, Bertha Lazcano was making her way down U.S. 290 in Houston, Texas. Meanwhile, Orlando Reyna-Principal at Houston Independent School District's Madison High School-was also driving down U.S. 290, heading home after leaving Brick House Tavern. Mr. Reyna lost control of his truck and struck a construction barrier that sent his vehicle airborne. Unfortunately, the truck landed directly on top of Mrs. Lazcano's Toyota RAV4. The impact of this collision led to Mrs. Lazcano's instantaneous death.

Travelers Should Verify Cruise Ship Cleanliness Before Traveling

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides reporting on the cleanliness of many cruise ship vessels that hail from United States ports, giving travelers the opportunity to determine the historical cleanliness of cruise ship vessels prior to travel. The CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program makes reports available to the public as they are completed.

Mother Killed on Side of Road by Semi-Truck

On October 10, 2016 a mother of two was struck and killed after pulling over to check on an odd noise that was coming from her vehicle. When she got out of the car and closed her door, a semi-truck sideswiped her and kept driving. Her mother and two children were inside the vehicle and witnessed the tragic events unfold. She was a working mother who was loved by her children, friends, and was passionate about her profession as an esthetician. Investigators are still looking for the driver that never stopped.

Sporting Event Injury

Getting hurt at a sporting event is very possible and this type of injury falls into two general categories. The first is the standard premises liability claim such as a slip and fall. The other category is a more specific sports claim that occurs when a fan is injured by a baseball or hockey puck to the face. Getting hit in the face by a hockey puck usually doesn't happen while shopping for groceries. So what happens when a fan at a hockey game gets injured?

Bus Slams into 18-Wheeler in Fort Bend County Injuring Seven People

On Wednesday, seven passengers on a commercial bus suffered injuries, including broken bones, after a bus crashed into the back of a big rig in Fort Bend County. The bus was attempting to pass an 18-wheeler on Highway 59 near FM 360 when the crash occurred. According to DPS Sgt. Carl Currie, the bus driver noticed something strange with the bus and lost control, running into the back end of the 18-wheeler. An investigation into the incident is still ongoing, although troopers said citations could be a possibility.

Nursing Home Arbitration

Across America, nursing homes have been using the private justice system of arbitration to quietly deal with practices such as abuse, sexual harassment, or even wrongful death to reduce legal costs at the expense of their patients. Upon entry, patients sign a contract with a clause that mandates arbitration for anything a nursing home could be held liable for. In many cases it is argued that the elderly do not fully understand what they are signing. These clauses have disturbing consequences; in Murrysville, Pennsylvania a 100 year-old woman was murdered by her roommate and initially blocked from court as a result of such a clause.

Family Alleges Man Died of Mold Infection from the Hospital

Daniel Krieg, 56, died on July 9, 2016. His nephew has filed a lawsuit against UPMC Montefiore alleging "professional negligence" by the hospital. Mr. Krieg died from multi-organ failure due to sepsis approximately one year after undergoing a kidney transplant at UPMC Montefiore.

Samsung Halts Production of Galaxy Note7 After Replacements Reportedly Explode

Samsung has announced that it is permanently ending production of its Galaxy Note7 smartphone amid reports that replacement phones issued as a result of last month's recall are also exploding. The South Korean giant announced the massive recall of more than 2.5 million of the phones after several of them reportedly exploded due to overheating batteries.

New Jersey's Deadly Train Crash

On September 29th, 2016, a train was less than a minute from Hoboken station cruising in below the regulated speed of 10mph when, suddenly and without warning, the train accelerated to 21mph, double the regulated speed and crashed into the barrier at the end of the rail. When the train collided with the barrier it was launched through the wall and into the waiting area, killing one woman and injuring over 100 people.

Man Racing in His Car Hits Deputy

Last night, a man was racing on I-45, the North Freeway, when he crashed into a patrol car driven by a deputy. The wreck occurred shortly before midnight near Victory Drive. The motorist slammed into a cruiser of a Precinct 4 Deputy Constable. The crash was so violent that it caused the police car to roll about four times before coming to a rest. The deputy received undisclosed injuries from the collision.

Cell Phone Can Catch Fire or Explode

Recently, Samsung has been facing difficulties with its newly released Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones. The phone's battery is prone to overheating, which can result in the phone catching fire or even exploding. To help cure the problem, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones on September 17, 2016 after the company issued a voluntary recall on September 2, 2016.

Parents of Young Woman Who Died in Fireworks Explosion File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

On July 31, 2015, a twenty-one year old University of Alabama student died in Amarillo, Texas as the result of a fireworks explosion.

Gas Explosion in Texas Panhandle Injures 3

Officials in the town of Sunray in the Texas Panhandle have reported that a gas line ruptured and caught fire Thursday afternoon. According to KFDA in Amarillo, three people were injured, with two airlifted to Lubbock and the third at a local hospital. A voluntary evacuation was issued for the area, and the city has shut off all gas in the city.

Superbug Summit

Well over half a million people die every year as a result of drug resistant antimicrobials, with as many as 2 million being infected in the United States alone. Last week, a group of normally competing pharmaceutical companies came together to put together a plan for reducing drug resistance in the coming years. Some of these companies pledged to cut the environmental footprint made by antibiotic production, while others said they'd share surveillance data, improve access to antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics, and some pledged to look into new methods of research and development.

Female Jogger Sustained Fatal Injuries After Being Struck by a Boat Trailer in Pearland

On Sunday, October 2, around 7:00 a.m., a woman was jogging near the intersection of Southern Trails Drive and Broadway Street in Pearland, Texas when she was fatally struck by a boat trailer. The boat trailer was being towed by a Ford F-150.

Suit Filed in Chemical Plant Explosion and Fire in Nederland, Texas

An explosion severely injured several workers at the Sunoco Logistics plant in Nederland, Texas on Friday, August 12, 2016, at approximately 8:40 p.m. Several workers, contracted to work on a pipe containing crude oil, were working the night-shift, when suddenly and without warning, the pipe exploded. The blast and ensuing fire caused severe injuries to several workers who were directly within the proximity of the pipe at the time of the explosion.

Offshore Oil and Gas Rigs Are Getting Back to Work

Throughout the United States, the number of oil and gas rigs operating offshore has been on a steady increase. As of September 30, 2016, Baker Hughes reported 22 rigs operating offshore, with 21 of those rigs located in the Gulf of Mexico. While still down from 29 operating offshore rigs one year ago, the oil and gas industry is climbing out of one of the most severe production downturns in recent history.

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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