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June 2017 Archives

Full Spectrum - Full Synergy

Porsche, a world-wide recognized German automobile manufacturer is recalling nearly 18,000 vehicles in the United States to address an engine-related issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some Porsche vehicles manufactured between 2010 and 2012 have a camshaft controller that may become loose overtime. This may lead to engine failure or disrupted driving and may increase chances of vehicle collision, injury, or death.

$23.5-Million Settlement for Family Whose Teenager Died from a Heat Stroke in Sweltering Hot Bus

The dangers of leaving children alone in the car during the summer months are well known to us in society. Unfortunately, despite the numerous public service announcements reminding us of these dangers, it seems that every year we hear about another heat stroke death as a result of a child being left alone in the car. However, children are not the only ones susceptible to heat stroke.

18-Wheeer Cargo Crashes into Bridge on the Katy Freeway

On June 26, 2017, several lanes of the Katy Freeway were shut down after an 18-wheeler traveling on the eastbound lanes struck an overpass near downtown Houston striking at least two vehicles. The incident occurred around 6:45 a.m. when the truck's cargo crashed into the Houston Avenue Bridge. The lanes remained closed until the cargo was removed from the freeway.

Seven-Year Litigation Ends in a Victory for Victim of a Golf Cart Ejection

Seven years ago, Alexis Flores was 15 years old and a sophomore at Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School in Pharr, Texas, participating in the student athletic trainer program and playing third base on the high school's softball team. On September 9, 2010, her supervising trainer asked her to board a two-seater golf cart with himself and another student and drove toward the football field to set up water and equipment for a junior varsity football game. He took a sharp left turn, and Flores was ejected from the cart onto her right knee, tearing her ACL and shattering her dreams of playing softball again that spring.

Harris County v. Harris County Appraisal District and PRSI Trading, LLC

Harris County, represented by firm attorneys Benny Agosto, Jr. and Brian S. Humphrey II, received an important win from a Houston appellate court in a property tax case involving a Houston oil refinery. In a 2-1 decision handed down last Thursday, the First Court of Appeals in Harris County v. Harris County Appraisal District reversed the trial court's ruling and rendered judgment that inventory held in a refinery operated by Pasadena Refining System, Inc. was not exempt from local property taxes under the federal Foreign Trade Zones Act. The exemption was claimed on crude oil, refined products, and other inventory valued at over $100 million during the relevant tax years, representing millions in tax revenue for Harris County and the other taxing jurisdictions.

Recent Study Finds Fatal Crashes More Likely at Intersections with Traffic Lights

A recent study by Rice University's Kinder Institute found that intersections with stop lights are nine times more likely to have a fatal crash with pedestrians and bicyclists than those without stop lights. The study was prompted by the death of Rice University Professor Marjorie Corcoran who was hit and killed by a METRO light rail train near the Houston Medical Center in February. During the study, researchers examined records of all traffic crashes within the city of Houston from January 2010 to September 2016. Throughout this six-year period, there were 3,952 intersection-related automobile accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. Of those accidents, 90 resulted in a fatality, 1,802 resulted in an injury, and 2,060 were no-injury crashes. From 2012 to 2015, researchers noted a 42 percent increase in intersection-related collisions in Houston.

Turbulence Injuries Aboard Commercial Flights

Although commercial airline travel is the safest form of transportation, injuries aboard a plane can still occur. Most of these in-flight injuries are caused by sudden turbulence and even though turbulence is a common occurrence during any flight, serious turbulence can be dangerous. On June 20, 2017, 10 people were injured on a United Airlines flight from Panama City, Panama to Houston, Texas due to severe turbulence near Cancun, Mexico. Although the plane landed safely in Houston, all 10 people were taken to local hospitals.

Prominent Houston Doctor Sues Methodist Hospital for Secret Recordings

Earlier this month, Dr. Eric Haufrect sued Houston Methodist Hospital alleging the hospital recorded conversations between patients and nurses without their knowledge or consent. The lawsuit alleges this was Methodist's policy possibly for as long as eight years. Additionally, Dr. Haufrect alleges retaliation from the hospital for speaking out against the recordings.

Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Nursing Home

The family of Bessie Shealey, a 73-year-old woman who died last year is suing a nursing home in Deep Creek, alleging the staff there didn't properly monitor and care for a bedsore, leading to her death.

Flying Object Kills Another Texas Motorist

For the second time in one week, a flying object has killed a Texas motorist. On June 10th, a 69-year-old woman was killed when a trailer hitch ball crashed through the windshield of her car and struck her in the head. The woman was immediately taken to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased. The Houston Police Department is conducting an investigation surrounding the details of the accident. It is currently unclear where the trailer hitch ball came from and how it got loose.

Six Flags Great America Responsible for Mother's Injury

In the U.S., millions of people of all ages visit theme parks each year. The initial fear of a ride usually stems from a possibility of accidents or the feeling of being out of control. Most people overcome their fears by assuring themselves that the rides offer a "safe" thrill. This unfortunately was not the case for Shatoya Meeks, who visited Six Flags Great America in July 2011, one of the nation's largest theme parks. Meeks was taken to the hospital after she sustained injuries to her wrist and hands while riding Wahoo Racer at the Gurnee at Hurricane Harbor Water Park. Meeks' attorneys claimed that Six Flags personnel failed to operate the slide properly, failed to inspect the ride prior to opening, and failed to warn park customers of the present dangers.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agency Withdraws Jones Act Proposal

Last month the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) announced that it will suspend and reconsider a set of regulatory amendments to the Jones Act that were proposed by the Obama administration.

10-Year-Old Boy Killed When Crushed Between Driveway Gate and Wall

In February of this year, a 10-year-old boy, Aiden Rodriguez, was killed when a driveway security gate crushed him and caused fatal injuries. Aiden's parents have filed a lawsuit against the gate's manufacturer and the homeowner, seeking damages in excess of $1 million.

Man Killed by Flying Tire on the Freeway

Abdias Levya was killed on his way home after dropping his father off at work. It was almost 6:00 a.m. when Abdias was travelling northbound on I-45 near San Jacinto, when a wheel fell off a Ford F-150 travelling southbound and bounced into the northbound lanes before crashing through Mr. Levya's windshield, killing him instantly.

SUV Driver Killed in Head-On Collision After Truck Loses its Wheel

The driver of an SUV, identified as Abdias Layva, was tragically killed in a head-on collision on the Pierce Elevated Tuesday morning after a pickup truck jumped a barrier wall after losing its wheel. According to police, the pickup truck's wheel sheared off of the axel due to apparent "metal fatigue."

Court Upholds $1.5M Judgement for Waterslide Injury

Shatoya Meeks filed a lawsuit and claimed that in July 2011 she suffered cuts and torn ligaments to her wrist and hands while riding the Wahoo Racer. The Wahoo Racer is a ride at the Gurnee amusement park's Hurricane Harbor water park. In her suit, Ms. Meeks alleged that amusement park workers negligently operated the slide, failed to inspect the ride properly before its operation, and failed to adequately warn riders. Attorneys for the water park countered Ms. Meeks lawsuit and claimed that she should have been more attentive while on the ride and that her own negligence contributed to the accident.

Family of Local Austin Boy Killed by Driveway Security Gate Files Lawsuit

On February 18, 2017, tragedy struck the parents of 10-year-old boy, Aiden. The young boy had been visiting his friend's home in Central Austin when he was killed by the home's security gate. The metal mesh between the gate and the stone wall had been removed, creating a gap just wide enough for the size of the victim's body to fit through. The friend's motion triggered the gate to open while the victim, Aiden, stood in this gap. As a result, the metal gate crushed the little boy's body, cutting off oxygen supply to the brain. Aiden was rushed to the hospital, but his brain was already dead. He died five days later.

Drunk Driving's Unknown Punishment - Civil Penalties

Being charged with a DWI in Texas is an offense with serious criminal penalties, but most people fail to realize that the civil penalties of a DWI are just as painful. These civil penalties are independent of the criminal charge and can greatly affect your bank account and your driving privileges.

Car Dealer Sues Competitors for Selling Takata-Recalled Cars

Earlier this month, Florida Toyota car dealer, Earl Stewart, sued one of its competitors, Arrigo Enterprises, for selling cars containing Takata airbags. The lawsuit alleges Arrigo is not telling its customers about the recall and even misrepresenting the recall status.

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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