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August 2017 Archives

My Employer Doesn't Have Workers' Compensation. Is That Legal?

If you are hurt on the job in most of the country, you can rest assured that your employer (or its insurance company) has the obligation to pay for your medical bills and pay some of your lost wages while you recover, regardless of fault. You may have to fight with them over the bills, but you know that they have to pay as long as you show the injury was the result of an on-the-job accident. You know this as "workers compensation," and it is mandatory in almost every state in the Union.

Woman Files Lawsuit Against Chick-fil-A When Mouse Found in Sandwich

Ellen Manfalouti and a co-worker visited a Chick-fil-A restaurant at Langhorne, Philadelphia, last November to pick-up sandwiches. As the two started to eat their sandwiches, Ellen felt something unusual on the bottom of her bun and turned it over. She assumed that her roll was burned. However, as she threw her sandwich on the table, her co-worker noticed something strange; she saw whiskers and a tail. It was at that point that she realized a small rodent was baked into the bottom of her sandwich bun.

Another Airbag Failure Resulting in Driver's Death

Firm Partner Benny Agosto, Jr. successfully settled an air-bag defect case last month against Ford Motor Company, one of the world's largest car manufacturers. The lawsuit resulted in a combined, confidential settlement for Mr. Agosto's clients. As many are aware, Ford Motor Company has come under scrutiny in the previous years, which has led to the recalls of hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles.

Charlottesville Victims File $3 Million Terrorism Suit Against Alt-Right & Neo-Nazi Event Organizers

Two women injured during a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville have accused the driver who hit them, and killed another, of inciting violence and aiding terrorism. The two sisters are seeking monetary relief of more than $3 million from James Alex Fields, the vehicle driver, and a host of racist organizations according to the lawsuit filed in the Charlottesville City Circuit Court of Virginia earlier this week.

Lawsuit Filed Against Hospital and its Staff After Newborn Suffocates in Hospital Bed

Recently, an Oregon woman filed a lawsuit against Portland Adventist Medical Center and one of the hospital's nurses after the woman's newborn son suffocated in a hospital bed. According to the lawsuit, a hospital nurse brought the newborn to the mother's hospital room to breastfeed in the middle of the night. The nurse placed the infant on the mother's bed and left them unattended. Approximately three hours earlier, the mother, who had delivered the baby by cesarean section, was given narcotic pain medication and sleep aids. An hour later, the mother noticed that her son was unresponsive and called for a nurse. After emergency care, the baby was stabilized and placed on life support. The infant underwent a full evaluation and treatment for six days. After a battery of tests, doctors determined that the infant had suffered severe hypoxia and his brain was severely and permanently damaged. The family later agreed to terminate life support and the newborn passed away at ten days old. The family is seeking more than $8 million in economic and non-economic damages.

Truck Underride Collisions

On July 6th in northern New York, two cars skidded underneath a milk tanker truck that had jackknifed on Interstate 81. The truck was attempting to avoid hitting a deer when it lost control. Tragically, this incident resulted in the loss of four lives, including a doctor that was in a stalled ambulance on the interstate. This is just one of many examples of tractor-trailer accidents that involve passenger vehicles.

Teenage Woman Dies from Electrical Current Piping Submerged in River

In 2014, an 18-year-old woman, Madeline Roskie, died when she was electrocuted while inner-tubing on the Puyallup River in Washington State. The family of the deceased woman has sued Puget Sound Energy ("PSE") for wrongful death.

Teenager Killed in Construction Accident

A 19-year-old female construction worker, Destiny Rodriguez, was killed Monday in a work-related accident in West Bexar County. The fatality was reported around 10:30 a.m. at a construction site in the 13700 block of Portranco Road, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Suit Alleges Patient Developed Fatal Bedsore While in Nursing Home

Anna Burkhart, 90, was admitted to Oradell Health Care Center for care after she suffered a fractured hip on October 30, 2014. While a patient, Ms. Burkhart developed a large, painful bedsore, which ultimately caused her death. Her family has filed suit.

Wal-Mart Ordered to Pay Millions in Parking Lot Verdict

In January 2014, 78-year-old Adelaide Price was visiting the Walmart in her neighborhood when she was run over by a truck while walking in the parking lot, according to court documents. As a result, Price suffered fractured bones, including her skull and needed reconstructive surgery.

Cyclist Killed in Hit-and-Run Collision

A cyclist was killed earlier this week in a hit-and-run collision. It occurred near 10:00 o'clock p.m. on Monday night in the 11,900 block of Veterans Memorial. The man riding the bike was on the shoulder. According to information from the Harris County Sheriff's Office, a vehicle swerved into the shoulder and hit the bike. The rider, apparently between about 55 and 65 years old, was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the car fled the scene. The car was said by witnesses to be a small four-door. The vehicle may have been a Dodge Neon, and authorities have suspicion that the driver was intoxicated.

Why do I have to pay my health insurance company out of my settlement? Subrogation and Liens

If you have received medical treatment after being in a car wreck or being injured in another type of accident, you may have received a letter from your health insurance company asking you questions about the accident or claiming a "subrogation" interest. Or you may have received a letter from the hospital giving you notice that a "hospital lien" has been filed. Or you might have received a letter from the Center for Medicare Services talking about the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and something called "conditional payments."

Dallas Couple Seeking $1 Million for Negligently Repaired Car Roof

A seriously injured Dallas couple is suing for negligence, malice, intentional acts, and fraud, seeking monetary relief of more than $1 million from John Eagle Collision Center and John Eagle Imports. According to the lawsuit, the couple alleges that the certified collision repair shop conducted unsafe repairs to their Honda and never disclosed those repairs prior to the sale.

An Ohio State Fair Ride Malfunctions Causing One Fatality and Multiple Injuries

The Ohio State Fair, one of the largest in the nation, draws thousands of people for its fried food and thrilling amusement rides. The "aggressive thrill" ride at the carnival, called the Fire Ball, was a crowd favorite for its fierce swoops and circular swings. Unfortunately, on July 27, 2017, this crowd-thriller turned lethal as it snapped in motion.

New Distracted Driving Course Required for Drivers 18 and Older Beginning Next Month

Last week, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced a new driving course to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. Beginning on September 1, 2017, all skills examination applicants ages 18 and older must complete a free, one-hour "Impact Texas Young Drivers" (ITYD) course and obtain proof of course completion prior to taking the driving skills examination. In addition, drivers ages 18 to 24 will also be required to complete a six-hour adult driver education course prior to the skills examination. ITYD is the second course in the "Impact Texas Driver" program, which was developed in 2015 by the DPS with the aim of saving lives through awareness and education related to distracted driving. The first course, Impact Texas Teen Drivers, is a two-hour course that went into effect two years ago for drivers ages 15 to 17. In addition to the new courses, drivers are still required to complete the distracted driving module taught in the 32-hour teen driver education class along with six hours of adult driver education. The new ITYD course requirements are slated to go into effect the same day as the state-wide ban against texting and driving. The DPS also announced that a third course, "Impact Texas Adult Drivers" for drivers 25 and older, will be implemented in 2018. In the meantime, drivers in that age group will still be required to take the ITYD course to obtain a license.

"Talk, Text, Crash"

One mother shares her tragic story about a fatal car crash that took away her two teenage daughters. The two sisters, 19-year-old Brianna and 17-year-old Jade, were traveling home from Spring break with their friends. Tragically, the driver of the car they were in lost control while checking for directions on her phone. An 18-wheeler struck the car from behind and killed backseat passengers, Brianna and their friend Brittanie Johnson, upon impact. Jade, in the front passenger seat, died several hours later, and the driver of the vehicle was critically injured but ultimately survived. The mother, Stacey Riddle, joined a campaign with the aim of spreading the "talk, text, crash" message, a problem she fears will continue if not talked about. Ms. Riddle pleads with drivers to be more careful on the roads.

The Impact and Concerns of Traumatic Brain and Head Injuries

Accidental falls have always been a cause for concern. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 20% of falls result in some type of injury. In the United States, accidental falls are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries in people over the age of 65. Additionally, three million older patients are treated in the ER for falls, and 800,000 patients are hospitalized for falls each year. Major efforts have been taken to prevent these accidental falls from occurring.

Wife Killed by 800 Ton Bulldozer

On April 14, 2017, Susan Coons, a 44-year-old- Elizaville resident, was identified as a victim in a work construction accident. Coons was in the process of leveling a field at 7775 Albany Post Road when she was struck by a 800 ton bulldozer. According to state police, the partner was moving the machine to make a minor adjustment to the blade and then noticed that Coons was struck by the bulldozer.

Passenger Killed in Motor Vehicle Collision: Driver Was Reportedly Intoxicated

On Friday night, an SUV driven by 27-year-old Jonathan Mendez was allegedly involved in a minor collision. It happened at about 9:30 p.m., near the intersection of Hempstead Highway and West Tidwell Road. Rather than stop and provide information, Mendez reportedly sped away from the scene. Later, at the intersection of Leghorn Street and Guhn Road, he lost control of the vehicle. He left the roadway and hit a tree, killing his female passenger. Mendez was taken to the hospital, and now he faces charges of intoxicated manslaughter for the death of the passenger.

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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