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December 2017 Archives

Most Hurricane Harvey Victims Without Flood Insurance

In late August, the destructive Hurricane Harvey unleashed itself on the city of Houston. In its wake, thousands of Houstonians were left homeless as a result of flooding in their homes. Approximately 80 percent of the people that had their homes damaged by Harvey didn't have flood insurance.

Mother Killed and Two Children Left Injured in Ski Lift Malfunction

A Texas family has filed suit against a Colorado ski resort after a mother and her two children were thrown from a ski lift due to a ski lift malfunction.

Nursing Home Pays $1.25M Over Poor Care

Julie and Douglass Mittleider have operated nursing homes in several states, including Georgia. Court records show complaints of inadequate care, including issues with mold, snakes, roaches and rodents. Residents have also complained of untreated bedsores and not getting enough food. The Mittleider's have agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle allegations that for several years, they fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid by providing "effectively worthless services."

Hit-and-Run Driver Caught After Being Tracked Down by Witness

In an all-too-frequent scene in Houston, yet another pedestrian was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Tuesday night, this time on Veteran's Memorial in Northwest Houston. This driver may face justice sooner than most, however-the Harris County Sheriff's Office arrested him after he was tracked down and detained by a witness.

Amtrak Train Derails During Its Inaugural Run

During the early morning of December 18, 2017, an Amtrak train derailed during its inaugural run on the newly opened faster route from Seattle to Portland. Onboard the train were 80 passengers, three crew members, and two service personnel. The train was traveling 80 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone as it approached a curve. The train derailed outside Tacoma, Washington from an overpass bridge onto a highway, killing at least three train passengers and injuring over 100 others. Additionally, several drivers were also injured on the highway onto which the train fell. Over 70 people were taken to hospitals following the derailment.

Woman Dies in Accident at Exxon Mobil Refinery

On December 1, 2017, Yesenia Espinoza, a contract worker for Echo Maintenance was killed at the Beaumont Exxon Mobil refinery after she was struck by a piece of piping. Ms. Espinoza was working a project to build a SCANfinig unit, which removes sulfur from gasoline to comply ultra-low sulfur gasoline standards, the sources said. SCAN stands for Selective Cat Naphtha hydrofining.

Xarleto First Lawsuit Loss

Johnson & Johnson and Bayer were recently ordered by a Philadelphia court to pay $27.8 million in damages to an Indiana couple. The pharmaceutical companies failed to sufficiently warn patients of the risk of internal bleeding associated with the drug, Xarelto. This judgment marks the first lawsuit loss over Xarelto. Johnson & Johnson and Bayer have been cleared of liability in the previous three federal trails that involved the drug.

Damages Available in Personal Injury Cases

The value of your case is ultimately determined by what a jury is willing to award, but a jury can only award damages if you ask for them. That's why it is important to have an experienced attorney who can help you identify and articulate the various types of damages you are entitled to.

Nursing Home Operators to Pay $1.25M for Substandard Care

A Georgia-based non-profit and associated companies have agreed to pay $1.25M for claims that they provided effectively worthless services to residents in a Mississippi nursing home. The lawsuit was filed against nursing care conglomerate owners, Julie and Douglas Mittleider, and their companies for rendering prison-like conditions to elderly residents. A string of former complaints, and even a state-wide ban in Massachusetts, precedes the Mittleiders' reputation for providing substandard care that has left residents severely injured and dead.

Children Seriously Injured by Golf Carts

A new study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2017 & Exhibition in Chicago September 18, 2017, shows that an increase in the use of golf carts off the course has caused a significant number of children to be harmed.

Traumatic Injuries to Children May Cause Long-Term Behavioral Effects

According to studies conducted by the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, traumatic events experienced by children, including injuries, can have long-term effects on a child's physical and behavioral development. The old axiom is that trauma to young children has no lasting effects because they are too young to remember the event. However, recent studies demonstrate that young children, including infants, are even more at risk than older children and adults because of their developing brain.

Fifth Circuit Holds That Limitations Tolling Statute Means What It Says

In a brief per curiam opinion on November 22, the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals made what, perhaps, should have been an obvious ruling: that where a Texas limitations tolling statute does not contain an exception, a federal judge cannot simply create one. However, in Clyce v. Butler, the trial judge decided otherwise, and was reversed by the Fifth Circuit.

Takata Takes Its Time with Deadly Airbag Recall

Despite a finding that Takata airbags are prone to dangerous explosions when deployed, the Japanese auto supplier, Takata, and the auto industry as a whole have been slow in their widespread recall. This slow recall poses a deadly threat to millions of drivers and passengers.

Residents Sue Nursing Home After Abandoned During Fire

Four residents of Villa Capri assisted living center have sued the facility and alleged that on October 9, 2017, they were abandoned by the facility's staff when a firestorm forced an evacuation. The suit alleges that the residents, along with "other residents in wheelchairs, and other residents with dementia who were physically and cognitively incapable of escaping a burning building without assistance," were left stranded. The suit names Oakmont Senior Living and Oakmont Management Group as the defendants.

Woman Lost All Her Limbs Due to Flesh Eating Disease

A woman in Canada gave birth in March and didn't seem to face any complications. She returned to the hospital the day after bringing her baby home and complained of stomach pains. She was told by her doctors that her stomach ache was a result of constipation, and she was sent home. The next day, she was rushed into emergency surgery due to a dangerous flesh-eating disease. She was then diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, which is an infection that results in the death of the body's soft tissue. Necrotizing fasciitis is a severe disease of sudden onset that spreads very quickly and usually enters the body through a break in the skin, such as a cut or burn. Unfortunately, the woman has had to go through multiple surgeries and has had her legs and arms amputated to prevent the spread of the infection. The woman remains mostly bedridden at the hospital several months later. She is now suing the hospital and the negligent doctors for not properly assessing her and for misdiagnosing her. She believes that if they had done their jobs properly when she first came in with symptoms, most of the damages could have been prevented and her limbs may have been spared from amputation.

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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