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March 2018 Archives

$18.7 Million Verdict against Bus Company for Death of Bicyclist

In a jury trial in a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that the bus manufactured by Motor Coach Industries caused the death of Kayvan Khiabani, a Las Vegas surgeon who was riding his bicycle alongside a tour bus manufactured by Motor Coach Industries. On March 23, 2018, a Nevada jury awarded $18.7 million to the teenage children of Dr. Khiabani, decedent, alleging that the lack of proximity sensors, faulty design, and failure to provide adequate warnings about the dangers of riding near the tour bus caused Mr. Khiabani's death.

Alaska Airlines Stands Beside Captain Accused of Drugging and Raping Co-Pilot

Alaska Airlines co-pilot Betty Pina had two glasses of wine on a layover in June of 2017 brought to her by the captain she was paired with for a three-day assignment. The next thing Pina remembers is waking up in a vomit-soaked bed, naked from the waist down. Pina, realizing her and the captain had been in the same bed, found and pulled on her pants, stumbled into the bathroom and vomited again.

Know Before You Go

Almost everyone over the age of 16 living in Houston knows it is almost impossible to get around our city unless you drive a car. Almost all drivers are familiar with the rules of the road and the traffic laws in place.

Pedestrian Killed by Uber's Self-Driving Car

On the night of March 18, 2018, a 49-year-old woman named Elaine Herzberg was struck by one of Uber's autonomous cars in Tempe, Arizona. Elaine was walking her bicycle across the street when she was struck by the car and died as a result of this incident. This is believed to be the first pedestrian death associated with self-driving vehicles.

Florida Legislators Pass Bill to Arm School Staff and Potentially Open Schools to Lawsuits

Florida lawmakers, in response to the school shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida, passed legislation empowering some personnel in public schools to carry firearms to guard against future school shootings. The measure was passed by Florida's Republican-controlled legislature on Wednesday and will become law unless Republican Governor Rick Scott vetoes it. However, some experts say that this could expose these employees to potentially costly civil lawsuits.

Uber Self-Driving Vehicle Kills Pedestrian

On Sunday night, a pedestrian was killed by an Uber self-driving vehicle in Tempe, Arizona. According to officials, the woman was crossing a four-lane road outside the designated cross walk when she was hit at approximately 10:00 p.m. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she later died. The woman is believed to be the first pedestrian killed by a self-driving vehicle. At the time of the accident, the Uber vehicle was reportedly in autonomous mode with a vehicle operator in the front seat. There were no passengers in the vehicle at the time. Autonomous mode means the car is driving on its own. However, during testing, a person sits behind the wheel as a safeguard. Uber is conducting tests of autonomous vehicles in Arizona, Pittsburgh, Toronto and other areas throughout the United States and Canada. In the wake of the accident, Uber announced that it has temporarily halted its self-driving test operations across North America. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to Arizona to investigate the accident which comes nearly a year after an Uber self-driving vehicle was involved in another crash in Tempe. In that accident, the Uber vehicle rolled on its side, although there were no reported injuries.

E-Cigarette Battery Explodes and Causes Injury

In February 2016, Daniel Anderson was carrying a spare e-cigarette battery, his keys, and some coins in his left front pocket. When the metal items made contact, it caused a short to the outside of the battery. The resulting explosion caused chemical and thermal burns to Mr. Anderson's left leg and hands.

Bus Carrying Channelview High School Band Members Crashes, Killing One and Injuring Several Others

On March 13, 2018, a bus carrying Channelview High School band students plummeted 50-feet down a ravine near Mobile, Alabama. The bus-transporting forty-six people-was coming home to Houston after a high school band trip to Disney World. The catastrophe left one dead, one in critical condition, and another five individuals with serious injuries. The location of the bus in the ravine made rescue efforts difficult, and it took authorities three hours to get everyone out. Helicopters and ambulances took the injured to three hospitals in Mobile and Pensacola. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Last Year's Worst Corporate Conduct

While the newspapers, news broadcasters, and social media may highlight the most high-profile examples of corporate collapses and scandal, they are hardly isolated incidents. Well known corporations are behind some of the biggest scandals of the decade, some corporations include Wells Fargo, McKession Corp., and Equifax. Each story is result of a corporate culture that values profit over accountability, integrity, and opportunity, or in other words wants more "bang for its buck." The potential negative impact for corporate misconduct is the legal consequences, such as penalty, fines, and/or jail time. Despite this, corrupt corporations are willing to commit wrongful acts in order to gain large incentives. "The world's 20 leading banks spent an estimate $350 billion on costs related to misconduct over the last five years, including penalties, fines, settlements, and other legal expenses."

Air Bag Recall

On March 2, 2018, in an announcement affecting approximately 42 million vehicles in the U.S., it was made known that over two dozen brands of auto may have an air bag that, if deployed, will shoot shrapnel into unsuspecting drivers.

Explosion at La Porte Gas Plant

A recent explosion at a La Porte gas plant on Wednesday shook homes and caused concern as far away as Baytown and Sheldon. Some people were treated at the scene for ear pain and dizziness as a result of the explosion.

Police Chase Leads to Crash

Once again, a high speed police chase has led to a crash. This time, three vehicles were involved. The Houston Police Department reported that the wreck happened on Thursday, March 8, 2018 near the intersection of Crosstimbers and Lockwood. HPD has detained two people, but other details of this incident have not yet been released.

Lawsuit Against Cable Company for Woman Raped

The family of a 72-year-old woman with Alzheimer's is suing Charter Communications and DCOMM Inc. after the woman, who is not named in the lawsuit, was raped last year while having communications services set up in her home.

Bosque County Crash Kills Five People

In the early morning of March 5, 2018, a tragic accident involving two vehicles took place in Bosque County, Texas. The accident occurred on State Highway 6 near Clifton and killed five people, including three children who were students at Valley Mills Independent School District.

Mother and Infant Killed by Drunk Driver

A drunk driver killed a woman and her baby early Wednesday morning in Clear Lake. At the scene, the underage drunk driver admitted that she was coming from a bar-another pair of tragic deaths apparently caused by a bar's irresponsible sale of alcohol.

Grave Yard Shift Workers Ground Up

One of Americas Most Dangerous Jobs.

Elderly Houston Woman Dies from Bedbug Extermination

On July 28, 2017, an 82-year-old woman died from hyperthermia after returning to the apartment where she lived with her husband for thirteen years. The family of Elizabeth Ashbaugh filed a wrongful death suit against her former landlord and a pest control company claiming that a bedbug extermination treatment killed her.

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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