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August 2018 Archives

FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use Dr. King's Homeopathic Products

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers not to use Dr. King's homeopathic and other drug products. This comes after King Bio Inc., the Asheville, North Carolina company that makes Dr. King's, expanded a voluntary recall to include all aqueous, or water-based drug products marketed for human or animal consumption. The FDA warned that Dr. King's products "may pose a safety risk to people (especially infants, children, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems), as well as pets due to high levels of microbial contamination identified at the manufacturing site." The FDA urged "that consumers stop using and dispose of these products immediately."

$289 Million Verdict Against Monsanto Roundup Weed Killer

Dwayne Johnson, 46, sued Monsanto at the Superior Court of California, alleging that the popular weed killer Roundup gave him terminal cancer. Johnson applied Monsanto's Roundup weed killer 20 to 30 times per year while working as a groundskeeper for a school district near San Francisco. He testified at trial that while using the product he had two prior incidents in which he was soaked with the product. In 2014, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The suit alleged that harmful contact with Monsanto's product caused the underlying cancer. After three days of deliberations, the San Francisco jury awarded Johnson about $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.

Lawsuit Filed by Family of Toddler Who Died in Hot Daycare Bus

Recently, Raymond and Dikeisha Whitlock-Pryer filed a lawsuit against a Houston daycare facility for negligence in connection with the death of their three-year-old son. On July 19, 2018, Raymond Jr., who also went by R.J., along with 28 other students of Discovering Me Academy LLC went on a field trip to a local park. According to authorities, the group, which included two daycare employees, returned to the daycare facility on Antoine Drive midafternoon. When R.J.'s father came to pick him up at 6:00 p.m., daycare employees were unable to find R.J. After searching for approximately thirty minutes, R.J. was discovered unresponsive inside the bus located outside the daycare. Investigators believe R.J. was inside the bus for at least three and a half hours. Deputies measured the temperature inside the bus after they arrived on scene. It was found to be 113 degrees inside the bus at that time. Records show that the toddler had allegedly been listed as having been accounted for when the bus returned to the daycare facility. The family has also sued Tanisha Butler, the owner of Discovering Me Academy. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Butler was instrumental in setting up the daycare's system to account for children throughout the day. Ms. Butler was also reportedly on the premises the day of the incident for at least part of the time that R.J. was left unattended on the bus.

$2 Million Verdict for Man Injured in Hotel Elevator

A jury awarded $2 million to a California man who suffered permanent spinal damage from an elevator malfunction. Before trial, the company-Schindler Elevator Corporation-offered to settle for $12,000.

Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Fatal July 4 Boat Crash

The mother of a Northport woman killed in a boat crash on July 4 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the boat. Ricky Latham, 29, was charged with reckless murder in the deaths of Destiny Graben, 23, and Ricky Glover, 46, after the fatal crash on the Black Warrior River near Moundville.

Parents Sue Resort After Child Injured on Water Slide

Carlos and June Cordeiro have filed suit against Fertitta Hospitality LLC, the owner of the San Luis Resort, Spa and Conference Center, after their child was injured while using a water slide. They have alleged negligence after their daughter lost consciousness on the slide.

Jury Awards 289 Million to Cancer Victim: Concludes Roundup Toxic to Weeds and People

The Environmental Protection Agency scrutinizes chemicals before approving their use for the public, but when the manufacturer deliberately provides falsified data or hides the known hazards as a California jury recently decided, the results for the public are tragic, and the judgment against the manufacturer is costly. DeWayne Johnson is the first of hundreds of litigants nationwide to be heard in court for their claims against Monsanto, the manufacturer of RoundUp, and is currently dying from his Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL). Years of exposure to RoundUp were found to be a significant contributing factor. The cost to uninformed consumers significantly exposed to RoundUp has been the development of cancers including NHL and Multiple Myeloma (a bone cancer). This verdict has paved the way for what promises to be years of contentious litigation for Monsanto and potentially extreme costs for their product.

Passenger Sues Southwest Airlines for Engine Blowout

Zachary Coleman, a passenger of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 has filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines for personal injuries he sustained after witnessing a woman die midflight due to an engine explosion. On April 17, 2018, Flight 1380 was flying from New York to Dallas but had to make an emergency landing when one of the aircraft's twin engines suddenly exploded 32,000 feet in the air. The explosion showered the jet with debris and shattered a window.

Officials Warned About Critical Flaw in Duck Boats Before Missouri Tragedy

Recently an amphibious craft commonly referred to as a duck boat capsized in Missouri, killing 17 and injuring seven others. Prior to this incident federal regulators warned about design flaws related to the WWII era amphibious landing craft.

Stay Safe This Labor Day by Checking for Open Recalls on Your Vehicle

Nearly every major holiday is heralded by a slew of news articles warning about the increased dangers on the roadways during the upcoming festivities, and Labor Day is no different. Texas Department of Transportation statistics showed Labor Day weekend ranked fourth among major 2017 holiday weekends in number of deadly crashes and number of fatalities from car accidents (Thanksgiving weekend ranked third, but it also counts data for a longer weekend). These spikes are mostly attributed to increased alcohol consumption, and staying off the road is the most reliable way to avoid drunk drivers. But while you're planning a safe holiday, spend a few extra minutes tackling a vehicle safety issue that could affect you any time of the year: mechanical failures.

Woman Dies After Pacemaker Surgery

In 2013, Hermelinda Toro (then 55-years-old) underwent pacemaker surgery at Stronger Hospital. Subsequently, she suffered several cardiopulmonary arrests, which resulted in brain injury and ultimately death. Allegedly, her artery was cut during the pacemaker insertion and the bleed was not quickly recognized. The surgeon had surgical performance issues and was placed on probation. It is also alleged the physician entered Ms. Toro's medical chart several times after she died, although it was not possible to discern what, if any changes, were made.

Lawsuit Filed Against Bar After Drunk Driver Killed Mother and Daughter

On January 14, 2017, a drunk driver caused a deadly five-vehicle crash after driving a Dodge Durango in the wrong direction on the Southwest Freeway in Houston, Texas.

Father of Fatal San Marcos Apartment Fire Victim Sues Property Management

The father of one of the five people killed in a San Marcos apartment fire on July 20 is now seeking legal action against property owners and management of the Iconic Village apartment complex.

Trucks on the "Death Highway" in West Texas Claims Dozens of Lives

The Permian Basin shale oil boom has brought billions of dollars and numerous high-paying jobs to Texas, and it has brought the United States to the verge of surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the top oil producer in the world. It has also brought a large demand for trucking, and, with it, a large number of truck accidents.

Big Truck Involved in Hazmat Spill

On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, an 18-wheeler overturned shortly after noon on the Southwest Freeway headed southbound near the exit for SH 288. The vehicle was a HazMat truck, and the crash snarled traffic, backing up nearly all of the freeway. The incident involved just one vehicle, and, thankfully, early reports do not mention any injuries.

$101 Million Verdict Against Oil Services Company Truck in Texas

On July 17, 2018, Texas jurors awarded a $101 million verdict to Joshua Patterson after his vehicle was struck from behind by a FTS International employee driving a tractor-trailer in September 2013. Due to the collision, Mr. Patterson suffered significant neck and back injuries, which ended his career as a crane operator. Further, the verdict awarded was especially large because the Texas jury found egregious liability on the part of FTS International and their employee truck driver, William Acker. Of the $101 million, nearly $75 million was attributed to punitive damages levied against FTS International.

Two Sheets to the Wind: The Legal Consequences of the Hazing Ritual

In the last year, the hazing ritual of freshman pledges has sparked a national outcry. Greek organizations-who are largely self-governed-have faced criticism for turning a blind eye to the rampant binge drinking culture on campuses. Just last year, Texas State University in San Marcos, TX suspended all Greek-activities after a freshman pledge died from binge drinking during a fraternity's hazing incident. This time, the Alpha Sigma Phi chapter at the University of Arizona is the latest culprit.

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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