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September 2018 Archives

Dockless Electric Scooter Accidents

Dockless electric scooters have now made their way to Texas. They can be unlocked with a smartphone for about a dollar, cost 15 cents a minute to rent, and reach 15 miles per hour. The typical rental agreement includes a liability waiver and head protection is rarely included with the rental.

Texas Jury Finds Lexus Responsible for Injuries to Children

A Dallas, Texas jury awarded more than $240 million to a family that brought a lawsuit against Toyota for injuries sustained by two children in a rear end car accident. The lawsuit alleged that the front driver seats in the family's 2002 Lexus ES 300 were "unreasonably dangerous and defectively designed." Lawyers for the family argued that the front seats and the passenger restraint systems failed during a collision involving the family.

Lawsuit Filed Against Fraternity Over "Scumbag of the Week" Hazing Tradition

On April 9, 2017, Nicholas Mauricio was taken to Tallahassee's Memorial Hospital by fraternity brothers from Florida State's Phi Tau chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi. Mauricio was going in and out of consciousness, he had a golf ball-sized bump on the back of his head, and there was blood running down his mouth from a cracked tooth. The doctors soon realized that Mauricio was suffering from a skull fracture and multiple brain bleeds.

Austin Jury Awards Cab Driver's Stabbing Victim $1.02 Million

Earlier this month, a Travis County jury awarded a stabbing victim $1.02 million in a lawsuit against Austin Cab Company and the taxicab driver. The incident occurred in March 2014 after Jose Herrera and his friends disagreed with their cab driver, Sherman Wilkins, over their cab fare. After the bars had closed, Wilkins picked up Herrera and his friends on 6th Street and drove them 1.4 miles to South Congress. Upon arrival, Wilkins demanded $149.50 for the cab fare. When Herrera exited the cab and protested the cab fare, Wilkins pulled out a knife and swung it toward Herrera. Wilkins stabbed Herrera in the chest, puncturing a lung and narrowly missing his heart. Once Herrera fell to the ground, Wilkins began punching him. Herrera's friends were able to stop the attack but Wilkins later sliced Herrera's arm in a second attack.

Lawsuit Filed After Lyft Driver Leaves Passenger on Highway Shoulder

The family of a man killed in a hit-and-run accident has filed a wrongful death suit against the ride-hailing app Lyft and its former driver.

Man Sues After Mouth Injury Allegedly Caused by Liquid Nitrogen Infused Cereal

On April 29, 2018, Russell Lane Mattison Jr. tried a liquid nitrogen-infused cereal called Dragon Breath at a kiosk inside a mall. After several bites, he experienced sudden and intense pain and his mouth filled with blood. Over the next several weeks, Mr. Mattison had difficulty eating and drinking due to sores on the inside of his cheek. Mr. Mattison filed suit.

Woman Sues Lyft After Attempted Sexual Assault by Driver

A former Lyft driver attempted to sexually assault a woman in Austin, Texas after picking her up downtown on West 6th Street. According to police reports, forty-six-year-old Daniel Kifle is a former Lyft driver that continued to pose as a Lyft driver and who victimized at least four women and attempted to sexually assault at least two of them.

Medicare Penalizes 751 Hospitals for High Rates of Patient Injuries

Ending up in the hospital can often be stressful and expensive, but it shouldn't be dangerous, as well. That's why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reducing its payments to 751 hospitals as a penalty for their poor patient safety statistics. Medicare will cut its 2018 reimbursement rates by one percent for the lowest-ranking quarter of hospitals based on a battery of patient safety measures-potentially a loss of millions of dollars, for some hospitals.

Houston Police Officer Charged with DWI while Child in Car

A police officer for the City of Houston has been charged with driving while intoxicated with her young daughter in the car at the time. Cassandra Crosby, who is 36 years old, joined the Houston Police Department in 2008. Crosby, now out on bail, appeared in court on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.

Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Duck Boat Victims

On July 19, 2018, 31 people were aboard a duck boat tour on Table Rock Lake, in Branson, Missouri, when a severe thunderstorm brought near-hurricane-strength winds and five-foot waves, which caused the amphibious vehicle to capsize and sink. Seventeen out of the 31 people died in the incident. The survivors were taken to a nearby Branson hospital, and afterwards discharged.

State Farm Avoids Trial with Preliminary Agreement to Pay $250,000,000

One of the largest auto insurance companies has reached a $250 million preliminary settlement in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges that State Farm violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act). The plaintiffs believe State Farm funneled money through several advocacy groups, which in turn kept donor lists anonymous, in order to elect a certain candidate to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2004.

Medical Malpractice Payments Hit 26-Year Low

The National Practitioner Data Bank records 2017 as having the lowest number of payments made by physicians' insurers since it began collecting data in 1990. According to the NPDB, payments peaked in 2001 at 19,773 reports of medical malpractice payments, whereas 2017 only had 11,260 reports of medical malpractice payments across all healthcare providers, despite a dramatic increase in adverse action reports against healthcare providers. In the same time period between 2001 and 2017, adverse action reports have risen from 24,230 actions to 49,016. Are frivolous malpractice actions on the rise or is malpractice itself down?

Massive Recall of Ford Pickup Trucks

On Thursday, September 6, 2018, media outlets carried the announcement of a massive recall of Ford F-150 pickup trucks. About 2,000,000 trucks are involved, approximately 1,619,000 of which are in the United States. The recall affects model years 2015-2018, and stems from reports that a defect in the seatbelt system could cause a fire.

Confidential Settlement Reached in Premises Case Against Taco Bell

Firm attorneys Benny Agosto, Jr. and Kelly Woods have reached a confidential settlement against Taco Bell regarding an incident that occurred in May 2015. The settlement brings a favorable end to the family's lawsuit seeking compensation for the severe injuries a minor sustained while at the restaurant.

Mother Sues Lab for Son's Death

More than ten years ago, Amy Williams lost her son, Christian Millare, after he suffered a fatal seizure. Ms. Williams has filed suit against Quest Diagnostics, a genetic testing lab, for allegedly misidentifying her deceased son's condition, which ultimately caused his death. Ms. Williams believes her son's genetic condition was misclassified.

Jury Awards $473.5 Million to Six Residents for Mismanagement of Hog Farm

A Federal Jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina awarded $473.5 million to six residents near a North Carolina Farm run by Murphy-Brown L.L.C. for the mismanagement of hogs on their farm. Murphy Brown L.L.C. is run by a Chinese owned pork producer named Smithfield Foods Inc., which is one of the world's largest pork processors and hog producers in the U.S. According to court filings, the jury awarded $3 million to $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages to each of the six residents.

Most Popular Morning Sickness Drug Zofran Presents Risks of Birth Defects

Zofran (ondansetron) is an antinausea drug originally developed to help cancer patients with the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The drug works by preventing a certain type of nerve receptor from sending signals that the brain interprets as nausea. As doctors started noticing how effective it was, they began to prescribe it to pregnant patients for morning sickness "off-label," which means that the Food and Drug Administration never approved it for that use. It became the most commonly prescribed morning-sickness treatment in America, but now hundreds of mothers are filing lawsuits against Zofran's manufacturers, claiming that it caused severe birth defects, including heart defects, cleft palates and lips, kidney malformations, skull deformities, and club foot.

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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