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December 2018 Archives

Widow's Lawsuit Seeks Answers for Husband's Failed Heart Transplant at Baylor St. Luke's

On November 28, 2018, the family of David Kveton filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Harris County, Texas against Baylor St. Luke's Hospital and its affiliates for a failed heart transplant that occurred in January 2017. After the surgery, Mr. Kveton's wife, Judy Kveton, was told her husband's heart wasn't acting right. She decided to take him off life support. Two months later, Mrs. Kveton received an anonymous letter in the mail which sparked her investigation into the accountability for her husband's death. The letter accused Mr. Kveton's surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, of performing "mishap, after mishap with patients over the years," and even went as far as to say he "should not have been allowed to operate on Patients."

Spinal-Cord Stimulators Injury Rates Among Highest of All Medical Devices

Spinal-cord stimulators may be far more dangerous than previously understood, according to recent research. As part of a joint investigation into the medical device industry that involved more than 250 journalists and more than 50 news organizations, Associated Press research revealed that over 80,000 injuries involving the implantable devices had been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2008-the third-highest number for any type of medical device.

Lawsuit Filed to Determine Division of $1,000,000 Settlement

The Norman, Oklahoma Public School District filed a lawsuit this week suing families of teachers and students that were injured in a rollover bus accident that occurred in September 2018. The district is not seeking any damages from the families. Rather, the district is asking the court to appoint a special master to determine how the $1,000,000 settlement should be divided up amongst the approximately twenty-four (24) families.

Apple Not Liable for Fatal Distracted-Driving Car Crash

Earlier this month, a California appeals court held that Apple Inc. was not liable for a fatal automobile accident involving a driver who was using the FaceTime application on his iPhone at the time of the crash. The accident occurred on December 24, 2014 on Interstate 35W in Denton County, Texas. Bethany and James Modisette along with their two daughters were stopped on the highway due to police activity when Garret Wilhelm crashed into the Modisette's vehicle at a high rate of speed. Wilhelm reportedly told police that he was using the FaceTime application on his Apple iPhone 6 Plus at the time of the collision. The entire Modisette family sustained injuries and one of the daughters, aged five, subsequently died in the hospital.

$25.5 Million Dollar Bad Faith Insurance Verdict in Oklahoma

At the end of a two-week trial, an Oklahoma jury awarded $25.5 million to the family of a cancer patient who was denied coverage by Aetna. The patient, Orrana Cunningham, had stage four nasopharyngeal cancer near her brain stem. Due to the location of the cancer, her doctors wanted her to receive proton beam therapy, which is a targeted form of radiation that could pinpoint the tumor without the potential of blindness or other side effects of standard radiation. Aetna denied her coverage for this treatment, calling it "investigational" and "experimental."

Woman Sues After Suffering Serious and Mutilating Injuries to Her Genitals From Ride on a Sea-Doo

A lawsuit was filed in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas on December 10, 2018 by a woman complaining of painful injuries sustained while riding a 2008 Sea-Doo Model RXT.

Lawsuit Filed in Deadly Crash of Limo that Repeatedly Failed Inspections

The operators of a limousine that crashed and killed 20 people in New York were grossly negligent in putting the "dangerous and defective" vehicle on the road, according to the lawsuit filed by one of the victim's parents.

Distracted Driving Causes Accidents

In 2017, Gabriela Torga, then 23 years old, was driving just after 5:00 in the morning when she veered from the left lane to the right shoulder. She overcorrected, slid counter-clockwise, hit the median and then slammed into a tree. She did not survive the crash. No one can definitively say whether Ms. Torga's cell phone was connected to the crash, but police say when the accident occurred, her phone was on and open to SnapChat and she was driving 55 mph in a 45 zone.

Injuries Caused by State or Local Governments

In our complex modern society, with many and varied governmental activities, employees working for governmental units often injure citizens through their negligence. A common example occurs when a government employee causes a motor vehicle collision.

Woman Filmed in the Shower at Hotel Files $100 Million Dollar Lawsuit

An unnamed woman in Chicago is suing Hilton Worldwide claiming that a hotel employee in Albany, New York, filmed her naked in the shower, posted the video online, and tried to extort her. The recording was allegedly taken by a hidden camera in a Hampton Inn and Suites hotel in July 2015. The woman found out about it in September 2015 when she received an email from an unidentified sender that contained a link to a pornographic website where the video had been uploaded. She claims her full name appeared as the title of the video.

Texas Needs Answers to Its Day Care Problem

An investigation by the Austin-based newspaper, Austin American-Stateman, has revealed a disturbing trend in Texas child care. For the last 10 years, over 80 children in Texas day care centers died due to both abuse and neglect, and in the same period of time, more than 450 Texas children were sexually abused.

Jury Hands Down Verdict of $25.5 Million Against Aetna

An Oklahoma widower was awarded $25.5 million by a jury against Aetna health insurance because his wife, a cancer patient, was denied coverage by Aetna. The jury found that Aetna acted recklessly.

1.5 Million Ford Focus Cars Recalled Due to Dangerous Stalling

Ford Motor Company issued a recall in North America for select 2012 to 2018 Ford Focus vehicles equipped with 2.0-liter GDI and 2.0liter GTDI engines for a malfunctioning canister purge valve. These affected vehicles are equipped with a canister purge valve that may become stuck in an open position. If this occurs, an excessive vacuum in the fuel system could cause deformation of the vehicle's plastic fuel tank. As a result, the customer could observe a malfunction indicator light or a fuel gauge with fluctuating or inaccurate fuel levels. This could lead to a stall while driving and/or an inability to restart the vehicle, which can increase the risk of a crash.

L.A. Fitness Sued for Injuries Caused by Treadmill Malfunction

A lawsuit was filed in Harris County on October 11, 2018 against L.A. Fitness International LLC by a woman complaining of injuries she sustained after a treadmill malfunctioned and caused her to fall. The woman's petition alleges that the fitness center failed to warn of the dangerous condition or failed to make the condition reasonably safe. She further alleges that the trip and fall caused her to sustain serious bodily injury. The woman is seeking to recover her reasonable medical care expenses, past, and future; past and future physical pain and suffering; past and future mental anguish; and her loss of earnings.

Grocery Chain Pharmacy Sued By Transplant Recipient for Prescription Error

A lawsuit filed by an organ transplant recipient alleges that a Randall's pharmacy misfilled her prescription for several months before it was discovered, which reportedly caused "significant disruption both physically and mentally." The lawsuit, which was filed on October 29 in the Harris County 234th District Court, does not specifically mention what type of transplant Plaintiff Vicki Gaido received, but the original petition notes that she was prescribed the drug Synthroid (levothyroxine) to treat a thyroid condition that arose from the transplant and subsequent treatments.

Bus Driver Charged After Fatal Impact

Drivers know to stop for school buses, and the law mandates it, but what about for city buses? Should city buses be required to wait for the bus ahead of them to move before pulling around the stopped bus? A city bus driver is now facing criminal charges after he killed a woman who was exiting the bus in front of him. The incident occurred while he was executing an illegal right turn. The passenger had exited a city bus which was stopped ahead of the impacting bus and the negligent driver pulled widely around the stopped bus while turning right. He then struck and killed a disembarked passenger who was crossing the street onto which the driver was turning. The driver swung so wide that he traveled into the oncoming traffic lane and was stopped there after impacting the deceased.

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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