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March 2019 Archives

Repeated Mistakes Causes Fatal Blood Transfusion

A report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed a pattern of blood labeling errors at St. Luke's in Houston during the past year. The report followed a yearlong investigation by both the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica that had documented several lapses in patient care.

Toxic Cloud: Fire Continues to Burn in Deer Park, Texas

Just before 11 A.M. on March 17th, 2019 a chemical plant fire occurred at the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC, also known as "ITC", which is located near Highway 225 and Independence Parkway in Deer Park, Texas. The blaze continued to burn all day Sunday and has continued into Monday. Emergency crews have continuously worked around the clock to keep the fires contained. Unfortunately, additional tanks subsequently caught fire overnight. Nearby schools were closed for the day as a precaution.

Fatal Pipeline Explosion Leads to Lawsuit and Calls for Regulation

Delaney Tercero, 3, was killed in August of 2018 when a nearby pipeline leaked natural gas into her family's house, resulting in an explosion that injured the entire family and destroyed their home. The state sent investigators to determine if the owners of the pipeline had violated any rules and to discover the cause of the leak. Investigators discovered that the pipeline's anti-corrosion coating had failed and the pipeline had been leaking for "an undetermined length of time." However, investigators found that Targa Resources Corp., the company that owns the pipeline, didn't violate any rules because there are no rules or regulations for this type of pipeline.

One Additional Obstacle to Avoid on Texas Roads

Natural gas has become a modern-day convenience that most of us can't seem to live without. Used for everything from heating, cooking, and electricity generation, this ubiquitous fuel source has woven itself into our every day lives and infrastructure. Unfortunately for many places in Texas, that weaving of natural gas pipelines happened many decades ago and we have built our homes and cities around these inherently dangerous gas meters without much afterthought of how society will flow around them.

MetroRail Injuries and Deaths Require Closer Investigation

A quick Google search on MetroRail incidents shows how people are regularly getting injured or killed by MetroRail trains in the metropolitan area of Houston, Texas. As the rail expands through the North, East, and South parts of Houston, one can find incidents on each one of the lines on which the trains operate.

"At Home" Store Sued for Injuries Caused by Chair Collapse

A customer was injured on January 19, 2019 while shopping at a local home goods store when an office chair collapsed as she seated herself to test the chair.

Could Zion Williamson Sue Nike?

Duke University's star freshman basketball player, Zion Williamson, suffered a knee injury during a game between Duke and North Carolina. The injury seemed to occur when his Nike shoe appeared to tear as he planted his foot. Williamson, thought by many to be a top NBA draft pick, left the game and did not return. This begs the question: if Williamson suffered a career ending injury, could Williamson sue Nike?

Wrongful Death Suits Filed Against Railroad

The widow of a Union Pacific Railroad engineer who died in a train collision last October filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company after an apparent mechanical brake malfunction. On the day of the incident, engineer Jason Martinez's train was heading east to North Platte, Nebraska, when the train's crew realized the brakes were malfunctioning. The crew alerted Union Pacific Railroad dispatch center and informed them that the train had accelerated to 50 mph and was unable to stop. The train ultimately collided with another train that was stopped on the tracks about 18 miles west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. No one was in the stopped train at the time of collision.

24-Year-Old Fort Worth Man Dies After Vape Pen Explodes in His Face

A 24-year-old Fort Worth man tragically died in a vape store parking lot this January after his vape pen exploded in his face. After the explosion, the man was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he later died.

Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Senior Living Facility

A man in Santa Fe, New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against Pacifica Senior Living for the death of his father, Julian Gaul. In February 2017, the staff found the 83-year-old man lying on the floor between his wheelchair and bed, and transported him to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. The man's son, Fred Gaul, was told by a doctor that blood had been collecting in his father's brain for some time, likely from an earlier fall. Less than 24 hours later, Gaul was found on the floor again and was taken to the hospital and treated for a broken nose and wide gash across his forehead that required six stitches. Sores were discovered in his groin region along with fungus growing on his genitalia from not being cleaned for months. Gaul died three days later.

$37.6 Million Verdict Against Honda in Defective Seat Belt Lawsuit

On February 13, 2019, a Texas jury returned a $37.6 million verdict against Honda, finding that the seat belt system in a Honda minivan had a design defect that left a woman paralyzed after the vehicle was involved in a rollover crash.

New Taskforce Targets Unsafe Drivers on Houston Roads

After last year's Houston Chronicle investigation, "Out of Control," local law enforcements have responded with the establishment of a regional task force to better patrol the roads. The article identified that "more than 600 motorists, passengers and pedestrians die every year in traffic collisions often caused by drivers who are speeding, driving while intoxicated or distracted and often on poorly designed roads", ranking Houston roads among the nation's deadliest. The article also criticized local law enforcements for their lack of a comprehensive strategy to lower the number of traffic accidents, and even lowering the number of enforcements in certain regions where fatal accidents rose. However, Harris County Sherriff Ed Gonzales is hopeful that the creation of the new task group which aims to crack down on traffic violations and unsafe drivers will help keep the roads safer for Houstonians. Sherriff Ed Gonzales stated that "we want to make sure we're visible and not just performing spot enforcement, and make it more sustainable."

Faulty iPad Battery Ignites and Causes Death

In February of 2017, Bradley Ireland, then 64 years-old, suffered severe injuries after his apartment caught fire. He died later that day. Julia Ireland Meo, Mr. Ireland's daughter, has sued Apple and alleged that the fire started due to a faulty battery pack in an iPad. According to the suit, "The fire was caused by a defect in the subject tablet, specifically affecting the tablet's battery pack." The fire started in Mr. Bradley's kitchen.

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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