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Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

November 2019 Archives

Explosion Rocks Port Neches Refinery

At approximately 1:00 AM this morning, November 27, 2019 an explosion rocked the TPC Group chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas. Port Neches is approximately 90 miles east of Houston and south of Beaumont, Texas in Jefferson County. The explosion was heard for miles according to reports. Local residents report being woken to a thunderous noise and some even reported their houses shaking.

Seattle Children's Hospital Shuts Down Operating Rooms for Second Time This Year Due to Mold Infections

Seattle Children's Hospital shut down all fourteen of its operating rooms earlier this year after Aspergillus mold spores infected six children in its operating rooms, leaving one dead. The hospital re-opened its operating rooms in July, telling the public it was confident the operating rooms were sterile and that the risk to patients was incredibly low. Last week, however, the hospital was once again forced to shut down three of its operating rooms and two procedural areas following new detections of Aspergillus and as the hospital investigates the possibility of two new infections.

2018 Marks Second Consecutive Year of Decline in Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the United States Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,560 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on United States roadways during 2018, marking the second consecutive year that motor vehicle fatalities declined. The decrease in fatal traffic accidents comes even as more people drove in 2018. Of the categories assessed, speeding was the most predominant factor, accounting for 9,378 of the total fatalities. Fatalities decreased in almost all categories with the exception of crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and large trucks. The largest decline was seen in fatal motor vehicle accidents involving children ages fourteen and younger. From 2017 to 2018, pedestrian fatalities increased by three percent to 6,283, representing the most pedestrian deaths since 1990. The number of bicyclist deaths increased by more than six percent from 2017, accounting for 857 of the fatalities reported in 2018. Large-truck occupant deaths increased approximately one percent from 2017. The Texas Department of Transportation also reported a 5.84 percent decline in fatal motor vehicle accidents from 2017 to 2018. However, there were no fatality-free days on Texas roadways in 2018.

Juul Allegedly Shipped at Least One Million Contaminated Pods

E-cigarette retailer, Juul, was recently sued by an ex-senior vice president for retaliation because he raised concern over Juul's decision to sell contaminated pods to the public, according to the lawsuit.

19 Years of Daily Fatalities on Texas Roads

Since 2000, over 67,000 people have died on Texas roads. There has not been any slowing down in this trend of fatalities as the daily average is approximately 10 deaths per day. Studies and statistics on this trend show that at least 90% of all of these fatalities were preventable and that fatalities occur both in metro and rural areas across Texas at high rates.

Harris County Resident Suffers Serious Injury to Leg at a Family Dollar Store

On October 21, 2019, a Harris County resident filed a complaint against Family Dollar Stores of Texas, LLC, Family Dollar Inc., and Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., alleging injuries sustained to his leg.

Family of Parkgoer Paralyzed on Water Slide Sues Universal Studios

James Bowen, a 47-year-old man from New York alleges he was paralyzed and almost drowned at Universal Orlando Resort's Volcano Bay. Bowen decided to race his seven and thirteen-year-old daughters down a ride called the Punga Racers. Bowen climbed to the top of the Punga Racers with his daughters, passing multiple checks on the way. Once arriving at the top of the slide, Bowen followed a Universal Employee's instructions to lie with his stomach on a mat and go down the slide headfirst. When Bowen arrived at the bottom of the slide, his head hit a wall of water that caused his head to snap back violently. The impact caused a compression in Bowen's spine which left him paralyzed, floating face down in the water.

Boeing CEO Grilled by Senate Committee

Recently, a hearing was held before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee regarding the failure of Boeing's 737 MAX 8 aircraft. This inquiry comes after the crash of two Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts within several months of one another. The first crash occurred near Jakarta, Indonesia when a Lion Airlines flight crashed into the ocean in late 2018. Subsequently, in March of 2019, the same model aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed in March of 2019.

General Motors Recalls More Than 650,000 Trucks and SUVs Due to Malfunctioning Brakes

General Motors is recalling more than 650,000 trucks and SUVs because a software error can activate these vehicles' brake systems, leading to car accidents. This recall covers the 2014-2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2015-2020 Chevrolet Suburban, 2015-2020 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2014-2018 GMC Sierra 1500, and 2015-2020 GMC Yukon models. In total, the problem is estimated to affect approximately 638,000 GM vehicles.

Tesla Door Handles Prevent Driver from Escaping Burning Vehicle

Tesla is known not just for their use of cutting-edge engineering in the development of environmentally friendly vehicles, but also for its sleek, eye catching vehicle designs. Unfortunately, one of those design features may have been responsible for the death of a man in Florida.

Man Sues Universal After Water Slide Injury

James Bowen has filed suit after sustaining a serious injury on a water slide at Universal's Volcano Bay.

18-Wheeler Driver Falls Asleep and Causes Extensive Damage to Another Vehicle and Building

On Halloween morning, the driver of an 18-wheeler crashed through a Montgomery County building after reportedly dozing off at the wheel on Interstate 45.

Being a Pedestrian is More Dangerous Than Ever

Over the last decade, the number of Americans killed while walking increased by 35%, and 2016 was the deadliest year for pedestrians since 1990. According to the "Pedestrian Danger Index," created by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition, Texas is ranked as the eighth most dangerous state for pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 619 pedestrian fatalities in Texas during 2018.

Study Finds Fisher-Price "Rock 'N Play" Design Led to Deaths

On the morning of January 2, 2019, Amanda Butler awoke to discover her newborn baby girl Arya lying dead in her inclined sleeper bed. Only hours earlier, Mrs. Butler had put Arya to sleep in their "Rock n' Play Sleeper" right next to their own bed. By the morning, Mrs. Butler woke up to find her 11-month-old's body limp in the sleeper, head tilted forward, and skin turned blue.

Survey on Same-Day Surgery Centers Finds Serious Safety Concerns

Results of a recent survey raises safety concerns regarding same-day surgery centers. One-third of doctors at these types of medical facilities are found to not be board-certified according to the Leapfrog Group survey. The number includes anesthesiologists, surgeons, and other similar specialized providers at these facilities.

America's Biggest Auto Retailer Sells Defective Used Cars

AutoNation sells used vehicles with unrepaired defects, according to a new report from the US PIRG Education Fund and the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation. AutoNation operates more than 300 dealerships nationwide and is the largest car retailer in the United States.

Texas Family Sues Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago After Woman Who Contracted Legionnaires' Disease Died

Gibran Ruiz, the husband of a 35-year-old Carol Ruiz, who contracted Legionnaire's disease at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in November 2017, has filed suit against the hospital.

  • $50+ Million Fire & 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 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 Plant Fire & 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 Worksite 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 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $48 Million Catastrophic Burns

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $48 million.

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