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December 2019 Archives

$200 Million Verdict for Victim of Drunk Driving Accident

A Tampa, Florida jury awarded more than $200 million to a woman and her young child as the result of being injured by a drunk driver. The automobile collision left the woman and her then unborn child with debilitating permanent injuries.

Jury Holds Trucking Company Accountable for Putting Profits Over People

This past year, an Illinois Court of Appeals upheld a $54 million jury verdict that was rendered against an 18-wheeler driver and trucking company for causing a collision that resulted in serious injuries.

Uber Reports 3,000 Sexual Assaults on U.S. Rides Last Year

Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, recently disclosed that 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on its U.S. rides last year as part of its long-awaited safety study. In the safety study, Uber said it recorded 235 instances of rape last year and thousands of reports of assault involving unwanted touching, kissing, or attempted rape. The safety study also examined other safety categories such as motor-vehicle deaths and violent crimes, with Uber reporting 107 motor-vehicle fatalities and 19 fatal physical assaults. Uber reported that it conducted the safety study to show transparency and to improve its services for both riders and drivers.

Woman Dies After Giving Birth

Earlier this year, a Houstonian woman died after giving birth at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital ("LBJ"). The incident was the sixth time this year LBJ hospital has come under federal investigation because of a patient death.

Dallas County Jury Awards $20 Million to Family of Man Killed by Greyhound Bus

A Dallas County jury recently awarded $20 million to the family of a 25-year-old man who suffered fatal injuries after he was run over by a Greyhound bus. The incident occurred in June 2017 when Hunter Brown was traveling to California on a Greyhound bus. When the bus driver stopped at a travel center in Central Point, Oregon, Brown and the other passengers got off the bus to use the restroom and buy food. According to the lawsuit, the bus driver did not take a mandatory head count before leaving the travel center prior to the stated time of departure. As the driver pulled away from the travel center, Brown and other passengers were still inside. Brown ran up to the bus and banged on the door to get in, but the driver kept going and ran him over. Brown's family alleged that the bus driver had violated the company's safety rules by failing to do a head count on passengers before he left the bus stop. The lawsuit also alleged that if Greyhound had provided a safe, responsible bus driver, Brown would not have died.

72-Year-Old Woman Killed While Walking on Sidewalk When Drunk Driver Loses Control of Vehicle

On December 17, 2019, around 10:30 p.m., a 30-year-old man was driving on Avondale Avenue in Dallas, Texas, when he lost control of his vehicle, left the road, and struck a 72-year-old woman who was standing on the sidewalk. The collision also knocked over a light pole.

Investigation Reveals Numerous Physicians in Florida Lack Malpractice Insurance

Nearly 6,900 of Florida's actively licensed doctors do not carry malpractice insurance. This new trend is colloquially called "going bare" or self-insuring. Meaning the doctor alone, rather than an insurance company, is responsible for any fees or awards resulting from being sued for malpractice. Going bare can be dangerous and expensive for those patients who are injured by doctors who commit medical malpractice.

Jury Awards $20 Million to Family of Man Run Over by Greyhound Bus

Last week, a Dallas jury awarded the family of a man killed by a Greyhound bus $20 million after determining that the transportation company was responsible for his death.

FAA to Handle Approval of New Max Jets

Recently, federal regulators appear to be signaling tougher controls on Boeing. It was recently reported that final checks for the Boeing aircraft will be conducted by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Federal regulators will no longer allow Boeing to sign off on routine checks related to the aircraft. The FAA's decision to tighten control over Boeing, comes in the wake of two recent Boeing Max 8 crashes.

A Houston Resident Sues Monsanto Following Cancer Diagnoses

On October 31, 2019, a Houston woman filed a complaint in the Lufkin Division of the Eastern District of Texas against Monsanto Co., alleging that its Roundup product contributed to her non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Uber Releases First Ever Safety Report Revealing 5,891 Instances of Sexual Assault in 2017 and 2018

Uber released its highly anticipated safety report last Thursday revealing 5,981 incidents of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018. Although the report identifies 21 categories of sexual misconduct, it defines "sexual assault" as a reported instance of rape, attempted rape, non-consensual kissing of a sexual body party, non-consensual touching of a sexual body party, and non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part.

Tesla Model 3 Using Autopilot Causes Accident

A crashed into two vehicles in the early morning hours of Saturday, December 7, 2019. The accident occurred on I-95 in Norwalk, Connecticut and involved a Connecticut State Police cruiser that was stopped to assist a disabled motorist. The lights of the police cruiser were activated and flares were placed in the roadway, but the driver of the Tesla Model 3 did not see them because the vehicle was set to autopilot while the driver checked on his dog in the backseat.

Jury Awards $21.5 Million to Motorcyclist

A California jury awarded a man injured in a motorcycle accident approximately $21 million. The collision, caught on film, left the motorcyclist with several fractures throughout his body and a lengthy hospital stay.

EPA Repeals Safety Regulations Concerning Chemical Companies

In April 2013, an explosion at an ammonium nitrate storage facility rocked the small town of West, Texas, and killed over a dozen people, including first responders.

More Vehicles Using Takata Airbags Are Recalled

In addition to the tens of millions of vehicles with Takata airbags already under recall, a separate group of 1,400,000 vehicles were recalled on December 4, 2019 because of defective Takata airbags. Takata is recalling vehicles containing certain Non-Azide Driver airbag inflators that were used in some brands of 1995-2000 vehicles. These inflators may absorb moisture, causing the inflators to rupture or the airbag cushion to underinflate due to a manufacturing issue.

Over 1,000 Patients Possibly Exposed to HIV After Hospital Sanitation Mistake

1,182 patients at an Indiana hospital may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C allegedly due to sanitation errors committed by the surgical technicians. Between April and September of this year, at least one of the surgical technicians at Goshen Hospital missed a sterilization step while sanitizing surgical equipment. While the surgical equipment did go through other sanitization and sterilization procedures, the step missed by at least one of the surgical technicians shows that not every surgical instrument was properly fit for use on patients. Because of this, Goshen Hospital representatives are now offering free testing to the potential patients who could have been exposed to these unsanitized surgical instruments and potential infectious diseases.

DWI Suspect Involved in Double Fatal Crash on I-45

On Saturday morning, two pedestrians were killed by a driver who reportedly failed to stay in a single lane traveling southbound on I-45.

Infants Died After Being Fed Infected Breast Milk

Abel Cepeda, then 5-days-old, was the eighth baby since the summer to get sick after being exposed to bacteria in Geisinger Medical Center's NICU. Two infants had died prior to Abel's birth. Geisinger has announced that the hospital's equipment contaminated donor breast milk, which exposed premature infants to pseudomonas, a bacterium. The day Abel died, the hospital changed its equipment to single-use materials. Abel's parents have filed suit.

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.

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    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.

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    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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