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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.

January 2020 Archives

A Montgomery County Resident Sues The Woodlands Mall After Slip and Fall Causes Her to Suffer Serious Injuries

A Montgomery County woman recently filed a complaint in the Harris County District Court against The Woodlands Mall Associates LLC, alleging negligence.

Mercedes Recalling More Than 750,000 Vehicles

Mercedes is recalling more than 750,000 vehicles due to detaching sunroofs, which have led to road hazards and accidents. The cars being recalled include the Mercedes-Benz's C-Class, E-Class, CLK-Class, and the CLS-Class, made between 2001 and 2011. Each of these vehicles came with an optional sunroof. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the bonding material used with the sunroofs deteriorates, causing them to detach.

Company Settles Remaining Lawsuits from Amphibious Vehicle Accident

The owner of a Branson, Missouri company has entered into a confidential settlement to resolve the final claims in a pending lawsuit stemming from a boating accident.

Self-Driving Big Rigs May Be Coming Soon on Texas Roadways

According to recent reports, self-driving big-rig trucks may be coming soon on interstate highways across Texas. Waymo, the self-driving division of Google parent Alphabet, recently announced that they are about to start dispatching mapping minivans, to be followed by large trucks, along Interstates 10, 20, and 45 and through metropolitan areas, including Houston, El Paso, and Dallas. The company reports that they have already mapped and tested their self-driving big-rigs in Arizona, California, and Georgia. Waymo is best known for its self-driving ride-hailing minivan service in suburbs surrounding Phoenix. The latest initiative is part of the company's ultimate vision to replace human drivers with self-driving tractor trailers controlled by sensors and computers.

Ikea pays $46M to Family of Toddler

In 2017, 2-year-old Jozef Dudek suffocated after a 30-inch dresser from Ikea tipped over on top of him. His parents, Craig and Joleen Dudek, brought suit against Ikea and claimed Ikea was aware that the dressers "presented an unreasonable tip-over hazard and were dangerously unsafe," but continued to sell them. Ikea has agreed to pay $46 million to Jozef's parents.

Road Deaths on the Rise in Houston, and in Texas Itself

At least one person has died on Texas roads every day since November 7, 2000. Fatalities are on the rise despite the Texas Department of Transportation's and the Texas Transportation Commission's efforts to "end the streak."

Claims Against the State

A Court of Appeals has affirmed a Travis County jury's award of over $5 million* in a premises liability claim against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) after determining that TxDOT had adequate notice of the claim.

Three National Hotel Chains in Houston Sued by Victims of Sex Trafficking

Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc., and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc., were listed as defendants in lawsuits filed by three sex trafficking victims in December 2019. The lawsuits claim that these hotels did not do enough to counteract sex trafficking activities that allegedly occurred at their premises. The same lawsuits accuse the hotel chains of negligence, gross negligence, and violations of federal and state laws prohibiting trafficking.

Galveston Couple Sues Honda and its Dealership Because of an Acura that Burst into Flames

On November 26, 2019, a couple from Galveston filed a complaint in the Harris County District Court against American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and one of its Dallas automotive dealerships. They allege that their Acura, idling in their driveway, started to spill smoke and burst into flames shortly after, also causing other damages.

Family of 10-Year Old Injured on Zip Line Sues Florida Theme Park

The family of a 10-year-old boy who fell from a zip line at the Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park has filed suit against the park's operators. The accident occurred on a ride called the "Sky Rider" when the young boy fell out of his harness. The ride operators failed to properly secure the boy in his harness, causing the boy to fall 20 feet and suffer life-altering injuries. The park has since let the responsible ride operators go and retrained its employees on the use of zip lines.

Recent Study Finds Car Safety Systems May Lead to Distracted Driving

According to a recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, multiple systems that are designed to make driving safer and easier are actually creating a greater risk of crashing. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers, who conducted the study in collaboration with AAA, assessed video of actual driving behaviors and found that adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist technology systems were among the list of car safety systems that may lead to distracted driving. Adaptive cruise control helps drivers maintain a safe following distance on the highway by automatically accelerating or slowly down without the driver's help. Lane-keeping assist technology helps drivers stay in their lane by gently tugging the wheel when the car starts to drift out of lane. Both safety systems require the driver to remain alert and keep their hands on the wheel. When used correctly, these systems are designed to make roadways safer. However, researchers found that some drivers do not properly use or understand partially automated systems.

Third Circuit Rules Amazon May be Sued as a "Seller" in Product Liability Cases

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year that Amazon is a "seller" as that term is defined in the Second Restatement of Torts. As a result, Amazon will have to defend a product, sold through its website, that caused injury because the manufacturer cannot be located.

One Dead, Two Injured When Trench Collapses at Construction Site

On December 3, 2019, three men were working with a backhoe on a construction site in Gregory, Texas, when a trench collapsed at the site. The collapse buried one of the men completely and partially buried a second man. When a third man jumped in to save the others, he was partially buried in the process.

Boeing 737 Grounded by United Airlines Until June

United Airlines has announced it will ground all of its Boeing 737 Max 8 planes until June 2020 after the two recent crashes involving that plane. This comes in the wake of other developments following the tragic crashes, including actions taken by the FAA and Boeing's own halt to production of the troubled aircraft.

Cars Are Becoming Distractions for Drivers

Car manufacturers are adding all kinds of bells and whistles to their vehicles. Some are touting safety features while others are simply for aesthetics and to make the vehicles seem cooler, fancier, and more technologically advanced.

Ford Recalls Nearly 550,000 Trucks Due to Post-Crash Interior Fire Risk

Ford recently recalled nearly 550,000 Super Duty SuperCrew trucks across North America with a faulty seatbelt pretensioner design that generates excessive sparks that have caused quickly spreading fires along the cloth and carpet interior lining of the cab.

Is Amazon Liable for Injuries Caused by Products Sold by Third-Party Merchants?

In early 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia will decide whether Amazon is responsible for injuries caused by a defective dog collar sold by a third-party merchant which left a woman legally blind in one eye. In January 2015, Heather Oberdorf was walking her dog when the dog unexpectedly lunged, causing the D-ring on the dog's collar to break and the leash to recoil back. The leash hit Oberdorf in her face leaving her permanently blind in her left eye. Oberdorf purchased the dog collar on Amazon.com. Following the incident, both Oberdorf's attorneys and Amazon's private investigator made several unsuccessful attempts to locate the owner of the Nevada based company that sold the collar. Oberdorf then sued Amazon for strict products liability and negligence. Amazon defended on the basis that they are a services provider and not responsible for defects in products that third parties sell on their site.

Deaths on Houston's Roads

Houston area roads still suffered a significantly high number of deaths in 2019 and will likely pass 2018's total. A recent study examined the greater Houston area consisting of Harris County and the seven adjacent counties. In these counties, local police, prosecutors, and transportation officials had taken several new steps to address the causes contributing to the high number of deaths. As of now, this has not yet reduced the number of deaths, but officials believe the efforts are helping.

  • $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.

Our Record Of Success

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