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February 2020 Archives

Impact of Brain Trauma on U.S. Servicemen and Women

It has long been understood that many military veterans suffer from life altering mental illnesses or conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recently, researchers have found a new and more serious mental condition that could be affecting thousands of our servicemen and women, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Teen Who Broke Neck in Train Derailment Files Suit

On December 18, 2017, an Amtrak train derailed near DuPont, Washington. The Amtrak train was making its inaugural run on the Point Defiance Bypass; the route was supposed to save 10 minutes off the trip. After the train derailed, three people were killed and dozens were injured. Timmy Brodigan broke his neck during the accident. He now requires a wheelchair to get around.

Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Evenflo Company, Inc. for Making Misleading Safety Claims Regarding Its "Big Kid Booster Car Seat"

A California man has filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit against Evenflo, alleging that Evenflo sold its "Big Kid Booster Car Seat" with misleading advertising and safety claims. The lawsuit alleges that Evenflo advertised its car seat as "side-impact tested" and safe for children weighing less than 40 pounds. However, Evenflo's testing actually revealed that a side-impact collision was likely to lead to the serious injury or death of the occupant.

State of Texas Sues TPC Group for Violations Related to November Explosion at Port Neches Plant

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued TPC Group on Friday, February 21, 2020, in response to the November 27, 2019 explosions at TPC's plant in Port Neches. The largest explosion launched a tower into the air with balls of fire and other chemicals and pollutants, with a series of smaller explosions throughout that day. According to officials at the time, the fire was burning a chemical called butadiene, a colorless gas that is considered a health hazard, and other chemicals that are used in synthetic rubber, fuels, lubricant additives, and plastics.

Toyota Recalls 700,000 Vehicles for Defective Fuel Pumps

Toyota recently issued a safety recall for approximately 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. to address defective fuel pumps. The affected vehicles are the 2018-2019 4Runner, Highlander, Camry, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma and Tundra, and Lexus RC 300, RC 350, GS 350, GX 460, IS 300, LC 500, LS 500, LX 570, RX 350, and 2019 Toyota Avalon and Corolla, and Lexus NX 300, ES 350, and GS 200T vehicles.

Daycare Death: Austin Family Files Lawsuit

Daycare abuse and neglect is a serious matter no child nor parent should ever have to encounter. An Austin daycare has been sued by the parents of a 5-month-old infant who died while at the daycare.

Houston Nursing Home Hit with Wrongful Death Claim After Resident Died of Head Injuries

On February 4, 2020, the son of a former resident of The Village of River Oaks ("the nursing home") filed a lawsuit in the Harris County District Court against the nursing home. The son filed the lawsuit individually and on behalf of his father's estate, while two other family members brought the lawsuit individually, all alleging the nursing home failed to provide a reasonable care for its resident, which resulted in the decedent's ("the decedent") death.

$9 Million Verdict for Injured Worker

A North Dakota jury set a record with its $9 million verdict in favor of an injured oil field worker. The verdict allegedly represents the largest single plaintiff verdict for an oil worker in North Dakota history.

Chemical Accidents Lead to Increase in Investigations

In the last two years, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has launched investigations into seven separate chemical accidents or explosions in the Houston area. Prior to 2018, the CSB only conducted roughly one investigation per year. Investigators believe that the massive increase in accidents which require an investigation by the CSB is due to a variety of factors such as the large number of chemical companies in the Houston area, the age of the infrastructure, and companies being allowed to self-regulate. Many of these explosions and fires have directly led to the deaths of workers, bystanders, millions of dollars in property damage, and the evacuation of tens of thousands of local residents who risk being exposed to toxic chemicals. The sheer number of chemical accidents even surprises veteran attorneys who have experience representing plaintiffs in these accidents. "We see two or three in a year, or one major event - but in the past two years or so, there have been so many fires and explosions", said Benny Agosto Jr., who recently spoke with Bloomberg Environment on the frequency of these accidents.

Injury and Property Damage Tolls Rise in the Watson Grinding Explosion Fallout

On Friday, January 24, 2020 at 4:24am, an explosion occurred in Northwest Houston at the Watson Grinding and Manufacturing Plant. Residents in the area experienced a rude awakening that left many homes damaged, people injured, and two employees dead. Estimates thus far have declared over 450 homes damaged, ranging from categories described as "minor" to other property owners faced with crumbling ceilings, shattered windows, and cracked building foundations. Debris from the explosion scattered across Northwest Houston as far as a half-mile radius, causing damage to over 200 homes and businesses in the surrounding area.

Two Girls and Grandfather Electrocuted at Houston's Moody Park File $25 Million Lawsuit

On September 11, 2019, two young girls and their grandfather were electrocuted when they encountered a high voltage electrical box in Moody Park. Both girls were knocked unconscious and had to be revived. One girl went into cardiac arrest and suffered severe burns across her body. Doctors later confirmed that the girl's muscles were dead, and she had to have surgery to remove the dead muscle. Her grandfather also suffered ruptured muscles and double vision after the event. The day after, Mayor Sylvester Turner ordered an investigation into the cause of the incident. He also ordered the immediate replacement of electrical ground boxes in all city parks, starting with Moody Park.

Infant Sleepers Recalled Because of Risk of Suffocation

Graco, Summer Infant, Evenflo, and Delta Children are recalling more than 165,000 infant sleepers because they pose a risk for suffocation for babies. The recall notices posted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website state, "Infant fatalities have been reported with other manufacturers' inclined sleep products, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side, or under other circumstances." Parents are advised to immediately stop using the products and to contact the companies for refunds. There have not been any reported deaths related to the newly recalled products; however, at least 73 infant deaths have been linked with the inclined infant category.

Another Massive Recall on Infant Incline Sleepers

In 2019, a mother of an 11-month old baby girl found her little one lifeless in her inclined sleeper bed. The baby girl had rolled in the sleeper and was unable to breath, causing a lack of oxygen in her body and brain.

Eighteen-Wheeler Drivers Are Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel and Causing Accidents

According to a federal lawsuit, a Tennessee truck driver's employer forced him to drive 49 hours without a proper break while making shipments for Amazon. Unsurprisingly, the exhausted truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel, leading to a major accident.

Dram Shop Act

Each year thousands are affected by the negligence of persons driving under the influence. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving crashes. That would equate to one person every 50 minutes.

Defective Fuel Pumps in 2018 and 2019 Toyota and Lexus Models Stall Abruptly, Prompting Recall

Toyota and Lexus recently recalled about 696,000 of its 2018 and 2019 vehicles due to a defect with the fuel pump, which causes the vehicle to unexpectedly stall or hesitate while driving. Some of the vehicles subject to the recall are the 2018-2019 model year Lexus LS 500, LC 500, RC 350, RC 300, GS 350, IS 300, ES 350, LX 570, GX 460, and RX 350; certain 2019 model year Lexus NX 300, RX 350L, and GS 300; certain 2018-2019 model year Toyota 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, and Tundra; and certain 2019 model year Toyota Avalon and Corolla.

Self-Driving 18-Wheelers Being Tested on American Roads

A company has plans to map out highways and roads in Texas and New Mexico to prepare testing phases for its self-driving 18-wheelers. The company has been testing self-driving minivans in other states, but now has eyes on something bigger - self-driving freight trucks.

  • $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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