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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.

March 2020 Archives

Ford Recalls over 250,000 Vehicles for Defective Door Latches

Ford recently issued a safety recall for approximately 250,000 vehicles in the United States to address defective door latches. The affected vehicles are the 2014-2015 Ford Fiesta, 2014-2016 Ford Fusion, and 2014-2016 Lincoln MKZ. Ford says the vehicles have door latch designs that can crack and fail, especially in areas with high ambient temperatures, including Texas. Cars in the following states are affected by the door latch recall: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Man Files Lawsuit Against Local Pub after Violent Beating and Stabbing Incident by the Pub's Bouncer and His Friends

On March 2, 2020, a resident of Humble filed a complaint in the Harris County District Court against Bender Square Partners, Lopez Venture Group LLC doing business as Shamrock's Pub, its bouncer Salomon Wyatt, and others. The man alleges assault and battery, negligence, and premises liability against the defendants, among other causes of action.

Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Handicapped Minor Alleging Sexual Abuse and Rape

On March 3, 2020 a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 14-year-old girl with developmental disabilities alleging that she was sexually abused and raped over the course of several consecutive days on her school bus. This tragic event occurred approximately one year ago in Fulton County, Georgia where it is alleged that she was subjected to sexual abuse and rape only three to four rows behind the driver of a small special-needs school bus. According to the lawsuit, the girl underwent several days of repeated abuse before the driver reportedly "noticed something" occurring on the bus.

Pharmaceutical Recall Due to Medication Possibly Causing Seizures

Taro Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. has issued a voluntary recall for two specific lots of Phenytoin Oral Suspension USP, 125 mg/5 mL both in 237 mL bottles. The two lots included in the recall are numbers: 327874 and 327876, both of which carry an expiration date of December 2020. The medication is used to treat conditions typically found in epileptic patients: grand mal and psychomotor seizures.

Are Texas DUI Fatalities Spiraling Out of Control?

Texas has one of the highest rates of driving under the influence (DUI) traffic fatalities in the country. Thousands of accidents involving a DUI driver occur every year resulting in crashes and death. The Texas Department of Transportation gathers data from traffic accidents across the state. In 2017, there were 3,721 deaths, 17,546 suspected serious injuries, 80,621 non-incapacitating injuries, and 156,686 possible injuries due to drunk drivers in Texas. Recently, it was announced that Harris County in Houston, Texas has one of the highest rates of DUI fatalities in the state. It has been found that approximately 30% of all fatal crashes involve a DUI driver.

Patient Receives $12.75M after Device Breaks during Brain Surgery

Michael Brassloff was 71 years old when he underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. During the procedure, the two-millimeter tip of a carbon dioxide-cooled laser probe snapped off after it was inserted through a hole in Mr. Brassloff's skull. As a result, the pressurized carbon dioxide drilled directly into Mr. Brassloff's brain. The force was eight times more powerful than that of a nail gun.

Suit Filed Against Hyundai after Airbags Fail to Deploy

A La Porte woman was severely injured when the airbags on her 2013 Hyundai Genesis failed to deploy after being struck in an auto collision. The lawsuit arises out of the events that took place in September 2019. Plaintiff, then 68, was traveling on W. Fairmont Parkway in Harris County, Texas, when she was struck by a driver who ran a red light. The impact of the collision caused her vehicle to spin out of control, coming to rest only after hitting a concrete light pole. As a result, Plaintiff sustained serious injuries and was transported to Clear Lake Regional Hospital via EMS.

Three Killed in Separate Hit-and-Run Crashes

March 16, 2020, marked a deadly night in the Houston-area resulting in three fatal hit-and-run crashes. A man pushing a bicycle was hit and killed at West FM 1960 near Humble. Authorities say the driver of a Chevrolet truck was speeding when he hit the victim, dragging him underneath and driving away. A constable patrolling the area chased down the driver, who was taken to jail. According to officials, the suspect showed signs of intoxication. The suspect was charged with DWI with a child passenger and failure to stop and render aid resulting in death.

Business Interruption Coverage for COVID-19?

In response to growing concerns of community spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), sports organizations, local schools, and even the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo have ceased operations for the foreseeable future. As businesses consider the human and health impact of this global pandemic, a common question raised is how any business interruptions and related financial losses may be covered by their insurance policies. Whether your business has drastically experienced economic loss or has temporarily closed its doors due to city-wide closures or travel restrictions, you may find relief from your insurance coverage provider.

When Are The Safest And Deadliest Driving Times In Texas?

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Houston can be a dangerous place to drive. Despite law enforcement's best efforts, the number of automobile-related fatalities continued to rise in 2019. While a collision may seem unpredictable, many factors contribute to fatal collisions, particularly on certain days and times. Using past crash data, patterns can be identified to inform people of safer and deadlier times to drive.

Northern California Jury Awards $21.5 million for Car Accident

A California jury awarded a young man $21.5 million for serious injuries he sustained in a car accident. The plaintiff, who was 18 years old at the time of the accident, was a passenger in a van that was rear ended by a pickup truck traveling approximately 55 mph just before crashing into the van. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries to his back, causing him to become paralyzed from the neck down.

Nissan Recalls 346,000 Vehicles for Defective Airbags

Nissan recently issued a recall for around 346,000 vehicles to replace defective Takata airbags. Takata airbags were first recalled in 2014, yet Nissan did not announce these vehicles contained defective airbags until January 2020. Authorized Nissan Dealerships began replacing the airbags on February 10, 2020.

Ikea Recalls 820,000 Dressers Due to High Risk for Tip Over Injuries and Fatalities

Ikea is recalling its dangerous dressers, again. This time it is a three-drawer Kullen dresser that puts small children in danger of being crushed due to the dresser's high risk for tip over. There are at least 9 known cases where a child was fatally injured after one of these dressers tipped over. Dozens of children have been injured as well.

Increased Scrutiny of Infection-Control Practices at Nursing Homes on the Way

In light of the recent spread of coronavirus at a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma announced that she has ordered federal health inspectors to focus on infection-control practices at nursing homes.

Austin Woman Files Lawsuit Against Firearms Dealer After Defective Pistol Causes Permanent Injuries

On February 18, 2020, a woman filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division against J&G II, Inc. d/b/a J&G Sales LTD, a firearms dealer, after suffering permanent injuries because the pistol sold by the dealer spontaneously discharged. The woman alleges causes of action for products liability, negligent marketing, and breach of implied warranties, among others in her complaint.

Toyota Adds Over One Million Vehicles to Recall for Fuel Pump Issues

Toyota recently announced that it is adding 1.2 million vehicles to a major recall due to possible fuel pump failures. In January, Toyota announced that they would recall nearly 700,000 U.S. vehicles due to defective fuel pumps. At that time, Toyota told the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator that they were aware of 66 field reports and 2,571 warranty claims related to fuel pump failures in the vehicles that were initially called. The addition of more vehicles brings the total recall to 1.8 million U.S. vehicles. In total, Toyota has recalled 3.2 million vehicles worldwide to address the issue. The recall came after Toyota launched an investigation in June 2019 into potential fuel pump issues.

Arkema and Its Executives to Go on Trial for Releasing Pollutants During Hurricane Harvey

After more than two years since the devastating category 4 hurricane, Arkema and three of its executives are set to go to trial this week in Harris County. Charged with reckless emission of air contaminants and assault on a public servant, Arkema and its CEO Richard Rowe, former Crosby plant manager Leslie Comardelle, and former VP of logistics Michael Keough face the possibility of potential prison time.

Boy Scouts of America Files for Bankruptcy Due to Hundreds of Sexual Abuse Claims

On February 18, 2020, The Boy Scouts of America reported that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to allegations of child sexual abuse spanning over several decades. The Boy Scouts of America has already issued a public apology to anyone that was harmed and encourages alleged victims to come forward to the organization. In a public statement, it said, "we can live up to our social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims" while "also ensuring that we carry out our mission to serve youth, families and local communities through our programs." Sadly, The Boy Scouts of America has joined the many other prominent organizations now embroiled in widespread litigation sparked in the wake of the #MeToo Movement and an emerging national conversation centered on the prevalence of sexual abuse and violence among women, children, and other vulnerable populations.

First Court of Appeals Upholds Trial Court's Decision to Allow Remote Depositions of Plaintiffs That Live in Honduras

On June 8, 2018, Moises Pereira was employed by Houston Tubulars, Inc. and working at their pipe yard in Pearland, Texas, when he was struck and killed by pipes. Firm attorneys Benny Agosto, Jr. and Kelly Viktorin filed suit against Houston Tubulars on behalf of the Representative of his Estate, his widow, and eight children. The case landed in the 149th Judicial District Court of Brazoria County, Texas.

  • $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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