An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

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 remote 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.

April 2020 Archives

Wrongful Death Lawsuits Filed - Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

Two of the families whose relatives were killed in the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in January of this year have filed wrongful death lawsuits against the company that owned and operated the helicopter, Island Express. The lawsuit alleges that Island Express was "negligent and careless, in regard to owning, leasing, managing, maintaining, controlling, entrusting, chartering, and operating" the helicopter in question and that Island Express' negligence caused the death of all those aboard the aircraft. Further, the lawsuit seeks wrongful death damages for funeral and burial expenses and "all other damages by law."

Suit Filed Against Port of Houston Authority after Worker Killed

Houston attorneys Mo Aziz and Karl Long of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have filed suit on behalf of a worker who was killed at the Bayport Terminal Yard in Pasadena, Texas.

San Antonio Hospitals Hit with Federal Penalties for Patient Complications

Five San Antonio hospitals are being penalized by federal regulators for high rates of what they have deemed to be preventable complications, including infections, blood clots after surgery, sepsis, bedsores, and hip fractures after falls. Under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the hospitals' Medicare payments will be reduced by 1 percent this year. Further, up to 3 percent of payments can be withheld by CMS for hospitals that have high readmission rates for heart attacks, heart failure, bypass surgery, pneumonia, hip and knee replacements, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. According to regulators, readmissions are expensive and can increase a patient's chances of infection. Additionally, federal officials claim readmission rates can be indicative of whether a hospital is doing a good job of preventing complications, providing clear discharge instructions to patients, and safely discharging them.

"The Fatal Four"

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration ("OSHA") released recent statistics for the four leading causes of workplace deaths in the construction industry:

Three National Hotel Chains Sued by Victims of Human Trafficking

Three human trafficking victims recently filed similar lawsuits in federal court against national hotel chains, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc. d/b/a La Quinta Inn and Suites ("Wyndham"), Choice Hotels International, Inc. d/b/a Comfort Inn ("Choice Hotels"), and Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. d/b/a DoubleTree by Hilton ("Hilton"), for human trafficking that occurred at their local Houston franchises. In each suit, the plaintiffs accuse the hotel brands of gross negligence under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 98, for failing to stop or prevent the ongoing sexual abuse of the plaintiffs, after observing readily apparent signs of human trafficking on the premises. According to one of the lawsuits, the signs observed and ignored by hotel staff included excessive male foot traffic outside hotel rooms, customers paying for rooms with cash or prepaid cards, minors paying for hotel rooms, high volume of used condoms left in the room, and declining room service for extended periods of time.

Arlington Senior Living Facility Informed Late on COVID-19 Positive Testing

Last month, two patients from Heartis Arlington Assisted Living tested positive at a hospital for COVID-19. Despite the positive test results, however, the hospital failed to inform Heartis Arlington Assisted Living that two of their residents had been infected with COVID-19. It was only until a resident's family member informed Heartis Arlington Assisted Living that they had any knowledge of the positive test results, long after several other senior residents had been exposed to the virus.

Apartment Complex Sued Over Malfunctioning Smoke Detectors and Alarms

The son of an Austin man recently filed suit against an apartment complex, after his father died in a fire that started after lightning hit the complex nearly a year ago. The child's father was sleeping at the time the fire started, and the smoke alarms in his unit did not activate. According to the lawsuit, the smoke detectors and fire alarms in the complex were not properly functioning due to their age and improper maintenance.

Don't Drink and Drive

Houston attorneys Mo Aziz and Karl Long of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have filed suit on behalf of the mother of a man killed by a drunk driver in Harris County, Texas.

Family of Walmart Employee Who Died from COVID-19 Files Suit

Wando Evans, 51, died on March 25, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. He was a 15-year employee of Walmart and worked as an overnight stock and maintenance associate. Days later, on March 29, 2020, another employee who worked at the same Walmart died from COVID-19.

Traffic Deaths Not Significantly Lower During Virus Pandemic

Since COVID-19 has kept most of us home and off the roads, you would think a decrease in the amount of deaths on the roads would occur. Unfortunately, the numbers show there has been a small change in vehicle-related deaths. The total number of deaths on Texas roads in March went from 305 in 2019 to 241 in 2020, a number that shocked most state officials - because driving is down more than 50% in the state.

Texas Nursing Homes Have History of Infection-Related Citations Before COVID-19

Texas nursing facilities have the second-highest total number of infection-related citations over the past three years. Texas also had the 11th-highest rate of citations among all states. According to regulatory records, inspectors found problems at more than 80% of Texas nursing homes in the past three years.

Harris County Man Is Suing a Hotel and Valet Operators for Injuries Suffered After Being Hit by a Luggage Rack

On March 9, 2020, a Harris County resident filed a complaint in the Harris County District Court against ALH Properties No. Twenty L.P. doing business as Sam Houston Hotel, American Liberty Hospitality, Inc., State Parking Services Inc., and PPHC, Inc. The man alleges the defendants were negligent at the time of the incident that made basis of this lawsuit.

Lawsuits Filed Over Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Interruption Insurance

Lawsuits are being filed across the country, including in Texas, over insurance companies denying claims for business interruption arising from the coronavirus pandemic. Business interruption insurance typically covers the loss of income that a business suffers due to a disaster.

Working from Home

For many of us, the coronavirus has interrupted our daily activities and is affecting our ability to work. The law firm of Abraham Watkins remains open and working hard to represent our clients. However, many of us are working from home in order to stay safe and healthy. We suggest you do the same.

Drunk Drivers Arrested in Deadly Hit-and-Run Crashes

Unfortunately for Texas, 2020 has already proven to be no different with drunk drivers continuing to cause accidents, injuries, and deaths.

The Food and Drug Administration States That the Use of At-Home COVID-19 Tests Poses Serious Risk of Harm and Cautions Against At-Home Test Use

The Food and Drug Administration, or "FDA," is cautioning consumers against the use of COVID-19 tests designated for use at home. The FDA states that it has not authorized any form of COVID-19 diagnostic tests for at-home use, nor has it endorsed any prevention or treatment claims made by U.S. companies. Further, the FDA has actively prohibited many companies from marketing their at-home test kits in an effort to safeguard the public, including Austin, Texas' Everlywell, and San Francisco, California's Nurx.

84-Year-Old Dies in Natural Gas Explosion

On July 3, 2019, Juanita Edwards, then 84-years-old, went outside to get her newspaper. After she went back inside her home, it exploded. Natural gas that had been seeping out of a defective line and into the ground beneath her home had found an ignition source. According to the wrongful death lawsuit filed against New Mexico Gas Co., "Decedent's home erupted in an explosion while she was inside."

Adverse Effects of Plastic Surgery

Although the increase of social media and reality television make it look easy, getting plastic surgery is not something to decide on a whim. Plastic surgery involves a variety of procedures designed to help people achieve their desired bodies. However, plastic surgery also focuses on practical function. Patients who have birth defects, deformities, injuries, scars, or burns can benefit from a variety of plastic and cosmetic surgery options. Common plastic surgery procedures include scar revision surgery, burn repair surgery, breast reconstruction, lower extremity reconstruction, congenital defect repair, and hand surgery. It is important to ask the right questions when considering surgery because with these procedures comes the risk of complications. In fact, some procedures can even result in fatal injuries to patients.

FDA Issues Warning about Malfunctioning EpiPens

On March 24, 2020, the FDA issued a warning alerting patients, caregivers, and health professionals that the auto-injectors in the EpiPen 0.3mg and the EpiPen Jr. 0.15mg, and the authorized generic versions, may have injection problems that can cause serious injury or death due to delayed treatment.

  • $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

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

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