Author: Ben Agosto III

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California Raises Medical Malpractice Damages Cap—Will Other States Follow?

On Monday, May 23, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 35 into law, which raised the non-economic damages cap that plaintiffs may receive in medical malpractice cases. In doing so, it was the first increase in the non-economic damages cap in medical malpractice cases since the California Legislature first enacted a cap…

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Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Chapter 95 – The Entire Workplace Cannot Be An “Improvement”

In Texas, a landowning defendant sued under a premises liability theory of negligence is afforded a particularly stalwart affirmative defense pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Chapter 95. Referred to commonly as simply “Chapter 95,” it “applies to a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim (1) for damages caused by negligence resulting in…

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FORMOSA PLASTIC’S $50 MILLION PUNISHMENT UPHELD BY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS DISTRICT COURT

On March 22, 2022, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt of the Southern District of Texas harshly ruled that Formosa Plastics’ excuses for skirting a $50 million consent decree because of the dumping of billions of plastic pellets in the Gulf of Mexico “fail[ed] on all counts.” In the face of this wanton pollution, corporate plastics…

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TEXAS EXPANDS THE EIGHT-CORNERS RULE – EXTRINSIC EVIDENCE MAY BE USED TO EXAMINE INSURANCE CONTRACTS IN NARROW CIRCUMSTANCES

In the Texas Supreme Court’s recent opinion of Monroe Gaur. Ins. Co. v. BITCO Gen. Ins. Co., Texas’ longstanding “eight-corners” rule was modified to permit the admission of extrinsic evidence under narrowly defined circumstances. See __ S.W.3d __, 2022 WL 413940 at *8. Predictably, the net effect of this opinion on Texas’ litigation landscape has…

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PIP COVERAGE: NO-FAULT INSURANCE THAT YOU SHOULD MAXIMIZE WHEN ABLE

In Texas, all vehicles registered in the State must be insured to lawfully access State roadways. As a part of that requirement, Texas has codified default protections for Texas drivers, which includes “personal injury protection” or “PIP” insurance. PIP insurance, which is also referred to as “no-fault” insurance applies to all passengers in an insured…

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BOEING 737 MAX 8 CRASH VICTIMS’ SPURN BOEING’S PROSECUTORIAL IMMUNITY

On December 16, 2021, families of those who lost their lives in the two MAX 8 crashes protested to the U.S. Justice Department that despite a massive $2.5 billion settlement, Boeing had not been punished enough for their calculated exchange of human lives for profit. The families argued that Boeing had “lied and violated [the…

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Mother Sues Headstone Vendor After Her Child’s Finger was Amputated After Being Crushed by Headstone

On December 20, 2021, a Brazos County Resident filed a lawsuit in Brazos County District Court against Watson Signs and Monuments, LLC after her young son’s finger was crushed by a toppling tombstone, pinning him by his finger. The Plaintiff was shopping at the business with her family, there to purchase a headstone for her…

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In Texas, Concert Organizers Owe Attendees Heightened Duty

On November 5, 2021, during Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston, Texas, a surging and overpacked crowd was sent into a frenzy, causing hundreds to be injured and killing at least ten. After early investigation, it appeared that a significant number of the injuries were caused by trampling and crushing from overcrowded conditions. The scope…

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