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Aviation Accident Archives

Investigation Continues After First U.S. Airline Fatality in Nine Years

On April 17, a woman was killed on Southwest Airlines flight 1380 when the left engine exploded. The twin-engine Boeing 737 was traveling from New York to Dallas with 149 people onboard when shrapnel from the explosion penetrated the aircraft's fuselage and broke a window in the passenger cabin causing depressurization and the deployment of oxygen masks. Jennifer Riordan, a banking executive from New Mexico, was sucked partway out of a nearby window and struck by some of the debris. Several of the passengers ran to pull her back into the cabin and gave her CPR, while other passengers plugged the hole. The flight made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. At least 7 other passengers were injured.

Confidential Settlement Reached in Light Sport Aircraft Death Case

Firm attorneys Benny Agosto, Jr. and Kelly Woods have reached a confidential settlement on behalf of the widow of Johnny Johnson regarding a crash that occurred on February 1, 2016. The settlement brings a favorable end to the widow's wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for the death of her husband-a loving husband, father, and renowned flight instructor-that occurred when the light sport aircraft he was piloting crashed upon takeoff.

Helicopter Crash Proves Fatal for Two Houstonians

On January 18, 2018, a helicopter crash in New Mexico claimed the lives of two Houstonians. Investor Charles Burnett III and former Pasadena Police Chief, Paul Cobb, were among the dead. Federal Aviation Administration officials said the private UH-1 Huey helicopter crashed at about 6:00 pm in a mountainous and remote area about 15 miles east of Raton Municipal Airport. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

NTSB: Pilot in Deadly Balloon Crash Unfit to Fly

In July 2016, Texas saw the deadliest hot air balloon crash in American history when Alfred "Skip" Nichols piloted his balloon into power lines near Lockhart, killing himself and 15 passengers. It has now been revealed in an October 17 meeting of the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington that Nichols was impaired by Valium, opioids, and other medication, and had psychological conditions that affected his decision-making. As quoted by the Associated Press, NTSB medical officer Dr. Nicholas Webster reported that there was enough Benadryl in Nichols' system to have "the impairing effect of a blood-alcohol level" of a drunk driver.

Turbulence Injuries Aboard Commercial Flights

Although commercial airline travel is the safest form of transportation, injuries aboard a plane can still occur. Most of these in-flight injuries are caused by sudden turbulence and even though turbulence is a common occurrence during any flight, serious turbulence can be dangerous. On June 20, 2017, 10 people were injured on a United Airlines flight from Panama City, Panama to Houston, Texas due to severe turbulence near Cancun, Mexico. Although the plane landed safely in Houston, all 10 people were taken to local hospitals.

Families of Passengers Sue Boeing

On March 8, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 left from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying 239 passengers. It disappeared and is believed to be lost in the South Indian Ocean. The official search for the plane or its wreckage was suspended on January 17, 2017, by the Australia Air Safety Investigative Board.

Fatal Airplane Crash - Wrongful Death Suit Filed

On August 30, 2016, Kenneth Glazer filed a wrongful death lawsuit in state court subsequent to his parents' fatal airplane crash on their trip from New York to their vacation home in Naples, Florida. After take off from the Greater Rochester Airport, Larry and Jane Glazer-prominent real estate developers and philanthropists-faced complications in the air, as the plane's cabin pressurization system failed mid-flight. The plane ultimately went down in the Caribbean Sea, Near Jamaica, resulting in the death of the couple.

Hot Air Balloon Crash Kills Sixteen in Central Texas

A deadly tragedy hit Central Texas the early morning of July 30, 2016, when a hot air balloon came crashing to the ground in a literal ball of fire. Federal and local authorities reporting this story believed that the hot air balloon was carrying 16 people at the time of the crash, none of whom survived. Federal Aviation Authority officials said the balloon caught fire before crashing, but did not provide any other details.

NTSB: Hot Air Balloon Likely Struck Power Lines Before Crash

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Sunday that a hot air balloon that crashed near Lockhart, Texas likely struck power lines before it crashed. The crash, which occurred on Saturday morning and garnered national media attention, killed all sixteen people aboard. It was the deadliest hot air balloon crash on record in the U.S., eclipsed only by a 2013 crash in Luxor, Egypt that killed 19.

Three Dead in Airplane Crash Near Hobby Airport

Three people were tragically killed after their airplane crashed into a car Thursday afternoon. The crash happened just after 1:00 p.m. in the 6800 block of Telephone Road, approximately three blocks north of William P. Hobby International Airport. The Cirrus single-engine SR-20 crashed in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware store crushing an employee's car. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the aircraft was attempting to land at Hobby Airport. The plane was registered by Safe Aviation LLC in Moore, Oklahoma. The National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of the crash investigation.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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  • $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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