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Three National Hotel Chains in Houston Sued by Victims of Sex Trafficking

Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc., Choice Hotels International, Inc., and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc., were listed as defendants in lawsuits filed by three sex trafficking victims in December 2019. The lawsuits claim that these hotels did not do enough to counteract sex trafficking activities that allegedly occurred at their premises. The same lawsuits accuse the hotel chains of negligence, gross negligence, and violations of federal and state laws prohibiting trafficking.

Family of 10-Year Old Injured on Zip Line Sues Florida Theme Park

The family of a 10-year-old boy who fell from a zip line at the Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park has filed suit against the park's operators. The accident occurred on a ride called the "Sky Rider" when the young boy fell out of his harness. The ride operators failed to properly secure the boy in his harness, causing the boy to fall 20 feet and suffer life-altering injuries. The park has since let the responsible ride operators go and retrained its employees on the use of zip lines.

Uber Reports 3,000 Sexual Assaults on U.S. Rides Last Year

Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, recently disclosed that 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on its U.S. rides last year as part of its long-awaited safety study. In the safety study, Uber said it recorded 235 instances of rape last year and thousands of reports of assault involving unwanted touching, kissing, or attempted rape. The safety study also examined other safety categories such as motor-vehicle deaths and violent crimes, with Uber reporting 107 motor-vehicle fatalities and 19 fatal physical assaults. Uber reported that it conducted the safety study to show transparency and to improve its services for both riders and drivers.

Uber Releases First Ever Safety Report Revealing 5,891 Instances of Sexual Assault in 2017 and 2018

Uber released its highly anticipated safety report last Thursday revealing 5,981 incidents of sexual assault in 2017 and 2018. Although the report identifies 21 categories of sexual misconduct, it defines "sexual assault" as a reported instance of rape, attempted rape, non-consensual kissing of a sexual body party, non-consensual touching of a sexual body party, and non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part.

Family of Parkgoer Paralyzed on Water Slide Sues Universal Studios

James Bowen, a 47-year-old man from New York alleges he was paralyzed and almost drowned at Universal Orlando Resort's Volcano Bay. Bowen decided to race his seven and thirteen-year-old daughters down a ride called the Punga Racers. Bowen climbed to the top of the Punga Racers with his daughters, passing multiple checks on the way. Once arriving at the top of the slide, Bowen followed a Universal Employee's instructions to lie with his stomach on a mat and go down the slide headfirst. When Bowen arrived at the bottom of the slide, his head hit a wall of water that caused his head to snap back violently. The impact caused a compression in Bowen's spine which left him paralyzed, floating face down in the water.

Lyft Driver Attacks Rider, Lawsuit Claims Lyft Failed to Screen

A lawsuit has been filed against Lyft and a Lyft driver for a vicious assault of a would-be rider. In May of 2017, Jonathan Pratt was attacked by his Lyft driver in New York City, New York. Pratt called for a Lyft ride, but the Lyft driver allegedly had issues finding Pratt's pick-up location. As time passed, Pratt eventually attempted to cancel the Lyft ride so he and a friend could take a taxi instead. The Lyft driver then arrived and immediately began berating Pratt, using profanities and aggressive language.

Child Drownings

Currently, Texas is leading the nation in the number of drowning accidents involving children. Particularly, Harris County is the most frequent location of child related drownings.

Man Brings Lawsuit Against DoorDash After Being Stabbed by DoorDash Driver

Fabio Coppola filed a lawsuit against DoorDash after one of its drivers attacked him in his restaurant. Coppola is the owner and operator of Roma Deli. One evening Mackie Allen was waiting in his car outside of the Roma Deli for a DoorDash order to be prepared. Allen entered Roma Deli and began yelling obscenities at Coppola, who tried to calm Allen down but to no avail. Coppola informed Allen he would be filing a complaint with DoorDash due to Allen's behavior, at which point Allen produced a pocketknife and slashed Coppola's left hand. Coppola then turned to run from Allen but was caught and stabbed in the ribs just below the heart as well as stabbed in the back multiple times. Following the stabbing Allen then completed his DoorDash delivery.

Lawsuits Filed After Airplane Passengers are Attacked by Emotional-Support Animals

Each year, over four million dog attacks take place in the United States. The American Humane Society (AHS) reports that there are approximately 4.7 million dog attacks that take place each year with 800,000 of the attacks requiring medical attention. Half of the attacks are on children and nearly 386,000 of those injured require emergency services. Texas is the leading state in the number of fatal dog attacks. This year alone, there have been five reported deaths in Texas involving a vicious dog attack. Several more attacks resulting in serious injuries have also been reported.

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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