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Woman Sues Lyft After Attempted Sexual Assault by Driver

A former Lyft driver attempted to sexually assault a woman in Austin, Texas after picking her up downtown on West 6th Street. According to police reports, forty-six-year-old Daniel Kifle is a former Lyft driver that continued to pose as a Lyft driver and who victimized at least four women and attempted to sexually assault at least two of them.

Lawsuit Filed by Family of Toddler Who Died in Hot Daycare Bus

Recently, Raymond and Dikeisha Whitlock-Pryer filed a lawsuit against a Houston daycare facility for negligence in connection with the death of their three-year-old son. On July 19, 2018, Raymond Jr., who also went by R.J., along with 28 other students of Discovering Me Academy LLC went on a field trip to a local park. According to authorities, the group, which included two daycare employees, returned to the daycare facility on Antoine Drive midafternoon. When R.J.'s father came to pick him up at 6:00 p.m., daycare employees were unable to find R.J. After searching for approximately thirty minutes, R.J. was discovered unresponsive inside the bus located outside the daycare. Investigators believe R.J. was inside the bus for at least three and a half hours. Deputies measured the temperature inside the bus after they arrived on scene. It was found to be 113 degrees inside the bus at that time. Records show that the toddler had allegedly been listed as having been accounted for when the bus returned to the daycare facility. The family has also sued Tanisha Butler, the owner of Discovering Me Academy. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Butler was instrumental in setting up the daycare's system to account for children throughout the day. Ms. Butler was also reportedly on the premises the day of the incident for at least part of the time that R.J. was left unattended on the bus.

$2 Million Verdict for Man Injured in Hotel Elevator

A jury awarded $2 million to a California man who suffered permanent spinal damage from an elevator malfunction. Before trial, the company-Schindler Elevator Corporation-offered to settle for $12,000.

Two Sheets to the Wind: The Legal Consequences of the Hazing Ritual

In the last year, the hazing ritual of freshman pledges has sparked a national outcry. Greek organizations-who are largely self-governed-have faced criticism for turning a blind eye to the rampant binge drinking culture on campuses. Just last year, Texas State University in San Marcos, TX suspended all Greek-activities after a freshman pledge died from binge drinking during a fraternity's hazing incident. This time, the Alpha Sigma Phi chapter at the University of Arizona is the latest culprit.

Texas Supreme Court Invokes the Political Question Doctrine to Dismiss Dog Bite Case

Like motor vehicle collisions, dog bite cases are not uncommon. Just as drivers are held responsible for the injuries they cause if they negligently cause a wreck, dog owners are held responsible if their dog bites someone due to the owner's negligence or if the dog is known to be "vicious, dangerous or mischievous." However, one of the more bizarre outcomes of a dog bite case was seen recently. The Texas Supreme Court dismissed the case under a constitutional doctrine that most of the public has never heard of and even most lawyers would only vaguely remember from their first year of law school-the "political question" doctrine.

Border Patrol Chase Results in Five Dead Undocumented Immigrants

On June 17, 2018, a tragic crash occurred in a small Texas town resulting in multiple injuries and fatalities. Five undocumented immigrants were killed in a Texas car crash while being chased by border patrol agents and a sheriff's deputy. The accident occurred in a town near Big Wells about 50 miles from the Mexican border and 100 miles southwest of San Antonio. A total of fourteen people were inside the SUV and many of them were ejected out of the vehicle when it rolled onto the highway.

Trampoline Dangers and Safety Issues on the Rise

In recent years, trampolines on average have caused approximately 100,000 injuries annually in the United States. Between 2001 and 2011, approximately 300,000 broken bones were reported from trampolines, and almost one million emergency room visits. Of those who visited the emergency room, approximately 37% were young children, and 15% were below the age of six. The most common injury is spine and leg fractures.

Texas Supreme Court Adopts "Sham Affidavit" Rule

In a 9-0 opinion issued today, the Texas Supreme Court adopted the so-called "sham affidavit rule" for summary judgment proceedings in Texas courts. This rule, which has long been applied in federal courts, allows judges to disregard an affidavit offered in opposition to a motion for summary judgment when the affidavit conflicts with the affiant's prior sworn testimony and "does not provide a sufficient explanation for the conflict." Practitioners and litigants in Texas courts should be aware of this rule when filing or responding to a motion for summary judgment or preparing for a deposition.

Texas Supreme Court Opinion Interpreting the Texas Tort Claims Act Draws Two Dissents

In a rare 5-4 decision issued without hearing oral argument, the Texas Supreme Court dismissed a wrongful death suit filed against the City of San Antonio by the widow of a motorcyclist who was killed in a high speed chase with the San Antonio Police Department. The widow had not provided the City with notice required under San Antonio's City Charter and under the Texas Tort Claims Act, and while there is a statutory exception for "actual notice," the Supreme Court held that San Antonio did not have actual notice under the existing case law even though there was a policy crash report detailing the accident and listing "Fleeing or Evading Police" as a contributing factor. The case, City of San Antonio v. Tenorio, and the dissents offered by four of the justices, are informative for anyone interested in the rights of Texans to seek compensation when they are injured by the government.

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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