(Houston, Texas) October 24, 2011 – Attorneys Benny Agosto, Jr., and Chelsie King Garza, of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, recently wrote an article that discusses an important part of Texas’s workers’ compensation law that establishes when an employee is considered on duty and subject to coverage.
The premise of the article comes from a court victory that attorneys Agosto and Garza achieved in the case Hinojosa vs. Harris County. The central question to the case was whether the plaintiff, Sergeant Eluid Cesar Hinojosa, was on duty when his motorcycle crashed, resulting in injuries that left him permanently disabled. When the accident occurred, Hinojosa was the on-call sergeant and was responding to a request for assistance from a subordinate officer.
Hinojosa’s employer, Harris County, appealed the trial court’s determination that Hinojosa was eligible for benefits. The First Court of Appeals found that Hinojosa was acting within the course and scope of his employment when the accident occurred. This decision was affirmed by the Texas Supreme Court in the winter of 2010, opening the way for Sgt. Hinojosa to receive his lifetime workers’ compensation benefits nearly five years after his life threatening accident.
The article by Agosto and Garza reviews Texas law on course and scope of employment and how the law applies to sworn peace officers such as Sgt. Hinojosa. Agosto and Garza also discuss similar cases that supported their argument that their client was on duty at the time of his accident.
For the full article, check out ” Expanding the Coming and Going Rule: One Officer’s Struggle.”
Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner with the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. He is board certified in personal injury trial law by the State Bar of Texas and is the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) president for 2011-2012. He is co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the HNBA Legal Education Fund and is a past president of the HNBA Region XII and the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas (MABATx).
Chelsie King Garza joined the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner as a litigation associate in 2007 and focuses her practice primarily on plaintiff’s prosecution, medical malpractice, and commercial litigation defense. Ms. Garza is a member of the State Bar Associations of Texas, New York and New Jersey. She also serves as the Legislative Chair of the Association of Women. She has lectured and spoken on gender and litigation issues to numerous professional groups.
Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner has helped thousands of clients who were catastrophically injured in motor vehicle and trucking accidents, workplace accidents, injuries caused by defective products, aviation crashes and other personal injury accidents.