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Deer Park Chemical Facility Has History of Environmental Violations

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The Deer Park chemical facility that caught fire last week has a long history of state and federal environmental violations. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) has been fined for multiple infractions that could have been avoided. In 2008, ITC was fined when a relief valve failed causing 6,745 pounds of unauthorized butadiene to be released into the atmosphere due to the facility's failure to prevent an increase in pressure. The Commission said the event was "avoidable by better operational practices." Butadiene is a carcinogen to humans and is used to make plastics.

Jury Awards Woman Nearly $17M for Injury at Walmart

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A West Virginia jury awarded nearly $17 million to a woman who was injured when Walmart employees attempted to detain a shoplifter. The plaintiff, a 53-year-old woman, says employees tried to detain a shoplifter when the shoplifter ran into her shopping cart. The impact caused the woman to fall to the ground with the cart falling on top of her.

Deaths Resulting from Natural Gas Explosions Lead to Lawsuits Against Utility Companies

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In July of 2018, an explosion occurred during construction at a hospital in Gatesville, Texas. The explosion killed three construction workers and left 12 with blast or burn injuries. Investigators concluded that the explosion was caused when natural gas flowed from disconnected lines into a boiler room.

Repeated Mistakes Causes Fatal Blood Transfusion

Photo of Imrana Manzanares

A report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services revealed a pattern of blood labeling errors at St. Luke's in Houston during the past year. The report followed a yearlong investigation by both the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica that had documented several lapses in patient care.

Toxic Cloud: Fire Continues to Burn in Deer Park, Texas

Photo of Benny Agosto

Just before 11 A.M. on March 17th, 2019 a chemical plant fire occurred at the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC, also known as "ITC", which is located near Highway 225 and Independence Parkway in Deer Park, Texas. The blaze continued to burn all day Sunday and has continued into Monday. Emergency crews have continuously worked around the clock to keep the fires contained. Unfortunately, additional tanks subsequently caught fire overnight. Nearby schools were closed for the day as a precaution.

Fatal Pipeline Explosion Leads to Lawsuit and Calls for Regulation

Photo of Randy Sorrels

Delaney Tercero, 3, was killed in August of 2018 when a nearby pipeline leaked natural gas into her family's house, resulting in an explosion that injured the entire family and destroyed their home. The state sent investigators to determine if the owners of the pipeline had violated any rules and to discover the cause of the leak. Investigators discovered that the pipeline's anti-corrosion coating had failed and the pipeline had been leaking for "an undetermined length of time." However, investigators found that Targa Resources Corp., the company that owns the pipeline, didn't violate any rules because there are no rules or regulations for this type of pipeline.

One Additional Obstacle to Avoid on Texas Roads

Photo of Brant Stogner

Natural gas has become a modern-day convenience that most of us can't seem to live without. Used for everything from heating, cooking, and electricity generation, this ubiquitous fuel source has woven itself into our every day lives and infrastructure. Unfortunately for many places in Texas, that weaving of natural gas pipelines happened many decades ago and we have built our homes and cities around these inherently dangerous gas meters without much afterthought of how society will flow around them.

MetroRail Injuries and Deaths Require Closer Investigation

Photo of Lena B. Laurenzo

A quick Google search on MetroRail incidents shows how people are regularly getting injured or killed by MetroRail trains in the metropolitan area of Houston, Texas. As the rail expands through the North, East, and South parts of Houston, one can find incidents on each one of the lines on which the trains operate.

"At Home" Store Sued for Injuries Caused by Chair Collapse

Photo of Angelina Wike

A customer was injured on January 19, 2019 while shopping at a local home goods store when an office chair collapsed as she seated herself to test the chair.

Could Zion Williamson Sue Nike?

Photo of Ciro Samperi

Duke University's star freshman basketball player, Zion Williamson, suffered a knee injury during a game between Duke and North Carolina. The injury seemed to occur when his Nike shoe appeared to tear as he planted his foot. Williamson, thought by many to be a top NBA draft pick, left the game and did not return. This begs the question: if Williamson suffered a career ending injury, could Williamson sue Nike?

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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Firm News & Updates

  • $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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When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

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