An Update from Our Firm about COVID-19

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner remains fully operational and committed to serving our clients and colleagues throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As we follow the CDC guidelines and practice social distancing, we remain available for phone consultations and scheduled in-person meetings with both current and prospective clients and colleagues. Please contact our office by email or by calling 713-222-7211 with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner's Blog

San Antonio Hospitals Hit with Federal Penalties for Patient Complications

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Five San Antonio hospitals are being penalized by federal regulators for high rates of what they have deemed to be preventable complications, including infections, blood clots after surgery, sepsis, bedsores, and hip fractures after falls. Under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the hospitals' Medicare payments will be reduced by 1 percent this year. Further, up to 3 percent of payments can be withheld by CMS for hospitals that have high readmission rates for heart attacks, heart failure, bypass surgery, pneumonia, hip and knee replacements, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. According to regulators, readmissions are expensive and can increase a patient's chances of infection. Additionally, federal officials claim readmission rates can be indicative of whether a hospital is doing a good job of preventing complications, providing clear discharge instructions to patients, and safely discharging them.

"The Fatal Four"

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration ("OSHA") released recent statistics for the four leading causes of workplace deaths in the construction industry:

Three National Hotel Chains Sued by Victims of Human Trafficking

Three human trafficking victims recently filed similar lawsuits in federal court against national hotel chains, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc. d/b/a La Quinta Inn and Suites ("Wyndham"), Choice Hotels International, Inc. d/b/a Comfort Inn ("Choice Hotels"), and Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. d/b/a DoubleTree by Hilton ("Hilton"), for human trafficking that occurred at their local Houston franchises. In each suit, the plaintiffs accuse the hotel brands of gross negligence under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 98, for failing to stop or prevent the ongoing sexual abuse of the plaintiffs, after observing readily apparent signs of human trafficking on the premises. According to one of the lawsuits, the signs observed and ignored by hotel staff included excessive male foot traffic outside hotel rooms, customers paying for rooms with cash or prepaid cards, minors paying for hotel rooms, high volume of used condoms left in the room, and declining room service for extended periods of time.

Arlington Senior Living Facility Informed Late on COVID-19 Positive Testing

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Last month, two patients from Heartis Arlington Assisted Living tested positive at a hospital for COVID-19. Despite the positive test results, however, the hospital failed to inform Heartis Arlington Assisted Living that two of their residents had been infected with COVID-19. It was only until a resident's family member informed Heartis Arlington Assisted Living that they had any knowledge of the positive test results, long after several other senior residents had been exposed to the virus.

Apartment Complex Sued Over Malfunctioning Smoke Detectors and Alarms

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The son of an Austin man recently filed suit against an apartment complex, after his father died in a fire that started after lightning hit the complex nearly a year ago. The child's father was sleeping at the time the fire started, and the smoke alarms in his unit did not activate. According to the lawsuit, the smoke detectors and fire alarms in the complex were not properly functioning due to their age and improper maintenance.

6 Ways To Discourage Your Teen From Texting While Driving

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As parents, there are several important talks you should have with your child when they become a teenager. When they start driving, one of those talks should be about the dangers of distracted driving-specifically, the dangers of texting while behind the wheel.

Why is texting while driving especially dangerous?

There are three main types of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive.

Texting is particularly dangerous because it involves all three. A texter takes their eyes off the road, has at least one hand off the wheel and focuses on the text instead of traffic.

So how can you raise a non-texting driver-a teenager who doesn't follow the trend?

Don't Drink and Drive

Photo of Muhammad Aziz

Houston attorneys Mo Aziz and Karl Long of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have filed suit on behalf of the mother of a man killed by a drunk driver in Harris County, Texas.

Family of Walmart Employee Who Died from COVID-19 Files Suit

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Wando Evans, 51, died on March 25, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. He was a 15-year employee of Walmart and worked as an overnight stock and maintenance associate. Days later, on March 29, 2020, another employee who worked at the same Walmart died from COVID-19.

Traffic Deaths Not Significantly Lower During Virus Pandemic

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Since COVID-19 has kept most of us home and off the roads, you would think a decrease in the amount of deaths on the roads would occur. Unfortunately, the numbers show there has been a small change in vehicle-related deaths. The total number of deaths on Texas roads in March went from 305 in 2019 to 241 in 2020, a number that shocked most state officials - because driving is down more than 50% in the state.

Texas Nursing Homes Have History of Infection-Related Citations Before COVID-19

Photo of Lena B. Laurenzo

Texas nursing facilities have the second-highest total number of infection-related citations over the past three years. Texas also had the 11th-highest rate of citations among all states. According to regulatory records, inspectors found problems at more than 80% of Texas nursing homes in the past three years.

  • $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.

Our Record Of Success

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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