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

Infants Died After Being Fed Infected Breast Milk

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Abel Cepeda, then 5-days-old, was the eighth baby since the summer to get sick after being exposed to bacteria in Geisinger Medical Center's NICU. Two infants had died prior to Abel's birth. Geisinger has announced that the hospital's equipment contaminated donor breast milk, which exposed premature infants to pseudomonas, a bacterium. The day Abel died, the hospital changed its equipment to single-use materials. Abel's parents have filed suit.

Explosion Rocks Port Neches Refinery

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At approximately 1:00 AM this morning, November 27, 2019 an explosion rocked the TPC Group chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas. Port Neches is approximately 90 miles east of Houston and south of Beaumont, Texas in Jefferson County. The explosion was heard for miles according to reports. Local residents report being woken to a thunderous noise and some even reported their houses shaking.

At 6:40 AM, the TPC Group released their second public update regarding the incident. The update discloses that workers were injured, and air monitoring is being conducted around the plant. Emergency services are still attempting to gain control of the situation. Unfortunately, it has now been confirmed that at least three workers were hospitalized in the incident.

The cause of the fire and explosion has either not been disclosed or is unknown at this time. Currently, reports are stating that the chemical burning is Butadiene. Butadiene is a colorless gas which can affect the central nervous system. Acute exposure may include symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and even fainting.

If you or someone you know has been injured in the TPC Group chemical plant explosion in Port Neches, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.

Seattle Children's Hospital Shuts Down Operating Rooms for Second Time This Year Due to Mold Infections

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Seattle Children's Hospital shut down all fourteen of its operating rooms earlier this year after Aspergillus mold spores infected six children in its operating rooms, leaving one dead. The hospital re-opened its operating rooms in July, telling the public it was confident the operating rooms were sterile and that the risk to patients was incredibly low. Last week, however, the hospital was once again forced to shut down three of its operating rooms and two procedural areas following new detections of Aspergillus and as the hospital investigates the possibility of two new infections.

2018 Marks Second Consecutive Year of Decline in Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

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According to the United States Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,560 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents on United States roadways during 2018, marking the second consecutive year that motor vehicle fatalities declined. The decrease in fatal traffic accidents comes even as more people drove in 2018. Of the categories assessed, speeding was the most predominant factor, accounting for 9,378 of the total fatalities. Fatalities decreased in almost all categories with the exception of crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and large trucks. The largest decline was seen in fatal motor vehicle accidents involving children ages fourteen and younger. From 2017 to 2018, pedestrian fatalities increased by three percent to 6,283, representing the most pedestrian deaths since 1990. The number of bicyclist deaths increased by more than six percent from 2017, accounting for 857 of the fatalities reported in 2018. Large-truck occupant deaths increased approximately one percent from 2017. The Texas Department of Transportation also reported a 5.84 percent decline in fatal motor vehicle accidents from 2017 to 2018. However, there were no fatality-free days on Texas roadways in 2018.

Juul Allegedly Shipped at Least One Million Contaminated Pods

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E-cigarette retailer, Juul, was recently sued by an ex-senior vice president for retaliation because he raised concern over Juul's decision to sell contaminated pods to the public, according to the lawsuit.

19 Years of Daily Fatalities on Texas Roads

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Since 2000, over 67,000 people have died on Texas roads. There has not been any slowing down in this trend of fatalities as the daily average is approximately 10 deaths per day. Studies and statistics on this trend show that at least 90% of all of these fatalities were preventable and that fatalities occur both in metro and rural areas across Texas at high rates.

Harris County Resident Suffers Serious Injury to Leg at a Family Dollar Store

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On October 21, 2019, a Harris County resident filed a complaint against Family Dollar Stores of Texas, LLC, Family Dollar Inc., and Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., alleging injuries sustained to his leg.

Family of Parkgoer Paralyzed on Water Slide Sues Universal Studios

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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.

Drunk Driving Arrests Sharply Increase in Houston - A Troubling Epidemic

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Houston has a major problem with the growing number of drunk drivers on its roads. Over 12,000 drunk driving arrests have been made in Houston through September, which is already 1,500 more arrests than were made in all of 2018. Considering that Harris County had the highest number of fatal DWI crashes in 2018, the growth in the number of DWI arrests likely means a growth in the number of DWI-related injuries and deaths, tragic consequences of driving drunk.

In an interview with KHOU11, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said, "We definitely have an epidemic here." In response to this epidemic, the District Attorney's office is considering harsher penalties for DWIs, especially for repeat offenders. Officials are also more closely scrutinizing bars and restaurants that sell alcohol to individuals and minors that are already inebriated or should not be drinking at all.

Boeing CEO Grilled by Senate Committee

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Recently, a hearing was held before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee regarding the failure of Boeing's 737 MAX 8 aircraft. This inquiry comes after the crash of two Boeing 737 Max 8 aircrafts within several months of one another. The first crash occurred near Jakarta, Indonesia when a Lion Airlines flight crashed into the ocean in late 2018. Subsequently, in March of 2019, the same model aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed in March of 2019.

  • $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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