Oil giant British Petroleum (BP) has agreed to pay an additional $13 million to settle charges of failing to fix safety violations at its Texas City oil refinery after a 2005 explosion killed 15 workers. The settlement announced last month its latest move toward resolving hundreds of violations at the plant found by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). BP had already paid $50 million in 2010 to settle some of the OSHA violations. The government had been seeking a total of $80 million in penalties, the largest fine in its history.
On Friday, August 17, Benny Agosto, Jr., Partner of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend, and National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association, hosted a reception and fundraiser for United States Senator Robert Menendez. Senator Menendez has been legislating on behalf of the State of New Jersey since 2005, and is running for reelection this year. As the sixth Latino to serve in the U.S. Senate, Senator Menendez represents the interests of the Latino community nationwide. Additionally, he serves on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Finance and Foreign Relations committees.
Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court once again ruled that an injured citizen may not be compensated for damages caused by a defective road. The case was City of Denton v. Paper, ___ S.W.3d___ (Tex. 2012).
The Associate Press recently compiled a list of consumer product recalls for the week of August 20, 2012. This week's recall list includes millions of baby seats which are in need of repair, a line of heated pet mats which are hazardous for causing shocks, and snap bracelets. The details of this AP article can be found at: http://news.findlaw.com/apnews/d44de9fd195b40229dda1e9a515065bc.
In an article on the first page of the "City & State" section of Friday's (8/10/12) Houston Chronicle, writer Patricia Kilday Hart exposes the loss of rights Texans have undergone due to the Texas Supreme Court's extremist "tort reform" efforts to protect businesses from bearing responsibility for their misconduct.
A large percentage of United States households own at least one gas can. Plastic gas cans represent 95% of all gas cans sold in America which based on these statistics means that most of us at one time or another have either owned or used plastic gas cans. Due to the risk of ignition of gasoline and other fumes, a safety feature was invented 200 years ago. The cost of this feature is $1.00 and has been widely used on many products and has effectively prevented explosions in metal gas cans for the last 100 years.
Juries in Harris County do not reflect the demographics that makeup its population. Most people think that the diverse population is key to the jury makeup but the truth is that judges and lawyers play the largest role in deciding who stays and goes from juries. Winning cases is what motivates lawyers to remove or keep members on the jury.
Earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court continued a trend of exonerating governmental entities from facing any responsibility for their alleged negligence by ruling that a city was immune from suit.
According to an article by the Houston Chronicle, 31 former National Football League (NFL) players, filed suit against the NFL on Tuesday in Houston. The 38-page lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Houston. The allegations include accusing the league of concealing the links between concussions and brain injury.
On Tuesday, a Fayette County jury awarded $150 billion to the family of Robbie Middleton. The verdict was rendered against Don Wilburn Collins, who doused Robbie Middleton with gasoline and set him on fire on Middleton's eighth birthday. This incident happened as young Robbie Middleton walked through a wooded area in Splendora, Texas. Middleton somehow survived the incident, but remained horribly scarred and disfigured from his injuries. He passed away when he was twenty years old from a rare form of skin cancer - which his attorneys attributed to his substantial and extensive burn injuries.