Why is Merck being sued over the Zostavax vaccine?

In 2006, Merck’s Zostavax vaccine was approved by the FDA as a shingles vaccine. It was marketed to reduce the risk of getting shingles (aka the herpes zoster virus) in people over the age of 50. However, for more than half the people who received Zostavax, shingles was the best outcome they could expect.

Merck’s decision to sell a defective vaccine has seriously injured thousands of people 

Shingles typically affects people over 60 years old. It is a reactivation of the chicken pox virus. The hallmark of shingles is a rash or blisters that cause an incredibly painful burning sensation. It affects your nerves, which means it can cause a large number of other injuries. Some of the injuries caused by Zostavax include:

  • Shingles
  • Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (this includes Allodynia)
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Aseptic Meningitis
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome
  • Neurological problems that appear at least seven days after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, including:
    • Encephalitis
    • Meningitis
    • Facial paralysis (this includes Bell’s Palsy and Ramsay Hunt)
    • Loss of hearing
    • Balance problems
    • Cranial nerve palsies
  • Acute cardiovascular events (dysfunction within blood vessels), including:
    • Heart attack
    • Ischemic stroke
  • Cardiac issues, including:
    • Exacerbation of chronic heart failure
    • Cardiomyopathy
  • Vision problems, including:
    • Vision loss
    • Eye infections
    • Retinal damage
  • Pneumonia including other lung issues
  • Skin infections including bacterial superinfection
  • Lupus
  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)

Why is Merck’s Zostavax vaccine defective and dangerous?

Merck used a live, “attenuated” version of the varicella virus in the Zostavax vaccine – the herpes zoster virus. The varicella virus causes chickenpox and shingles. An outbreak of chickenpox causes the varicella virus to go into a latent state. The virus then stays in your nerve cells for the rest of your life. It can reactivate itself as the herpes zoster virus as you get older by traveling from your nerve cells to your skin, manifesting as shingles.

Once the herpes zoster virus has been reactivated and the group of nerve cells it has attached itself to has been fully infected, the group of nerve cells is destroyed. The virus then spreads to the next group of nerve cells, then the next, and so on. This is how the virus replicates itself, traveling throughout your body. The virus can reactivate itself in any of the nerve cells where it remains latent and produce new nerve inflammation and damage whenever it reactivates. If it reactivates itself in the ears or eyes, it can cause severe hearing damage and blindness.

The extreme damage, pain, and suffering it causes is why there was a need for a shingles vaccine for people over the age of 50. When you reach 60 years old, your risk for getting shingles increases dramatically. However, Merck’s decision to use the live virus in its vaccine has caused millions of people intense pain and suffering – even death.

Merck knew the vaccine wasn’t safe and chose to sell it anyway

Investigations have shown that Merck failed to do its due diligence and prove that this vaccine was safe and effective before selling it to people. In fact, we now know that Merck knew of the risks and sold this vaccine anyway. The company’s disregard for your safety and well-being has led us to hold them accountable.

That is why we have been appointed to the leadership committee for the Zostavax multi-district litigation (MDL). Our goal is to help you hold Merck accountable for putting your health in danger and get the best result possible for your case.

These cases are not part of a class action lawsuit. There is no class action lawsuit against Merck in regard to the Zostavax vaccine. Your injuries, pain, suffering, and losses are unique to you.

If you qualify to file a Zostavax lawsuit against Merck, your case will be decided on an individual basis. To find out if you qualify, call us now at 877-724-7800 for a free and confidential consultation. 

 

While the popularity of trampoline parks soars, so does the number of catastrophic injuries and deaths

Most parents see trampoline parks as a place to take their children to burn off extra energy. In fact, on weekends you can find them packed with jumping, running, and playing children and adults. Unbeknownst to them, trampoline parks have also developed a history of injuries and even death.

In the last few years, trampoline parks have exploded into a billion-dollar industry. According to The Journal Pediatrics the number of trampoline parks surged from about 40 in 2011 to 280 in 2014. An estimated five to six new parks open each month, and there were probably about 450 nationwide by the end of 2018.

Trampoline parks have caused six deaths in the past seven years

According to an article published by CBS News in the past seven years, six people have died from injuries sustained at trampoline parks. Many believe that number could be higher since most companies try to push injured parties into arbitration and signing confidentiality agreements.

CBS interviewed Don McPherson who has been a gymnastics coach for over 40 years. McPherson said since 2011 he has been an expert witness in more than 200 injury cases against trampoline parks. “Broken necks, broken backs, dislocated and open-fractured elbows, shoulder,” McPherson said. “They’re all catastrophic injuries.”

The speed and energy at which bodies are jumping and moving on trampoline park equipment sometimes causes an impact that is twice the weight of the person. When you add in multiple users on the same piece of equipment, the risk for these injuries increases. Most parks allow users to jump from trampoline to trampoline which often causes them to crash into one another.

Former world-class gymnast Ric Swezey is proof of that. In 2017, he visited a trampoline park in Virginia with his children and husband when his husband he came down wrong on his foot, stumbled and hit his head against a padded wall. His C2 verterba cracked, which constricted his airway and blood flow, paralyzing him. Within three minutes he became 90 percent brain dead.

Experts in gymnastics call trampoline parks “death parks”

Experts in gymnastics say these communities are “death parks.” Lack of supervision and misplacement of trampolines against thinly padded walls cause more and more injuries each year. The foam pits also cause accidents due to being too shallow for users to safely jump into without injury.

Additionally, jump parks usually have trampolines with a stronger “bounce” than regular, at-home trampolines. Most parks place obstacles around the park to make it more exciting for participants. Varying slopes and increased obstacles makes collisions even more likely.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages recreational trampoline use because of the large risk of injury. However, they say if you still allow your children to use trampolines, constant adult supervision and adequate protective padding is important. As is only allowing one jumper at a time and avoiding flips and somersaults.

Lawmakers are attempting to make trampoline parks safer

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,  trampoline injuries have skyrocketed. The number of injuries due to trampoline parks has gone up from 2,500 injuries in 2013 to almost 18,000 in 2017.
 
Recently lawmakers in Utah attempted to pass a law to add another level of safety to these types of establishments. They join at least seven other states in requiring more oversight from insurance companies and annual inspections. In the U.S., all of them operate without any federal oversight.
 

Trampoline parks have a duty to protect users from harm

When you take your children to an amusement park or jump facility, you should feel safe expecting that the facility has your child’s safety in mind. Injuries due to unsafe design and ineffective safety measures occur often at these fun parks and have led to lifelong disabilities and deaths.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed at a trampoline park you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. You deserve to be able to enjoy fun parks safely. Give us a call at (877) 724-7800 or fill out a free, confidential case evaluation form

KMCO’s fatal fire leaves victims’ families with unanswered questions

The fire that broke out at the Crosby KMCO plant on April 2, 2019, has killed one person and injured at least five others. As the fire was being extinguished, news outlets started releasing first-hand accounts from anonymous workers at the plant. The information workers provided to the media leave us with more questions than answers.

These firsthand accounts include:

KMCO has a history of safety and environmental violations

Since the company was founded in 1975, it has struggled to stay in compliance with environmental rules and safety regulations. Millions of dollars in fines for dozens and dozens of violations have not been enough to make KMCO operate safely.

These environmental and safety violations are red flags, warning us about potentially catastrophic problems at the plant. And a recent statement issued by KMCO does nothing to alleviate these fears. The statement issued by KMCO says that “KMCO, LLC acquired the Crosby facility in 2012. Therefore, KMCO, LLC did not own or operate the Crosby facility and is not responsible for any historic incidents or violations that occurred prior to 2012.”

KMCO provides specialty chemical manufacturing and toll processing services for chemical companies around the world. Toll processing is where a company uses specialized equipment to process raw materials for another company. The Crosby facility is capable of producing over 900 million pounds per year of toll manufacturing products. Many of these products are highly combustible, especially the isobutylene that combusted on April 2, 2019.

A spokesperson for KMCO told the Houston Press on the 2nd that, “Today the fire initially ignited with isobutylene. It was then further fueled by ethanol and ethyl acrylate. These are chemicals and solvents used to make fuel additives at our facility.” Isobutylene has a combustion point so low that a ringing cell phone can spark an explosion.

Questions pile up about the KMCO fire

Every piece of information that has emerged after the fire has created more questions than answers. Corporations that actually prioritize safety over profits don’t have this track record. Safe companies do more than talk about safety. Every decision and every action is based on keeping everyone safe. So what’s happening with KMCO?

Some of the questions we have about KMCO are:

  • What are KMCO’s safety processes?
  • What has been done in the past after explosions or environmental contamination?
  • What policies are in place to make sure these highly combustible and flammable chemicals are stored and handled properly?
  • Is the company properly training and supervising people?
  • Are contractors or third party workers at the plant properly trained and supervised?
  • What processes and systems are in place to ensure that everyone from the CEO to the newest hire puts safety over profits?

The corporations that entrust KMCO to safely handle their chemicals deserve to know that KMCO is putting safety first. The public has a right to know if KMCO is operating safely. Employees and their families deserve to know if they’re going to make it through a shift safely.

How to get answers from KMCO

Getting answers from KMCO about these questions is crucial for the family of the worker killed in the April 2nd explosion, the injured workers, and the community. Knowing the facts about why the explosion happened is the first step to holding the responsible parties accountable and to getting justice.

Injured workers and the family of the worker killed in the KMCO fire have a constitutional right to find out what went wrong, who dropped the ball, and why. You have the right to hold the responsible parties accountable for your pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more. You have the right to send a message to the responsible parties that safety is more important than profits. 

To get started, consult our Board Certified plant explosion attorneys now. Call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form on our website. With record-setting verdicts and settlements, including a recent $44 million verdict obtained in a wrongful death case at the Exxon refinery in Beaumont, our firm has the experience you need to get the answers you deserve. 

Chemical plant fire sites ITC and KMCO have a long history of violations

Over the past three weeks the Houston area has seen two separate chemical plant fires that are impacting plant workers, area residents, and local businesses. The most recent occurred around 10:55 a.m. on April 2, 2019, when a fire broke out at the KMCO plant in Crosby off Crosby Freeway at 16503 Ramsey Road.

One plant worker has died and Life Flight transported two people to the hospital due to injuries. Officials issued a shelter-in-place for all residents and businesses within a one-mile radius of the blaze. It was later lifted around 2:00 p.m. Initial reports show that the fire began after a chemical called Isobutylene ignitedAs of 4:50 p.m., the fire was reportedly contained.

This fire happened merely 16 days after a chemical fire in Deer Park raged for more than 60 hours and cast a plume of dark smoke over most of the Houston area. On March 17, 2019,  a fire occurred at Intercontinental Terminals Company, a storage facility for petrochemicals. The fire burned for several days, during which time an unknown volume of hazardous chemicals were cast into the air and nearby waterways.

KMCO has a long history of environmental and safety violations

Similar to Intercontinental Terminals Company, KMCO has a history of environmental and safety issues as well. The company received fines of nearly $400,000 by state and U.S. regulators. $250,000 of these fines came from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

KMCO has not been compliant with the federal Clean Water Act. In the last 12 quarters it violated the act three times. Information gained from the Environmental Protection Agency shows that the facility also violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This act regulates how the facilities handle hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste.

In the past nine years, the plant has received dozens of OSHA violations.

  • 2008– Harris County sued the KMCO plant for spills and fumes that gave headaches to local neighbors. In a permanent injunction, KMCO had to pay $10,000 in civil penalties and give investigators easy access to the facility and prompt notification of releases.
  • December 24, 2010– Three employees went to the hospital on Christmas Eve after a runaway reaction caused an explosion and fire. The company received fines over $65,000 for 15 serious violations, including safety management of highly hazardous chemicals, hazardous waste and emergency response and control of hazardous energy.
  • 2010-2013– KMCO received 66 violations at its Crosby plant.
  • 2016– KMCO was criminally convicted of two counts of knowingly violating the Clean Air Act, according to federal records. Both KMCO and its sister companies had to pay a total of $3.5 million in criminal fines. The case determined that the companies failed to monitor leaks of ground-level ozone (smog) producing air pollutants at its chemical processing facility in Crosby, Texas.
  • 2019– Just 4 days after the ITC fire in Deer Park, a train located at KMCO’s facility caught fire, which took over an hour for firefighters to extinguish.

ITC has its share of violations as well

Intercontinental Terminal Company also has its share of environmental and safety violations. Their former hazardous waste specialist filed a federal lawsuit alleging that they dumped hazardous waste into flood waters during Harvey. The lawsuit says they did this to save millions of dollars, despite its effect on the environment.

Since 2009, ITC has paid more than $38,000 in fines for environmental infractions.

  • 2003-2019– ITC has had at least 39 unauthorized air releases. They have been noncompliant with the Clean Air Act for nine of the past 12 quarters. One incidence involved the 2016 cyanide release into the San Jacinto River basin that was 10 times the legal limit.
  • 2009-2019– The company has paid more than $38,000 in fines for environmental infractions. In 2008 ITC received a fine when a relief valve blew off a tank releasing a hazardous air pollutant, butadiene, into the atmosphere. This was due to a failure to prevent an increase in pressure.
  • 2009– ITC was given a fine for failing to prevent the overloading of a railcar resulting in the unauthorized release of 1,452 pounds of toluene, a hazardous air pollutant, during a four-hour emissions event. This was due to an operator error.

Lawsuits have already been filed against ITC

Both the state of Texas and Harris County have filed lawsuits against ITC for environmental violations. Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit on March 22, 2019. The lawsuit alleges that the fire released air pollution in violation of the Texas Clean Air Act. It also mentions ITC’s previous history of environmental violations. Harris County filed a lawsuit against Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC) and is seeking a temporary injunction and restraining order against the company, alleging that it violated the Texas Clean Air Act and the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act, among others.

The County Attorney charges that ITC is responsible for burning and air emissions in violation of the state’s Clean Air Act, discharging industrial waste into nearby waters in violation of state law and county regulations, and violation of county floodplain regulations by not having development permits for structures at its facility.

“This company put the health of Harris County residents in danger in many ways for several days,” said County Attorney Ryan. “We will hold them responsible for their actions.”

Companies must be held accountable for injuries and deaths because of their negligence

Every company should (at a bare minimum) follow federal and state environmental and safety laws. ITC and KMCO were clearly not even doing that. Our law firm is working with hundreds of injured parties affected by the ITC fire disaster. We know the tricks the insurance company will try to pull and are ready. 

Let us help make sure you are not taken advantage of by the legal teams these large companies hire to cover up their negligence. If you received an injury or illness or lost property because of the ITC fire or KMCO fire, or any other chemical plant fire or explosion gives us a call today at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential case evaluation form

Crosby KMCO chemical plant fire kills one person and injures two others

Emergency crews responded to a chemical plant fire off the Crosby Freeway on April 2, 2019. The fire broke out at KMCO, which is located at 16503 Ramsey Road. Earlier reports from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez stated that two people were injured. As of 1:00 p.m., authorities report that one person is dead and two people have been transported to area hospitals by Life Flight. 

A shelter in place was issued for all residents within a one-mile radius of KMCO. Schools within the one-mile radius of the plant followed the shelter in place order. It was lifted shortly after 2:00 p.m. when authorities determined the fire was partially contained.

The sheriff also reported that the EPA has been on the ground and in the air. The EPA reports they are not detecting anything in the air that would prompt officials to take action. Harris County experts are also monitoring air quality. 

Residents told ABC13 that their homes were shaking and they were seeing a thick column of smoke in the air.

Fire at KCMO started near isobutylene tank

Initial reports from Sheriff Gonzalez state that the fire was started by Isobutylene. One worker told ABC13 a leak had been detected just before the blast. He told ABC13 that workers were “scrambling out of the area, even crawling under fencing to get away.”

The sheriff and the spokesperson for the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, Rachel Moreno, said the fire seems to have started when a transfer line ignited close to a tank containing isobutylene. In addition to the tank catching fire, an adjacent storage building containing solid goods also caught fire. 

According to Houston Public Media, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office was notified of the incident at approximately 11:00 a.m.. They have sent hazmat crews and inspectors and are investigating what chemicals are in the facility at this time. 

Firefighters battled the blaze for more than five hours. The fire was extinguished around 4:00 p.m. on April 2, 2019. 

KMCO employs more than 180 full-time employees at its Crosby facility. They work on 28 reactors, more than 600 storage tanks, and 250 rail storage spots, according to their website

We will continue to update this article as the story develops.

3M sued over defective dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs

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Brian Beckcom has filed a lawsuit against 3M Company on behalf of our client in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. Our client was issued the 3M dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs while serving in the military and, as a result, suffers from injuries and damages related to inadequate hearing protection. These injuries include  tinnitus, hearing loss, and other damages.

This lawsuit includes thirty claims against 3M, divided into seven categories. Our client claims that 3M failed to design and manufacture the product safely, causing him to suffer permanent injuries. He also claims that the company knew the product was “unreasonably dangerous,” yet they manufactured and sold them to the military anyway.

On top of concealing known dangers associated with these earplugs, 3M also failed to recall them, according to the lawsuit. These are just some of the claims against the company. To read all of them, click here to read our lawsuit against 3M

3M sold millions of dollars worth of defective earplugs to the U.S. military for over a decade

The company’s decision to sell earplugs they knew were defective has resulted in hundreds of thousands of soldiers and veterans being diagnosed with hearing loss and tinnitus. Hearing issues are the most common disability for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, studies show that hearing loss and tinnitus are linked to PTSD, depression, and anxiety in veterans.

Our service members volunteer to put their lives on the line for our freedom. In return, an American company has deliberately endangered our soldiers in order to make a profit of millions of dollars. From 2003 – 2015, 3M was guaranteed to make at least $9 million per year from selling the dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs to the military.

Soldiers and veterans still have time to file lawsuits against 3M

Fair and just compensation is a phrase used in these lawsuits. While a lawsuit won’t bring your hearing back, it will help you in other ways. Each case is unique, however you can recover fair and just compensation for:

  • Your medical bills
  • Temporary or permanent disability because of your hearing problems
  • Your lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Your pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Your spouse’s loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages

Your case will be evaluated by leading experts to determine how much money you should receive. Find out more about these cases and if you qualify here.

If you were issued dual-ended Combat Arms earplugs between 2003 and 2015 and have suffered hearing problems, you may have a valuable claim against 3M.

If you’re ready to hold 3M accountable for your hearing loss caused by 3M earplugs, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. Our board certified attorneys will answer all of your questions and help you make an informed decision about your next steps. Call us at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form.

Bombshells Bar and Restaurant remains a danger to the Houston community

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In the past few years, Houston Bombshells locations have become well known for incidents including (but not limited to) over serving alcohol, serving alcohol to minors, assaults on the premises, robberies, and more. The District Attorney of Harris County has even called it a “crime factory.”

Recently a public relations company reached out to us and asked that we take down certain information on our website regarding public news stories about Bombshells. We agreed to do so. However, we would like to make it clear that based on our own investigations, we still believe Bombshells is a danger to this community.

This will not deter us from seeking justice for our clients and on behalf of the citizens of Houston injured by their negligence. We will continue to pursue our case against them on behalf of our client, Officer Brothers. Officer Brothers is a Houston Police Officer that was injured due to Bombshell’s inability to adhere to their duty under the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Our law firm is dedicated to being there for those hurt by the actions of Bombshells and other negligent establishments.

Bombshells has a history of TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) complaints

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is the state entity charged with investigating reports of possible alcohol-related violations wherever alcohol is being served. Since 2016, two of the Houston Bombshells locations received 16 TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) complaints combined. At least 10 of these complaints were filed by a law enforcement agency. 

The Bombshells at the center of many recent public news stories is located at 121810 Gulf Freeway and received 13 of these complaints by itself. In the past three years, this location has received eight complaints for serving alcohol to an intoxicated person and five complaints of permitting a minor to possess or consume alcohol.

In the past three years, two of the Houston Bombshells locations have earned 16 TABC complaints combined.

Since 2016, six lawsuits have been filed against Bombshells

In the past three years, six lawsuits have been filed against Bombshells Houston-South and its parent companies, BMB Dining Services (Fuqua), Inc. and RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. regarding drunk driving crashes and injuries due to over serving alcohol.

Arturo Esquivel, Jr. v. BMB Dining Services (Fuqua), Inc. d/b/a Bombshells Houston-South

A lawsuit was filed against Bombshells on November 30, 2016  on behalf of Arturo Esquivel, Jr. after he was involved in a car crash after leaving the bar. On or about August 16, 2015, Mr. Esquivel Jr.  arrived at the 12810 Gulf Freeway location where he was served numerous alcoholic beverages that continued after he was intoxicated.

According to the lawsuit, BMB Dining Services and Bombshells (along with their servers) breached their duty and violated Texas law by continuing to serve him after he was obviously drunk and presented a clear danger to himself and others. Esquivel Jr. left the establishment and drove his motorcycle down Interstate 45 where he was involved in a serious collision. The crash caused Esquivel, Jr. serious injuries including the amputation of his right leg below the knee.

The Estate of Marvin Drake, III, et. al v. BMB Dining Services (Fuqua), Inc. d/b/a Bombshells Houston-South and Jane Doe Server

On May 18, 2018, the family of Marvin Drake III filed a lawsuit against BMB Dining Services and Bombshells after he was killed after leaving the 12810 Gulf Freeway Bombshells location. According to the lawsuit, Bombshells failed in their duty to discontinue serving clearly intoxicated individuals.

The evening of February, 16, 2018, Mr. Drake went to the Bombshells location where he was served drink after drink. The lawsuit also states that Marvin was clearly intoxicated when he left the restaurant on his Suzuki motorcycle. Moments later, he crashed his bike into the back of a Chevrolet HHR and died at the scene.

Chayne Brothers v. BMB Dining Services (d/b/a Bombshells)

In June of 2018, we filed a million dollar lawsuit against Bombshells in the 234th Harris County District Court on behalf of Officer Chayne Brothers. In the early morning hours of May 20, 2018, Jeremy Rene Leos crashed into Officer Brothers’ patrol SUV injuring him. As we included in the lawsuit, Mr. Leos had been drinking at Bombshells restaurant and bar on Fuqua before getting behind the wheel.

The lawsuit we filed named Bombshells, its parent company RCI Hospitality Holdings, and Mr. Leos himself. As with in the other lawsuits, we allege that Bombshells is responsible for Officer Brothers’ injuries because they over served Mr. Leos even though he was already intoxicated. This case is still pending but we intend to see it through to the end and receive compensation for our client.

David Grijalva v. BMB Dining Services (Fuqua), Inc., d/b/a Bombshells Houston-South

Also in June of 2018, Bombshells and BMB Dining Services was named in a lawsuit by David Grijalva, after he was injured by two patrons at the 12810 Gulf Freeway location who became belligerent and disruptive. The lawsuit alleges that no staff or security personnel intervened to stop the behavior to continuing or worsening. 

On or about the night of October 1, 2016, David was waiting in line to use the restroom at Bombshells when two patrons became confrontational. The patrons began verbally insulting him which escalated to them pouring drinks on him and throwing their glasses, causing lacerations to his body. According to the lawsuit, Bombshells allowed the belligerent individuals to remain on the premises creating a dangerous environment to themselves and others.

Carlos Garza Lopez v. Jeannette Romo, et al

Carlos Garza-Lopez filed a lawsuit against Bombshells Restaurant in October 2018. The lawsuit claims that on the night of July 4, 2018, Jeannette Romo went to two different bars, Therapy and Bombshells where she was over served alcohol to the point of being visibly intoxicated. According to the filing, it was because of the over serving at these two bars, that Romo left and crashed her vehicle into Mr. Garza-Lopez’ vehicle, causing severe injuries and damage.

The Defendant bars were providers of alcohol under the authority of a license issued by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. As such, they had a statutory duty to refrain from serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons who are a clear or present danger to themselves or others. The lawsuit filed claims that Bombshells wholly failed to uphold this duty and was the proximate cause of the incident and the resulting injuries and damages to Plaintiff.

Larry Medrano Jr. v. BMB Dining Services (Fuqua), Inc. d/b/a Bombshells

On the evening of January 12, 2019, Larry Cortez Medrano arrived at the Bombshells location at 12810 Gulf Freeway in Houston and was served numerous alcoholic drinks. A lawsuit filed on March 1, 2019 alleges that as a result of being over served by Bombshells, Medrano left the establishment with a blood alcohol level of .274 and was later involved in a serious car wreck that took his life.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of his family, states that Medrano was obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear and present danger to himself and others. Yet, Bombshells continued to serve him alcohol. It says the Decedent’s fatal injuries were the proximate result of Defendants’ wrongful acts, neglect, and/or carelessness.

Houston leads the nation in fatal drunk driving crashes

These lawsuits come as no surprise. A recent study completed by the Houston Chronicle lists Houston as the worst in the nation for drunk driving.The Houston region has had more fatal drunken-driving crashes during the last 16 years than any other major metropolitan area in the country. Bars and restaurants that over serve patrons or serve alcohol to minors are only contributing to the fact that Houston drivers risk their lives every day on the road.

Yet these same establishments will also fight you tooth and nail to keep injured parties from recovering due to their negligence. The only way to combat statistics like this is to hold bars and restaurants accountable for their actions, or inactions. We cannot allow them to get away with over serving patrons who then go out and cause accidents, injuries, and deaths. 

We are dedicated to holding Bombshells responsible for failing to keep our community safe

The number of lawsuits filed against Bombshells in only a matter of a few years is disturbing. Bombshells has a duty to help keep our community safe by refusing to serve individuals that are intoxicated and a danger to themselves or other. They are wholly failing at this duty.

Our law firm is dedicated to holding irresponsible establishments, like Bombshells, accountable for dangerous or deadly drunk driving wrecks caused by over serving. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a drunk driver who was over served at a bar, you deserve justice. Time begins ticking immediately.  Learn how we can help you and you family receive justice by giving us a call at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential case evaluation.

If you or a loved one was injured by a drunk driver, you need an experienced drunk driving accident attorney on your side.

Learn how we can help you seek justice for your injuries.

VB Attorneys files lawsuit on behalf of injured assistant principal hurt in car crash

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We recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 30-year-old assistant principal who hired us after she was injured this month during a car crash in Houston.

On March 13, 2019, around 1:00 p.m., our client was on her way to a work meeting, traveling near NRG stadium, when she noticed a truck  going at a high rate of speed, swerving in and out of traffic. Suddenly, the truck, owned by Energy Valve & Supply Company, changed lanes and crashed into another vehicle, causing it to spin around and hit a wall. It then crashed into our clients vehicle causing extensive front end damage. The truck, driven by Lloyd Lee Bliznak then spun out of control and hit a group of trees.

Both Bliznak and the passenger in the other vehicle were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Our client was taken to Houston Healthcare Medical Center and treated for severe injuries to her leg, back and hand. She is still undergoing treatment at this time for her injuries.

Companies must take responsibility for the actions of their employees

Our client is being treated for multiple injuries because of this crash. Our lawsuit alleges that the truck driver failed to:

  • maintain a proper lookout
  • make proper application of the brakes of his vehicle
  • make timely application of the brakes of his vehicle
  • bring his vehicle to a stop before it collided with our client’s vehicle
  • be attentive and maintain proper control of his vehicle

There are several other allegations included in the lawsuit involving the negligence of the driver causing the incident and subsequent damage and injuries to our client. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that the Defendant, Energy Valve & Supply company is legally responsible for the negligent conduct of its employee as he was acting within the course and scope of the company.

The purpose of the lawsuit is to hold the company and driver responsible for their negligence and help our client receive compensation for her injuries. 

We help injured car wreck victims hold negligent drivers and companies accountable

Our experienced car accident attorneys know all the tricks companies and the insurance adjusters try to pull after you are injured in a car wreck. They have a team just waiting to do what they can to make sure you don’t recover compensation for being hurt.

We hold unsafe drivers and companies responsible for failing to keep you safe on the road. Your first priority after an automobile wreck is to your healing. Our law firm takes some of the pressure of you to be able to focus and recuperate.

If you are in need of an aggressive, car crash attorney you are looking in the right place. Give us a call today at  877-724-7800 or fill out a free, confidential contact form to learn more about how we can help you.

 

Injured deckhand hires VB Attorneys after being hurt while working on a charter boat

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An injured deckhand has hired VB Attorneys after being hurt while working aboard a charter boat. In June 2018, our client was  on an offshore boat when the tension from an anchor broke, injuring his leg, ankle, and foot.

When the accident occured, our client was about an hour offshore. The Coast Guard was called and they were met by an ambulance waiting at the shore. He was treated for his injuries at the hospital and later underwent surgery to repair his ankle. He is still being treated at this time.

Initially, the company was helping our client at first with his medical bills and even maintenance and cure benefits. As is typical in these cases, that soon ended and our client was left with no money or assistance. That is when he contacted us.

We are still investigating this case and will provide updates as it progresses.

Injuries at sea often result from failure to comply with safety regulations

Recently we settled a case with a mooring line company on behalf of our client, Josh  who was injured while working as a line handler. Our client had only been employed for a month when he went out with a captain to a mooring station to release the lines of a tanker. While doing so, a mechanism snapped and violently struck his hand, crushing it. Josh underwent months of operations, medication, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to repair his broken hand. He is still being treated for pain related to the injury.

At the very minimum, maritime companies should be following and promoting safety regulations. Companies that care about their employees go a step further to ensure proper training, supervision, and safe operations are being conducted. When this doesn’t happen, as in Josh’s case, employees suffer. Our firm discovered that Josh’s employer barely had a safety program, did not provide appropriate training or supervision and expected him to learn as he went along. Our firm worked hard to hold the line company responsible for their negligence and in doing so helped give Josh a new path forward.

If you or a loved one was injured in an offshore work accident, we can help

If you have been injured due to a company’s negligence in maintaining a safe working environment, it is important to know that you are not alone. Our maritime injury attorneys are experienced in taking on even the largest offshore companies and winning. Find out how we can help you. Call us at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential contact form.

 

Massive plant fire at Deer Park chemical facility expected to burn for several days

On Sunday, March 17th  a fire broke out at a petrochemical storage facility in Deer Park, on the outskirts of Houston, Texas. At the time around 30 employees were working at the plant. According to reports, all employees are accounted for and no injuries are reported. 

The fire began in a single tank just before 11 a.m. on Sunday morning and quickly spread. By Monday morning, seven of the Deer Park facility’s 242 tanks were involved in the fire. Three of the eight tanks that have caught fire have now burned out, almost two days after the massive blaze began. 

Some of the tanks contain Naphtha and Xylene, both gasoline components. A number also contain Toluene, a chemical used in nail polish remover, glue and paint thinner. All of the chemicals are highly flammable and dangerous if ingested or breathed in and hold around 80,000 barrels each.

The facility is owned by Intercontinental Terminals Company and stores gas, oil and chemicals. The City of Deer Park, ITC, and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said tests indicate the air was not dangerous as of Monday afternoon. Deer Park and La Porte schools were shut down as a precaution but resumed today. On Sunday, a mandatory shelter-in-place for the entire city of Deer Park was issued but has since been lifted. 

Firefighters say the blaze could take days to burn completely out. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

Plant fires and explosions are a common occurrence 

Last year, an explosion occurred at the Valero refinery in Texas City, Texas. On April 19, 2018 firefighters were called to the refinery after a fire broke out around 5 pm. Valero reported that all personnel was accounted for and no one was injured.

Merely a month later, on May 19, 2018, over-pressurization of piping in the Kuraray America Eval building in Pasadena, Texas caused a valve to blow. This explosion caused a fire that left twenty-two maintenance workers with serious burns or injuries caused in the evacuation.

According to recent fire statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)  an average of 37,000 fires occur at industrial and manufacturing properties every year. These incidents have resulted in 18 civilian deaths, 270 injuries, and $1 billion in direct property damage. Failure to follow property safety procedures and regulations often is found to be the cause of these incidents and employees are the ones who suffer.

Workers injured in plant fires and explosions need to act quickly

As an employee, you are automatically at a disadvantage when an explosion or fire happens. Often your employer will begin investigating immediately and leave you out of the process. Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure you and/or your injured family member is fairly compensated after a life-changing accident.

Without an experienced workplace explosion attorney on your side, its possible that you may not have access to evidence, accident scene, or other necessary information. Our law firm can get to work immediately to ensure no evidence is destroyed. Give us a call today at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential case evaluation.

 

Why the Justice Department’s 3M earplug lawsuit didn’t give veterans justice

In 2018, 3M settled a whistleblower lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice for $9.1 million dollars. 3M refused to admit they were responsible for causing the hearing loss of millions of veterans as part of this settlement agreement.

This lawsuit wasn’t about justice for veterans. It was a fact-finding mission.

The False Claims Act is a federal law that allows people who have evidence of fraud against federal programs or contracts to sue the company on behalf of the government. In this case, a whistleblower filed a lawsuit in May 2016 against 3M alleging the company committed fraud. The lawsuit alleged that the company and its predecessor, Aearo, and their officers, agents, supervisors, and employees “conspired to defraud the United States Government” in order to profit off the government. It alleged:

  • 3M/Aearo knew about, advanced, and conspired in directing and perpetuating the fraudulent conduct.
  • The U.S. Government paid 3M/Aearo based on the false claims made by the company. 
  • The U.S. Government received a product inferior to that which it specified and for which it paid. 
  • The U.S. Government was damaged by the large and ongoing medical costs associated with treating veterans who likely suffered hearing damage and impairment as a result of the defective earplugs. 

Even though 3M settled the false claims lawsuit, veterans didn’t get justice

The result of this lawsuit was that 3M paid the federal government $9.1 million in 2018. And veterans received proof that 3M hid the truth about the Combat Arms earplugs to make millions of dollars. They endangered millions of people and caused permanent harm just to make a quick buck.

What this lawsuit did achieve was that a ton of evidence was produced by 3M that proved these allegations were true. The company knew the Combat Arms earplugs (CAEv2) were too short for proper insertions in to users’ ears. They also knew that meant the earplugs could loosen imperceptibly and therefore did not perform well. The company did not discloses this design defect to the military. 

Our military paid for earplugs that they were told were safe and effective. 3M had test results and everything to back up these claims. Except they were fraudulent. 

Whistleblower lawsuit proved 3M falsified Combat Arms earplug safety test results

Evidence uncovered by the DOJ’s whistleblower lawsuit proves that 3M and its predecessor, Aearo, knew about the earplug defects as far back as 2000. They also reveal that testing conducted by 3M in January 2000 found that the earplugs were defective. The company then falsified the test results and certifications in order to be able to say the earplugs comply with military safety standards. 

 Records obtained in the whistleblower lawsuit revealed that 3M was guaranteed at least $9 million in 2006 from sales of the Combat Arms version 2 earplugs to the military. From 2003 through 2015, 3M’s contract with the military guaranteed it would supply the government with approximately 15,000 earplug packages. Each earplug package contained 50 pairs of earplugs. That’s an estimated 9,000,000 pairs of defective earplugs provided to the military between 2003 and 2015. 

We can help soldiers and veterans who served between 2003 and 2015 and suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing problems

Soldiers and veterans have a constitutional right to be compensated for the permanent damage 3M has caused. That’s why we are taking on 3M. Our goal is to help you hold 3M accountable and make sure they get the message that no company is allowed to deliberately and knowingly injure our military. 

If you served in the military between 2003 and 2015 and suffered hearing damage despite being issued earplugs, you may qualify for compensation. We can’t bring your hearing back, but we can help you hold the company responsible for damaging one of your key senses responsible. Find out more about suing 3M over their defective Combat Arms earplugs and if you qualify. 

How to get world-class medical care after an injury

Getting world-class medical care after an injury caused by a person or company’s negligence may be a challenge when you’re dealing with adjusters and injury claims. It doesn’t have to be.

At our firm, we make sure our clients have access to world-class doctors and medical care providers that are the best in their fields.

Companies and insurance adjusters often don’t want to pay for the medical care you need to get better.

Your injuries are often medically complicated and may require care from several doctors and specialists. Insurance companies will delay approving your medical care or deny it outright because they don’t want to pay for it. Our clients aren’t blocked from seeing the right doctors and specialists for their injuries. We don’t let companies play games with your health.

Your medical care affects the outcome of your case

You need to see a doctor as soon as possible after you are injured. Having medical documentation of your injuries, your treatment plan, and your recovery is important for your case.

Medical care is important to proving your injury claim. That’s why there are some ways that medical appointments after you’ve been hurt can differ from a routine visit:

  • Your medical records may become important evidence to support your claim. The details of your care for your injuries could come up in a legal setting later on. Make sure that you let your doctor know you are there because of an injury, and make sure that you are honest about the full extent of your injuries.
  • You will need to clearly communicate with your doctor. Don’t be tempted to guess at your doctor’s orders for your recovery. If you have questions or complications, communicate with your doctor – and don’t be afraid to ask about specific activities or limitations in your daily life. It’s harder to go back and document issues if you forget about something. While more minor injuries or symptoms can be easy to overlook when you have more pressing medical issues, it’s still important to let your doctor know everything that’s going on with you since you got hurt.
  • You need to protect your medical privacy. Your medical privacy matters, and you shouldn’t be tricked or bullied into signing away your rights or giving the other side more fuel to potentially minimize your claims of injury. Before you sign a medical release or any other document from the insurance company, read it carefully and talk it over with us.

If you don’t follow through on the doctor’s treatment plans or if there isn’t a good record of your injuries and treatment, it is hard to argue your case to a jury. We want you to have the strongest case possible, so we want to make sure you are following your doctors’ treatment plans.

The best doctor for your case is one you can trust

If you don’t like your doctors, or you think you need another opinion, let us know. We will make sure that you, as our client, see the right doctors for you. It can be helpful to look for a doctor who:

  • Makes you feel comfortable and well cared for
  • Carefully listens to you and all your concerns
  • Knows how to handle and document accident injuries

If you’re having trouble finding the right doctor for you, don’t be afraid to reach out to us for help. We have worked with thousands of clients over the years, and while we’ll never take the power of choice away from you, we can help connect you with the resources you need to make an informed choice about your care.

Ready to get world-class medical care? Call us now at 877-724-7800 or fill out the contact form.