Houston Accident Lawyer Client Results
Disclaimer: A case’s value, if any, depends on the facts. These are cases involving catastrophic loss and awards shown before attorney fees and expenses which are deducted from client’s share. Verdicts may be appealed, including those shown here which may result in reversal of verdict.
Below is a representative list of case results. Strict confidentiality agreements prevent us from listing all our cases, including some that have resulted in very large verdicts and settlements.
Not all cases go to trial. In fact, most cases are settled. Why? Because our opponents know that going to trial against Joe Stephens is a losing proposition.
Medical Malpractice Case in Harris County against Rogue Clinic and Pill Mill Doctor. Houston Jury Awarded Client $10.7 Million.
The Case of The Missing ScareCrow
Wrongful Death Verdict in Bexar County against Trammel Crow, a large real estate management Company for failing to provide adequate security in parking lot. Husband shot to death during robbery at upscale mall in San Antonio in front of his wife, who gave birth, prematurely to his child at four months as a result of the trauma. Seasoned opponent offered no money to settle the case.
The Case of Murder by Mercedes
Wrongful Death Verdict in Judge David Bernal’s Court in Harris County against Clara Harris for running down her husband with her Mercedes automobile. Award to husband’s elderly parents, said to be one of the highest jury awards in Harris County history for death of an adult child. Case settled for confidential amount after verdict. Case is one of the most highly publicized trials in Houston’s history. Opponent was seasoned ex-prosecutor who told the media he planned to win the case prior to the stunning verdict.
The Case of The Pedophiles Parent
Child Injury Verdict in Montgomery County. Case against a man who knowingly allowed his son to rape four young boys over a two year period, and did nothing to stop the activity which was occurring on father’s property, and with his tacit approval. This case is allegedly the highest jury award ever in Montgomery County, Texas. Seasoned ex-prosecutor tried the case for the Defendant and made no offer to settle the case. On appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.
Other Notable Cases The Stephens Law Firm Has Won
A lot of them. Injuries include back, neck, spine, death, brain, soft tissue, broken bones. I tried about 20 cases my first two years out of law school, most of them involving these type cases. Though the issues are pretty simple, they can be very hard to win if the lawyer does not work the case up, and is perceived as a “greedy” TV lawyer. (Hint) “The Texas Hammer” and similar TV lawyers you see on TV are VERY poor choices for these cases because juries give them no credibility.
Confidential Settlement in the Millions against trucking company for causing death of man and his son on Highway 290 when the truck crossed center line. Partner at Houston’s largest law firm, Fulbright and Jaworski paid the settlement monies.
Confidential settlement in seven figures against The Methodist Hospital for paralyzing woman due to medical malpractice. Opponent was a lawyer who also had a medical license.
My firm won against a Houston Neurosurgeon who paralyzed a woman due to shoddy medical care.
Jury verdict against a Concrete Truck Manufacturer for designing equipment with a pinch point which severely injured worker’s hand. The jury found the truck was defective and unreasonably dangerous because of its dangerous design. The manufacturer could have easily designed out the pinch point.
A contract worker in Dallas County lost his arm when it became caught in a pinch point in a conveyor belt. Engineering evidence showed the manufacturer could have easily placed a guard at the pinch point which would have prevented the incident.
A contract worker fell off equipment at worksite badly hurting his back and shattering both feet. He will never work again. Evidence showed that the company in charge forced workers to work, knowing they had no fall safety protection, and refused to provide it.
Verdict for paralyzed bicyclist in Liberty County against motorist who negligently struck him on the shoulder of a highway outside of Dayton.
Verdict medical malpractice case in Harris County against St. Luke’s, allegedly Houston’s MOST reputable hospital. The physical therapy department negligently caused a woman to fall and shatter her ankle in several places. St. Luke’s lawyer was a 35 year seasoned insurance lawyer. His pretrial offer was zero. This Hospital had never lost a case in Harris County before. Hospital was stunned by the verdict. I don’t know why as the evidence was quite clear that the incident would have never happened if they had only listened to their patient who repeatedly told them she was about to collapse, but was forced to continue therapy. Even the next day after the ankle was broken, the hospital tried to force her to continue with therapy as she shouted in pain. The hospitals’ actions caused, and delayed the woman’s recuperation for years.
Verdict against Nationwide Insurance Company in a Car Wreck Underinsured Motorist case in Travis County. Family was in bad wreck and the insurance company denied coverage. The jury found the insurance company had wrongfully denied coverage, and awarded damages to the family.
Case arose from catastrophic pile up on HWY 290 involving 18 cars and three commercial trucks. Unfortunately, a man was mangled and killed in the pile up. The preparation for the case involved full animation of how the incident occurred. Over 60 depositions were taken of various witnesses before the case was resolved.
Maritime accident settlement for Houston man who hurt his back while working off the coast of Africa. Discovery and depositions required of numerous overseas witnesses. Opponent was partner in one of Houston’s most reputable insurance defense firms, Baker Hostetler.
Verdict in Maritime and Jones Act trial in U.S. District Court, Eastern District. Deckhand was badly injured when ship equipment failed striking him in the elbow shattering the joint. Case filed against the ship owner.
Plant electrical accident at Exxon-Mobil in Jefferson County. Contractor suffered severe 3rd and 4th degree electrical burns which were caused when an Exxon electrical engineer turned on the juice which back fed into the work area. Though the worker had locked and tagged out the circuitry where he worked, Exxon failed to disclose the “back feed” potential. My safety and electrical engineers proved Exxon was at fault, forcing them to pay my client a lot of money.
Oilfield Explosion which caused three workers severe injuries including brain damage, amputations, and multiple surgeries. We sued Baker Hughes, Weatherford, and Enron. About 50 depositions were taken before the case settled for a lot of money a week before trial.
Work accident case against the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Harris County. The accident resulted from product failure which caused a stage hand horrific injuries. The theater used a climbing rope which was woefully inadequate to raise heavy equipment. When the rope broke, the equipment jerked the stage hand about 20 feet into the air and then threw him to the ground causing him permanent spinal, facial, and shoulder injuries at Houston’s Hobby Center for The Performing Arts.
Leg amputation case caused by worksite negligence against National Oil Well Varco in Harris County. Defendant’s poorly trained employee negligently operated a forklift which caused a 14,000 pound steel tube to roll off the fork lift and onto contract worker. The force of the impact amputated the man’s leg on impact.
Forklift work accident case tried in Travis County. Forklift worker was severely injured during loading operations due to defectively designed and assembled steel product which rolled onto his legs and shattered his bones.
Drunk Driver causes injuries in Harris County. I represented the passenger who was injured due to the negligence of designated driver, who got drunk and drove through lawns. She then crashed into a median in front of the Galleria hurting the passenger. The driver denied she was drunk, denied she had driven through yards and found a good lawyer to get her off of the DWI criminal charge. Nevertheless, in the civil trial, we won the case, though her insurance company denied liability. A dramatic point in the trial occurred when I proved that her license plate had been found in one of the lawns that the driver had run through, which destroyed the driver’s credibility with the jury.
Judge Reece Rondon’s first case as a Judge. The decedent had designated his roommate as the beneficiary on his life insurance policy. The roommate murdered him and sought to collect $500,000 of insurance. The killer was tried for murder by an experienced Harris County prosecutor, and was acquitted. The family hired me to stop him from collecting the insurance. I had to prove he murdered him in the Civil Case, and proved that the roommate killed him in cold blood, something the DA’s office -with all their resources–simply could not do. I hired the world’s best blood spatter expert who proved the killer’s story was not scientifically possible. The jury found for my client.
A Bishop Energy truck rear ended SUV killing little Tanner Jack Wilson, age 3. The truck had bad brakes, a bad driver, and lots of things wrong with it. It was hauling a full load of propane when it roared into a school zone at 60 mph and killed little Tanner Jack. The McClennan County jury handed down the largest personal injury jury award in the history of McClennan County. Trucking Company’s adjustor had offered $50,000 to settle the case before trial. Opponents were a lawyer who taught trial advocacy at Baylor College of Law, and the other lawyer was a named and influential lawyer in Waco.
Motorcycle Product Liability case against Kawasaki for Brain Injured Motorcyclist in Galveston County. I sued Kawasaki in one of the nation’s first conspicuity (visibility) cases. We alleged that motorcycle manufacturers had the duty to manufacture street motorcycles that had headlights that come on automatically. I proved that the number one cause of cycle accidents was because other motorists could not see them. Accordingly, the motorcycle was unreasonably dangerous during the day. The client was injured when a motorist turned in front of him. He struck the car and suffered lifelong head injuries. After about 50 depositions, Kawasaki settled the case. Kawasaki and all motorcycle manufacturers make cycles with lights that come on automatically, and thereby make them more visible. The design change has saved thousands of lives.
Truck and Motorcycle accident case involving leg amputation in Fort Bend County. I settled a case on the courthouse steps. My client was a young man who was a dog catcher on his way to work when a big 18 wheeler turned across his right of way. He struck the side of the trailer going about 50 m.p.h. amputating his leg on impact.
Plant Explosion lawsuit against Phillips and Crown Central Petroleum. My three clients received 3rd degree burns when a pipe corroded to failure that caused catastrophic explosion. Proof showed that Crown Central Petroleum failed to properly inspect and maintain the pipe which carried explosive fuel. Case was tried for 6 weeks in U.S. District Court.
Truck Rollover case in the U.S. District Court, Houston Division. My client’s 18 wheeler rolled over off H.W. 6 because it was improperly loaded. The load was unstable causing it to shift in a turn. The force of the load shift caused the truck to roll, severely injuring the driver.
Truck wreck due to bad brakes in Travis County. The truck driver was killed when his brakes failed to stop him as he approached a major curve. He lost control and rolled his truck.
A fatigued driver rear ended my client’s car causing permanent spinal injuries. The driver’s log books showed he was in violation of his hours of service and should have never been on the road.
My teenage client was a passenger in an automobile. The driver was drunk and collided with a car that stopped in front of him. My client received permanent knee and leg injuries. The driver was killed.
Bus Accident Verdict in Harris County. Greyhound Charter bus driver struck a vehicle in Houston. A passenger who had gotten up to go the bathroom was thrown to the floor severely injuring her spine.
Product Liability suit against Medical Device Manufacturer for causing child brain injuries. Medtronic manufactured defective child apnea monitors which failed to sound as designed. Parents use the devices to warn them when their premature infants quit breathing. It gives the parents warning to shake the child so the child’s premature brain can wake up and cause the child to breathe again. Medtronic knew it had software problems with its equipment, yet failed to recall them. Medtronic’s monitor failed to sound causing little K.S. to suffer brain injuries because she quit breathing sometime during the night. The parents never knew it. Tests on the equipment and inspection of the apnea monitor logs proved it had failed to work during a recorded apnea event. Thus, we proved the equipment was defectively designed and recovered a substantial settlement for the little brain damaged girl.
Southern Pacific Train struck a 23 year old woman and her 18 month old passenger in Engle, Texas ejecting them into an ant bed several hundred feet from the crossing. Proof showed that the train roared through the crossing at 60 m.p.h. without blowing its whistle. Then, they sent an investigator to the grieving father/widower’s house and lied to him about how the incident occurred and tricked him into signing a release for the whopping sum of $10,000.00. We fought for the man in a lengthy trial in Harris County.
Train Grade Crossing Wrongful Death Case. Case against Southern Pacific for failing to blow whistle at unprotected grade crossing. Man struck the train at night and was killed. He never saw the train.
Employee of Imperial Sugar was gored through the groin to the anus when a train came unhitched during loading operations. In his effort to stop the train before it crossed the highway, he was impaled causing him great agony. We took about 50 depositions in the case.
The trailer park management decided to remove the back steps of my client’s trailer while she was on break from classes at Texas A&M. When she returned after break, she walked out the back door to go check her mailbox, not realizing the steps were missing. She shattered her ankle. The trailer park lied about removing the steps, and we busted them at trial. The jury was not amused.
Verdict against Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Operator for negligent operation of their Giant slide. The company that runs the carnival, Ray Cammack Shows, knew that the carpet turf at the end of the giant slide had large bulges in it, thereby creating a dangerous condition to those at the end of the slide. Users of the slide usually were still travelling at high speed at the end of the slide. Thus, they were put at risk of serious ankle injuries if their feet hit the huge stationary bulges in the turf. My client, an avid marathon runner, sustained a comminuted fracture when her feet hit the slide. Proof showed that Ray Cammack Shows had a pattern of failing to report many injuries to officials that they were required to report through the years.
One of my best friend’s little girl had the top of her lip torn off by her neighbors’ little “Yappy Dog.” The neighbor was watching after the little 4 year old girl, allegedly, while she played with her grandson. The dog was barking and up in their faces, yet she left the children with the dog. The damage to her lip had to be surgically repaired. (Little “Yappy Dogs,” are often the most dangerous because they are unpredictable around children, so please be careful to never allow them to be around children.)
Fire and burn injuries resulting in 2 wrongful deaths, Harris County. Suit against Apartment complex for providing unsafe electrical wiring that caused apartment complex to burn and kill 75 year old woman and 47 year old man. They could not get out. One burned alive, while the other suffocated.
Product liability case against Defective Dryer manufacturer which caused woman and girl to burn to death. G.E. made a dryer that did not have a functional shut off device for its dryer when it shut off. My fire investigator isolated the cause and origin of the fire. The dryer overheated, likely due to vent tube being choked off from lint, and caught fire. The woman and her little granddaughter were trapped in a back bed room that had burglar bars. They could not get out, and were burned to death. The dryer was defective because it should have shut off when it overheated.
Burn injuries from Defective Jet Fuel Product in Jonesboro, Arkansas. My client received severe burn injuries on his face, arms, and hands caused by the explosion of a device used to test the quality of United States Air Force jet fuel. The device needed to be designed in a safer fashion that would have eliminated static discharge, the cause of the explosion.
Defective Aerial Lift which caused severe electrical injuries, McLennan County. Asplundh manufactured an aerial lift for the Utility Company lineman to use in servicing the electrical wires. The lift had a defect in its hydraulic design which occasionally allowed buckets to unexpectedly drop while in use. My client was servicing a line, and the bucket unexpectedly dropped, throwing his head into the line blowing the back of his head off, and one of his arms. He had 14 surgeries. He sustained lifelong spinal injuries, resulting in paralysis.
Electrical burn injuries due to worksite injuries in Mississippi. Contract lineman’s arms were blown off in an electrical accident due to the negligent failure of the Utility Company to shut off the power and to isolate the lines.
Electrical Burn Injuries due to failure of owner to shut off electricity, in Harris County. Client was electrocuted while working on the owner’s roof. The owner had the obligation to turn off the power because it knew and authorized work within 6 feet of a power line. The contractor was killed when equipment contacted the line.
Helicopter accident resulting in paralysis due to electrical shock. The power company employed helicopter pilots to hover over power lines with workers dangling from work lines attached to the helicopter. The pilot negligently swung a worker into a power line and blew off his legs.
Product Liability Side Saddle Gas Tank Explosion. Case against G.M. for manufacturing pickups with side saddle gasoline tanks susceptible to explosion in relatively minor impact cases. Client burned to death in an explosion.
Jones Act Case against Offshore Rig Resulting in Spinal Injury, Brazoria County. My client was injured while performing maintenance work suspended above the Gulf. The rig owner was negligent in failing to properly supervise the job.
Jones Act Injury during boat transfer, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas. My client’s hip was broken when he fell during a transfer between vessels. The transfer should have never been made in the violent seas.
Product liability resulting in child death. Sued Kawasaki for dangerous design of its 3 wheeler ATV Cycle which had propensity to rollover. My client’s young daughter was killed on the family farm when her ATV rolled over after striking small bump at low speed.
HEB grocery had a storage lot on the main drag in Wharton. It allowed high weeds and grass to grow which blocked my client’s view of the road. After warning HEB several times, HEB chained a Billy Goat on the lot to eat the weeds. However, HEB wanted to save a few bucks and bought a chain that was not long enough for the Billy Goat to chew the weeds at the fence line. Therefore, the weeds grew high and blocked the view of the neighbors as they backed down the driveway. Consequently, the client and her son were “clobbered” one day by a motorist as they attempted to back onto the roadway. HEB hired two partners from Fulbright and Jaworski to defend the case. Fortunately, the jury found against HEB, and their “Billy Goat” lawyers (as I called them in the court room). This case has become one of my favorites through the years, and I always bring up the case when I battle against Fulbright and Jaworski, a firm that has some fine lawyers who practice there.