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Monday, October 16, 2017

MILLER WEISBROD WINS $26,500,000 JURY VERDICT

MILLER WEISBROD WINS $26,500,000 JURY VERDICT IN A CONSTRUCTION ACCIDENT CASE

On October 4th 2017, a Dallas County Jury returned a verdict in the case of Fernando Canales vs. RJC Midwest L.P. in the amount of $26,500,000. The verdict included $11,500,000 of actual damages and $15,000,000 in punitive damages in a construction fall case. The case was tried by firm partner Clay Miller and Josh Birmingham who joined the firm on first day of the trial.

Fernando Canales is a Honduran National that worked as a decker in the construction industry. Decking is the placing of plywood on top of the structural framing to form the floor, wall and roof surfaces of a building. Fernando, while always a hard worker, was and is a simple man—he has a 2nd Grade education and is unable to read or write in either his native Spanish or English.

For years, prior to his accident Fernando had been diligent in wearing a harness and tying a safety rope in an effort to protect himself from a multi-story fall. Fernando had never received any training on actually how to properly use the fall protection equipment. Fernando had “learned” how to secure the safety rope by watching others when he first started working in decking. What Fernando did not know was that he was and had been securing the safety rope backwards for years—instead of clipping the lanyard into his harness, Fernando was tying it wood structures on the building and hooking the opposite end to his harness.

On the day of his accident, Fernando was wearing his harness and tied off in the manner he believed was correct. When he slipped instead of having the lanyard “arrest” his fall the rope spooled out and he went to the ground two stories below. The impact of the fall damaged his spinal cord, leaving Fernando a paraplegic.
The General Contractor RJC Midwest Admitted in Deposition Testimony and then again during trial cross examination that it had the responsibility to train not only employees but subcontractors on how to properly use fall protection equipment.




RJC’s corporate representative admitted under cross-examination that it’s on-site safety coordinator ignored RJC’s own safety manual when he failed to carry out this training. Despite these admissions, the Defense Attorney argued vigorously that the fall was 100% Fernando’s fault because he had hooked up the safety rope incorrectly. The jury saw and appreciated that it was not fair to blame the victim when the Defendant had wholly failed in their obligations to train and assigned 100% of the responsibility to RJC.

Deposition of Robert Jordan Jr.


Trial transcript of the cross examination of Robert Jordan Jr.

This is the 2nd 8 figure verdict in the last 60 days for Clay Miller. On August 11, 2017, a jury in Jackson, Tennessee returned a $30,800,000 verdict (including $20,000,000 in punitive damages) against Navistar International arising from a commercial fraud case involving the sale of 18-wheelers.

Miller Weisbrod handles cases involving serious injury and death all across Texas and the United States. We would welcome the opportunity to put our experience and resources to work for you and your clients through a variety of arrangements including referrals or joint ventures.

Miller Weisbrod, LLP is a national law firm specializing in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Partners Clay Miller and Les Weisbrod have built the firm’s reputation with successful verdicts, settlements, appeals and favorable decisions across the country. With resources and finances available to take on the powerful interests that have caused harm, the firm is committed to providing quality representation for clients who are seriously injured and families of victims who are killed as a result of the negligence or misconduct of others. Miller Weisbrod has offices in Dallas and affiliate offices in Houston and Austin. For more information call (214) 987-0005 or visit www.millerweisbrod.com






Friday, October 13, 2017

500,000 Diono Child Car Seats are being recalled because they may not protect kids in crash.


Diono issues national recall for 500K car seats.

More than 500,000 child car seats made by a company called Diono are being recalled because they may not adequately protect children in a crash.

The recall covers the Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT, Olympia, Pacifica, and Rainier convertible and booster seats. They were made from as early as January of 2014 to September of this year by Diono, which used to be called Sunshine Kids Juvenile. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report)

If seats are installed with only the lap belt — without also using the top tether — children over 65 pounds have an increased risk of a chest injury in the event of a crash. This issue was discovered in company testing.

“As a result of our rigorous quality control, and ongoing product testing, we have established that if our convertible child safety seat is installed forward-facing in vehicles with a lap-belt (type 1) only without top tether, it crosses into a technical non-compliance", the safety notice on Diono’s website reads. “If our convertible child safety seat is being used with a lap and shoulder safety belt (type 2) or with our SuperLATCH system, or top tether the child safety seat is unaffected.”



Diono, based in Sumner, Washington, says it has no reports of injuries and that few children who weigh more than 65 pounds will be harnessed into the seats. The problem was discovered in company testing.

Confused if the recall affects you?
You can determine if your seat is part of this recall with three simple questions:
A) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap and shoulder belt, or with the SuperLATCH system, or using the top tether? If the answer is yes, you are unaffected by this notice.

B) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only and top tether? If the answer is yes, you are unaffected by this notice.

C) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only? If the answer is yes, you might be affected if your seat was manufactured after 11/25/13. You will be able to locate this information on the manufacturer’s label on the product.

The company will send owners a kit with an energy absorbing pad and a new chest clip at no cost. The recall is expected to start on Nov. 22.

Customers with questions can call Diono at (855) 463-4666.

Contact Us Today
At Miller Weisbrod, we help victims of defective consumer products nationwide. We have the experience and resources to take on major manufacturers of defective products in pursuit of maximum financial compensation for our injured clients and families who have lost a loved one from a defective product.

If a loved one was injured or died due to a defective consumer product, we encourage you to call our offices in Dallas today at 214.987.0005 or toll free at 888.987.0005.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Miller Weisbrod wins $30,800,000 for Client Milan Supply Chain Solutions in a Commercial Fraud case


In the first trial involving Navistar Maxxforce engines in the country, Miller Weisbrod wins $30,800,000 for Client Milan Supply Chain Solutions in a Commercial Fraud case

Tennessee Jury Finds NAVISTAR Committed Fraud & Violated The Tennessee Consumer Protection Act In The Sale Of 243 PROSTAR & MAXXFORCE Truck Engines

JACKSON, TN (August 14, 2017) On Thursday, August 10, a jury in Jackson, TN found that Navistar Inc. committed fraud and violated the Tennessee Consumer Practice Act in connection with the sale of 243 Navistar International Prostars with Maxxforce engines. The jury awarded damages to the trucking company that purchased the trucks—Milan Supply Chain Solutions (Milan) —in the amount of $10,800,000 of actual damagesand $20,000,000 in punitive damages.

Milan brought suit against Navistar alleging that Navistar misled them in the sale of the Navistar International heavy duty trucks and engines and failed to disclose that the Maxxforce 13 liter engine was launched with serious known defects in the engine and its components.

Milan also alleged that Navistar, while touting the quality of its testing program, knew that the testing had serious flaws, was incomplete at launch and put the trucks into customers’ hands knowing that the customers would end up becoming the de facto test fleet for Navistar’s new 2010 year model engine.

Milan purchased the Maxxforce powered Prostars in 2011 and 2012. The Maxxforce engine was Navistar’s ill-fated Advanced Exhaust Gas Recirculation (“EGR”) engine that was sold between 2010 and 2012. When Navistar could not obtain EPA approval for the Maxxforce engine after the expiration of its emissions credits, Navistar switched emission-control technologies using the same technology (Selective Catalytic Reduction- “SCR”) as the entire rest of the heavy duty engine industry.

Navistar’s decision to use Advanced EGR versus SCR led to numerous quality problems with the engine that resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of warranty costs to Navistar and tremendous losses on the resale market for trucking companies like Milan.

During the trial, numerous executives testified either live or by deposition. Former Senior Vice-President of North American Sales Jim Hebe testified that Navistar “did not test s#@t”, explaining that Navistar failed to follow industry standards and never tested the final version of the engine before selling it to customers.

In an email from Navistar’s current Senior Vice-President of Engineering Dennis Mooney to the current CEO Troy Clarke, the former Vice-President of Quality Tom Cellitti (who was in charge of testing the Maxxforce engine) was quoted as stating over and over again prior to the launch to customers “we have no field testing” because the company only tested engineering development trucks rather than validation trucks.

In the same email, Mr. Mooney admitted that the customers ended up uncovering problems that Navistar would have uncovered with the Maxxforce had it followed the industry standard for design and testing.

It was also noted during trial that this was Navistar’s first attempt at designing a Heavy Duty engine emissions system on its own. In another email exchange between Mr. Mooney and Mr. Clarke, Mooney admits the management had told the Board of Directors in 2013 “physics of the EGR strategy is (sic) not sound.” None of these things were ever revealed to the public prior to trial.

The jury also heard evidence that Navistar knew when it launched the engine that critical engine components had serious quality problems and a shortened life span. Navistar knew one key component of the Advanced EGR engine (the EGR cooler) — that would cost customers like Milan huge problems and the company hundreds of millions of dollars in warranty claims—had a life span of less than 20% of the design requirement based upon testing done before the sale of the engines to the public. None of what the company knew about these problems was ever disclosed to customers who purchased the Maxxforce engine between 2010 and 2012.

Jack Allen, the former Chief Operating Officer and President of Truck Operations, was called by Navistar to testify at trial. Mr. Allen stated that in his opinion it was “normal business practice” for companies to not disclose to customers in advance of a sale about known defects in the products or to disclose to customers that they were buying a product that had not been fully validated or tested by the manufacturer.

“The jury seemed shocked to hear this testimony about the corporate culture and philosophy of Navistar from one of the company’s top executives,” stated Clay Miller of the Dallas law firm Miller Weisbrod, lead trial attorney for Milan. “It appeared the jury’s punitive damage verdict was a message to Navistar that it is not acceptable for the company to cover up important defects in the engines and the engines’ testing program in order to make a sale.” Over 60,000 of these engines were sold to unsuspecting trucking companies, added Miller.

Data published by the Used Truck Association demonstrates the Prostar with the Maxxforce engine has suffered a serious loss in resale value over each and every month since at least January of 2013. Milan presented the jury with evidence that it had lost over $35,000 per truck on trade-in values over the last several years—the basis of $8,200,000 of the jury’s award for compensatory damages.


Miller noted that Navistar never made any serious effort to resolve the Milan case prior to trial.

“We at Milan are very pleased with the jury’s verdict in our case against Navistar. We sincerely thank the citizens of Madison County who sat on the jury and listened carefully to the evidence over the past two weeks. We made every attempt to collaborate with Navistar to resolve these very legitimate engine issues, but rather than trying to sit down and work out a settlement, Navistar’s current executive team instructed its lawyers to carry out a contentious litigation strategy against our company. The current executive team at Navistar continues to blame their past management for the Maxxforce engine. We need Navistar to stand behind their product and step forward to address the damages caused by these engines, and we hope the jury’s verdict will lead to a change in Navistar’s tactics,” stated Kevin Charlebois, CEO of Milan Supply Chain Solutions, Inc.

“We have had the same experience with Navistar in our case,” stated James "Bo" Keith, President of Nashville, Tennessee-based First Express, Inc., whose company is also involved in similar litigation against Navistar. “Rather than trying to resolve the matter, Navistar’s present-day management has had its lawyers engage in scorched earth litigation against First Express. In my opinion, this shows that even today Navistar will not stand behind their product and step forward to compensate companies for very real losses. In my view, the lack of ownership from Navistar should raise a red flag to any company considering a current purchase of a Navistar product.”


Milan was represented at trial by Clay Miller and Warren Armstrong of the Dallas law firm Miller Weisbrod and Adam Nelson of the Jackson, TN law firm of Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Miller Weisbrod Listed Best Law Firm in Dallas 2017 - D Magazine


Miller Weisbrod

PERSONAL INJURY

Clay Miller and Les Weisbrod of Miller Weisbrod, LLP have been selected for D Magazine's Best Lawyers in Dallas list eight times. A nationally recognized firm, Miller Weisbrod has helped victims of personal injury, medical malpractice, birth injury, and defective drugs and medical devices pursue financial recovery for another's negligence that results in a serious injury or wrongful death. The firm has an impressive track record in obtaining multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for victims and their families.

Miller Weisbrod has been named as a 2017 Best Law Firm by Best Lawyers®. Weisbrod has also been named, by Best Lawyers®, Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year for 2017 in Dallas. He has served as president of the American Association for Justice, formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and founded AAJ's Medical Negligence Litigation Group and Birth Trauma Litigation Group.

Concentrating on the representation of victims, Miller continually exceeds client expectations with his extensive experience in the field of catastrophic injury and wrongful death. He has repeatedly appeared on the Texas Super Lawyers list and has served as president of the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association.

Says Weisbrod. "We welcome visits to our website MillerWeisbrod.com for details of our proven results and large recoveries."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Exploring the other "Why" in Trucking Accidents: Trucker Health Issues



Last month, we focused on lack of sleep and fatigue leading to an impaired truck driver on the road. While fatigue is probably the leading cause of impairment in commercial truck drivers, untreated or unmanaged health issues can also lead to a dangerously impaired driver behind the wheel of an 80,000 lb. tractor-trailer.

Health issues have long been a concern of the trucking industry. As a result of the sedentary nature of the job, many truck drivers have serious and chronic health conditions that can affect their ability to operate a commercial vehicle, especially if the conditions are not properly treated or managed. When investigating the “Why” of an 18-wheeler case do not forget to explore the possibility of health issues as one of the reasons of why a wreck occurred.

Some of the common health conditions that can lead to an impaired driver include:
  • Untreated sleep apnea—leading to a fatigued driver
  • Uncontrolled diabetes—leading to a driver with altered mental status
  • Mismanaged high blood pressure—leading to a variety of issues including syncope (blacking out)
  • Lung or cardiac conditions—that can lead to a multitude of medical emergencies that can cause a wreck
The trucking industry has recognized sleep apnea as a pervasive condition throughout the industry that has contributed to an increased number of fatigued drivers on the road. There have been numerous studies about the effects of untreated sleep apnea on truck drivers and how this condition can lead to inadequate sleep. Make sure to inquire about not only pre-incident diagnosis and treatment, but post-incident diagnosis as well. We have found many times a wreck has led the driver (or even the company) to finally react to the previous signs of sleep apnea.

When exploring other chronic conditions as a causative factor of a wreck, consider subpoenaing the pharmacy records of the driver to see if they were filling prescriptions for medications necessary to control the condition. We have seen over and over, large gaps in the filling of blood pressure, diabetes and other medications for medical conditions that provide strong evidence of an impaired truck driver.

If it is possible to obtain a TRO or other “hold” on the cab of the truck, you may find a goldmine of evidence. We have found expired prescription bottles, prescriptions for conditions never disclosed before and other important evidence to aid in the proof of an impaired driver.

Obtaining medical records of a truck driver you suspect of being impaired by a medical condition is paramount. Many times this requires the use of an out of state subpoena which can be time and labor-intensive, but the results are often critical. The records may show the truck driver was warned of their condition and ignored the warning or recommendations for the treatment/management of the condition.

Below is clip from a case where we discovered the driver had been warned about having the symptoms of a serious cardiac/lung condition but failed to follow up with diagnostic testing and later “blacked out” while on the road but tried to blame the event on a coughing fit.



Miller Weisbrod handles tractor-trailer accidents resulting in serious injury and death all across Texas and the United States. We would welcome the opportunity to put our experience and resources to work for you and your clients through a variety of arrangements including referrals or joint ventures.   

 
  Les Weisbrod & Clay Miller
 









Miller Weisbrod is now reviewing and filing
Xarelto cases. 

If you know someone that
has been hospitalized for
any period of time due to
a bleeding event while on Xarelto, please contact us
for a consultation.

For more information 

click here.

 





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Learn about our firm's birth injury practice here:
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Learn about our firm's defective drug/medical device practice here:
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

18-Wheeler Wreck in Rockwall Shuts Down I-30.


ROCKWALL, TX (CBSDFW.COM) — Traffic was stopped at the Fate exit on Interstate 30 in the city of Rockwall due to a major accident that claimed the life of at least one person.

Texas Department of Public Safety Officials say two semi-trucks and four cars were involved in the wreck.

Kyle Bradford with DPS confirmed that at least one person died in the wreck. He said — according to a witness — traffic was slowing and one semi didn’t slow in time and slammed into another vehicle causing a chain reaction. He said the person who died was in one of the passenger vehicles.

Assistant Chief Simmons with the Fate Department of Public Safety said he could confirm two others victims were taken to the hospital. No word on the nature of their injuries.

A dispatcher with Bravo Logistics who owns one of the trucks involved in the accident said they were aware of the accident but had no report on the condition of the driver.

Traffic was being routed off the highway at FM 3549 according to reports.

A Texas Department of Transportation camera on the west side of Lake Ray Hubbard shows traffic backup across the Lake Ray Hubbard Bridge. The Texas DPS was assisting Fate DPS in the investigation.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, the experienced attorneys of Miller Weisbrod are ready to help. For a free case evaluation, contact us at 214-987-0005. #carwrecklawyers https://www.millerweisbrod.com

Friday, January 20, 2017

Workplace Deaths at an 8-Year High


Workplace Deaths at an 8-Year High: When Workers' Comp is not the Sole Remedy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its annual report on work place fatalities.
The report revealed that workplace deaths have climbed to nearly 5,000 deaths. This is the highest number of workplace deaths since 2008. Workplace fatalities had been declining since hitting a peak in 2006.

Several interesting observations about the report: Men accounted for 93% of all workplace fatalities, the occupation with the highest number of deaths was truck driver (745 deaths), 903 Hispanic/Latino workers died on the job (two-thirds were foreign-born) which is the highest number from any other year, other than 2007 when the home building market was at its pre-crash high and 650 of the workplace deaths involved workers over the age
of 65.

Several factors have played a role in this decline during the last several years. First, the strengthening of government and industry safety regulations has provided workers with safer environments. Second, the economy following the crash of 2008 led to a reduction in building and manufacturing — two of the more dangerous occupations. As the economy recovers and the new President-elect promises to roll back government regulations, a likely consequence of both will be increased workplace accidents and fatalities.

Many employers carry workers’ compensation insurance in Texas. Under these plans, the employee is compensated regardless of fault and the employee’s family, in the case of death, receives partial income replacement benefits for various periods of time. The trade-off is the employee’s family cannot sue the employer for actual damages if the employee’s death was caused by negligence. This statutory immunity is granted by the Texas Labor Code.

What if a family comes to your office and their loved one has been killed on the job due to the wrong-doing of the employer, is the family limited to just workers’ compensation benefits? The answer is “Maybe Not.”
Here are the questions to ask:
  • Did the deceased employee leave a spouse and/or any children?
  • Was the death caused not just by negligence but by possibly “gross negligence” of the employer? (meaning the risk was known and the company ignored the risks despite this knowledge)
  • Is the gross negligence attributable to a vice-principal (i.e. manager/supervisor) or caused by conduct that had been ratified by the company (even implicitly) on previous occasions?
If the answer to the above three questions is “Yes” then Texas Law allows the surviving spouse and/or the children (but not the parents) of the deceased employee to sue the employer for punitive damages only. The Burden of Proof is high and the punitive damages are subject to a cap of 2 times the economic damages plus $750,000 of non-economic damages (so actual damages must be proven, even though not recoverable, for purposes of the cap calculation.)

At Miller Weisbrod, we have successfully handled dozens of cases involving the death of an employee caused by the gross negligence of the employer.

Examples of cases successfully resolved over the last year include the following fact patterns:
  • Employee killed when a house being demolished unexpectedly collapsed—the employer failed to have OSHA-mandated Engineering Survey completed prior to starting work
  • Employee’s death caused by a failure to control traffic during a highway construction project
  • Employee killed when a form fell on him at a manufacturing facility—employer failed to brace the form during maintenance activities despite warnings to do so
  • Employee’s died after a forklift carrying a wooden box being used as a work basket flipped over—the employer knew the 17 year old forklift driver had no experience and knew the practice was dangerous
  • Employee falls to his death when lifting up a piece of wood he believed was trash—the wood was covering a hole in a multi-story parking garage and was not marked or secured pursuant to OSHA regulations

If you are contacted by a family of a worker killed in a situation that involves wrong-doing of some degree, we would be honored to work on this case with you. We will put our resources to work in order to investigate the facts to determine if a gross negligence case can be made. While evidentiary and legal hurdles exist in these cases, we can put our experience and expertise to work to maximize the potential for recovery.


Miller Weisbrod, LLP is a national law firm specializing in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Partners Clay Miller and Les Weisbrod have built the firm’s reputation with successful verdicts, settlements, appeals and favorable decisions across the country. With resources and finances available to take on the powerful interests that have caused harm, the firm is committed to providing quality representation for clients who are seriously injured and families of victims who are killed as a result of the negligence or misconduct of others.

Miller Weisbrod has offices in Dallas and affiliate offices in Houston and Austin. For more information call toll-free at (888) 987-0005.