In August 2015, a Harris County, Texas, jury awarded six injured plaintiffs $159 million in damages in a catastrophic personal injury case stemming from a refinery explosion.
One plaintiff was killed and five others seriously burned when a plant in Memphis, Tennessee, ruptured and released a flood of liquid fire. The state had previously cited the employers for failing to properly block off the refinery’s south fire lane, a negligent oversight that eventually caused the explosion. Two of the three defendants settled prior to trial, and under Texas’ comparative fault law, the judge allowed that defendant to deflect blame onto the other parties.
The case was the third seven figure-plus verdict in Houston this year, which is not normally considered a plaintiff-friendly venue.
Despite years of adverse tort reform, juries are still willing to award large sums of money in cases that involve a clearly negligent defendant and a seriously injured plaintiff. These elements are present in a number of South Central Texas negligence cases, such as:
- Truck Wrecks: Because large commercial trucks are such massive vehicles that often contain hundreds of gallons of fuel, debilitating trauma injuries and severe burns are quite common in these cases. These injuries often never fully heal, as crushed bones or mangled limbs may leave a victim with lifelong partial paralysis and serious burns often leave disfiguring scars, despite the doctor’s best efforts.
- Premises Liability: Older buildings often have outdated and dangerous electrical equipment and other infrastructure, while the contractors that built new or renovated structures are under enormous pressure to trim costs in any way possible.
- Car Crashes: Excessive speed and driver intoxication are two of the most common contributing factors in car crashes, and both these things have deadly consequences for victims.
In addition to the severe injuries, all these examples involve clearly negligent defendants who, due to cost reasons or personal pride, put other people in danger. Damages in these cases may include money for both economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are also available, in some cases.
Juries still understand that a serious injury often means a lifetime of pain and suffering. For a free consultation in this area, contact an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney today. The sooner you reach out to us, the easier it is for us to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.