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Oilfield Injury Update

By Jul 3, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

Oil & Gas Production is Rising Oil and gas production in the Lone Star State is rapidly increasing.  In fact, “Permian Basin oil production will exceed takeaway capacity by mid-2018 and likely result in heavy discounting of Permian crude until enough pipeline capacity is added to handle the soaring volume, analysts predict.” Huge Growth in the Permian Basin According to the International Energy Agency, the Permian Basin may produce 4 million barrels a day by 2023.  The Permian Basin leads North American oil production and forces OPEC to maintain its production cuts.  According to Rob Thumme, who manages energy assets for Tortoise Advisorsl, “If the Permian was part of OPEC, it would be the fourth-largest OPEC member, right behind Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq…By the end of the year, the Permian probably overtakes Iran.” Difficulties Finding Qualified Oilfield Workers Given this massive growth, companies are struggling to find talented oilfield workers to work in the Permian Basin. If you turn on your television or radio, you might come across an ad targeting oilfield workers.  But companies are finding it difficult to convince qualified candidates to relocate to West Texas.  In addition to the isolation, housing is expensive and in short supply, schools are crowded, understaffed, and performing poorly, healthcare is limited, and roads are crumbling. According to some analysts, oilfield jobs in the Permian Basin start at around $100,000/year while an experienced truck driver can make $300,000/year. You can Expect an Increase in Oilfield Injuries The pace of severe injuries […]

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Explosion in Pasadena

By May 21, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

Pasadena, Texas—Over the weekend, there was a large explosion at a facility owned by Kuraray America.  Kuraray is a Japan-based chemical manufacturer, with the headquarters for its U.S. subsidiary in Houston. Cause of the Kuraray Explosion The cause of the explosion is believed to be the result of a valve that malfunctioned due to over-pressurization of the piping in the building.  Specifically, ethylene escaping from a safety valve combusted and, because of the explosion, twenty-two people were injured.  Of the twenty-two workers inside the plant were injured, some suffered burns and others suffered from back and knee injuries while fleeing from the explosion, and two souls had to be airlifted for emergency medical treatment. General Causes for Chemical Plant Explosions Here, the cause for the explosion is known—a defective valve.  However, chemical plant explosions can be caused by a variety of factors: Natural disasters Improper maintenance Infrequent maintenance Insufficient training of workers Human error Improper equipment Defective equipment Improper storage of chemicals Improper transportation of chemicals Failing to follow safe work practices Chemical Plant Dangers A plant can pose dangers for workers, their families, and nearby communities, including explosions, fires, and chemical releases.  Our chemical plant attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP are relentless in pursing claims for their clients.  Our attorneys come armed with the knowledge and experience to get you what you deserve. Call the Attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP If you or someone you know has been hurt or killed in a chemical plant explosion, do […]

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M&S Attorney Daniel Sheppard Licensed in Texas and Louisiana

By May 15, 2018 Posted in Firm News

Morrow & Sheppard, LLP, a leading, aggressive Plaintiff’s personal injury law firm, is proud to announce that Daniel Sheppard is now licensed to practice law in the state of Louisiana (in addition to Texas). “I’ve had the privilege of learning and watching all the good John and Nick have done for our clients.  I’m thrilled to be the trailblazer who will expand our firms practice into Louisiana and look forward to relentlessly and zealously helping Louisianans in personal injury matters,” said Daniel. About Morrow & Sheppard LLP Morrow & Sheppard LLP provides superior legal representation to injured persons.  Recovery can be a long and emotional process, and we are prepared to fight for the support you need to cope with your injuries and move forward with your life.  We aggressively advocate for our client’s interests, so they can receive the maximum financial relief.

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18-Wheeler Side Underride Collisions

By May 6, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

Side underride collisions result in more than 200 deaths in the U.S. each year.  In 2015, 301 drivers and passengers were killed when the vehicle struck the side of a semitrailer.  Most experts say that many of these gruesome side underride deaths could be avoided if the trucking industry was ordered to install side guards on trailers to deflect cars.  Many European countries require side guards on 18 wheelers and other large trucks, but in the U.S., 18 wheelers are not required to have side guards. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted crash tests on tractor-trailers equipped with side underride guards.  The tests show that a well-built guard can prevent a car from sliding beneath a semitrailer, which often results in serious injury or death to passengers. Heavy Lobbying from the Trucking Industry is Stalling the Implementation of Additional Safety Precautions According to Joan Claybrook, a consumer advocate who ran the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the 1970’s, said the reason side guards are not used in the U.S. is because the trucking industry wants to “stop any safety standards it can, because it increases the price of a truck.”  Safety is taking a backseat to profit.  Presently, the trucking industry is heavily lobbying members of congress to avoid implementing heightened safety precautions that would save lives. Call the 18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP for a Free Confidential Consultation Many collisions with 18-wheelers are entirely preventable.  If you or a loved one have […]

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Passenger Dead After Southwest Airlines Emergency, Engine Failure: NTSB

By Apr 18, 2018 Posted in Articles

An engine explosion on a Southwest Airlines flight has left one dead as confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt.  On Tuesday a woman died on a Southwest Airlines flight after a Boeing 737 engine failure occurred.  The explosion caused a passenger’s window to shatter during the emergency landing in Philadelphia.  At this time there are no other deaths reported.  Flight 1380 had taken off from LaGuardia Airport in New York when the Boeing 737-700 experienced an apparent “in-flight engine failure of the left engine” on its way to Dallas’ Love Field, Sumwalt said.  Sumwalt stopped short of describing that failure as “uncontained,” saying investigators need to examine what’s left of the engine when they get to Philadelphia. Uncontained engine failure, in which pieces exit an engine, is more serious than “contained” failure, when a component separates but remains inside the engine or exits via the tail pipe.  The board sees “about three or four [uncontained failures] a year,” not all of which involve U.S. airlines, he said.   At Morrow & Sheppard LLP we have the legal expertise to help injured victims and families who have lost loved ones as a result of aviation accidents no matter the location. Morrow & Sheppard LLP is privileged to represent those who have been involved in aviation accidents, as well as their families. If you have been involved in an aircraft accident in Texas, you need to seek the assistance of a qualified Houston aviation accident attorney. He or […]

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Increase of Dementia in Patients Suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury

By Apr 13, 2018 Posted in Uncategorized

  Unlike a physical injury, like a broken bone, brain injuries are not obvious to most people.  Often, a brain injury can only be seen through the effects it has on a person.  The symptoms of a brain injury manifests through changes to a person’s speech or behavior, their ability to think and remember, and completion of simple or complex tasks.  Brain injuries are devastating, life changing, and far reaching.  The attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP are experienced brain injury litigators and would be privileged to help you with your legal matters! Millions of People Suffer from Traumatic Brain Injuries Each year, roughly 50 million people suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a TBI as a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury.  Leading causes of TBI’s include falls, car wrecks, and workplace injuries, including those from falling objects at construction sites, drilling rigs, and offshore platforms.  Approximately 50 million people experience a TBI each year. Recent Study from The Lancet Psychiatry In a recent study of nearly 2.8 million patients, researchers found that a person with a severe traumatic brain injury was 35 percent more likely to have to suffer from dementia later in life.  In fact, a single mild traumatic brain injury, including a concussion, increased the risk of dementia later in life to 17 percent.  More than 47 million […]

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Offshore Injury Update – Good or Bad? Federal Government Rollback Of Offshore Safety Rules Almost Complete

By Apr 13, 2018 Posted in Offshore Injury

Morrow & Sheppard LLP are privileged to represent offshore workers and Jones Act seamen around the country.  We follow changes that could impact their safety. In 2017, the federal government proposed rollbacks of offshore safety rules created following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (“Macondo”) incident that killed 11 workers.  The proposed changes can be found here.  The comment period for the proposed changes closed on January 29, 2018, and more than 60,000 comments were submitted.  The rule changes are awaiting final approval.  You can check the official status here. Some argue these changes are needed to reinvigorate an offshore industry that has been decimated since 2015 by falling oil prices.  Others argue that the savings, which may amount to as much as $228 million over 10 years, will come at too great a cost, as safety failures will result in offshore injuries and fatalities.    Federal Government Proposes Rollbacks Among the rollbacks being discussed are the “well-control rule” arising out of Deepwater Horizon (the Macondo Incident).  This rule currently requires regular inspection and certification of blowout preventers (“BOPs”). The government has also eliminated a requirement that safety equipment must be inspected by independent auditors certified by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”).  This safety and pollution prevention equipment, called “SPEE,” includes: Surface safety valves and actuators (SSVs) Underwater safety valves and actuators (USVs) Subsurface safety valves including valve locks and landing nipples (SSSV) Under the new rules, oil companies “should” implement “recommended practices” that are set out by American […]

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Beyond Actionable Injuries, Making Your Case

By Mar 29, 2018 Posted in Personal Injury

To prove a successful, actionable cause of action, an attorney must prove to a jury that a person’s personal injury warrants the damages award the individual seeks. Avoiding Delay: In most personal injury cases, the Texas’ Statute of Limitations begins a 2-year countdown from the date of an accident. Failure to file a claim after the 2-year mark waives an injured party’s ability to get fully compensated. Anyone involved in an accident should file a claim as soon as possible, especially if considering a lawsuit. Waiting to file a claim allows time to pass and detailed memories about the accident to fade. The same applies when seeking medical care. If an injured person waits to receive medical treatment, the delay makes it more difficult to trace the injury to the accident. Waiting to receive medical treatment may also be detrimental to a potential case because it may be used to show an injured party failed to mitigate damages or injuries, weakening a potential case. Finding an attorney to handle these matters early on can help an injured person navigate legal requirements and protect a potential claim. From chemical explosion accidents to every day car accidents, personal injury cases have a wide range of causes of action. The elements for a type of personal injury claim is typically clear and stated in the law. A more difficult challenge is proving damages. Actionable Injuries: What We Can Prove Knowing the elements of recoverable damages is merely the first step in what can […]

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The 2018 Tri-Chem Industries Plant Explosion

By Mar 16, 2018 Posted in Articles

No Right to Know What Dangerous Chemicals are Lurking in Your Community In 2014, then Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, ruled that state agencies could withhold information about the hazardous chemicals manufactured and stored at chemical plants.  This decision came on the heels of a fertilizer plant explosion that left fifteen people dead and more than one-hundred people injured. Since then, explosions continue to happen at chemical plants across the state.  However, Texans cannot call on state agencies to provide them with a register of chemicals being produced at the plant in or near their community, their home, work, or child’s school. The 2018 Tri-Chem Industries Plant Explosion Most recently, on March 15, 2018, there was a chemical explosion at the Tri-Chem Industries plant in Cresson, Texas. The explosion left two workers injured and one missing.  At least one of the injured workers had to be flown to the nearest hospital, which was approximately 50 miles away.  According to the mayor of Cresson, Bob Cornett, investigators blame the cause of the explosion on a worker who dragged a foot on the floor while chemicals were being mixed. Morrow & Sheppard Attorneys Don’t Blame the Victim At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, our lawyers don’t blame the victim.  It is important that you not assume you are responsible for your own injuries.  Even if you think you made a mistake, there are still a number of other factors that could be fully or partially to blame for your injuries—from malfunctioning equipment to […]

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Fifth Circuit Affirms M&S Verdict in Fraud Case

By Feb 5, 2018 Posted in Firm News

Last year, M&S won a unanimous jury verdict in a federal court fraud case. The victory was a “featured verdict” in Texas Verdict Search. Our client, a widow with two children, claimed her childhood sweetheart had taken advantage of her and coaxed her into signing away life insurance proceeds left by her deceased husband. The Defendant claimed that the money was a gift, as documented by numerous “gift letters.” The jury unanimously found in favor of our client and awarded punitive damages. Following the trial, the Defendant appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, claiming legal issues required the verdict to be set aside. The Defendant argued that its affirmative defense of “gift” barred our client’s claims. On December 15, 2017, the Fifth Circuit affirmed our client’s jury verdict, holding that the Defendant was required to prove the money was a “gift” by clear and convincing burden, and that the jury was in its discretion to find that the Defendant had not met its burden. The case is Julieta Alejandra Gomez Olvera v. Juan Mauricio Nelligan, No. 17-20077, In the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Dec. 15, 2017). The opinion can be found here.

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