$20,000,000 ARBITRATION AWARD FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT
Terry & Thweatt attorney Lee Thweatt teamed with Beck Redden Secrest attorneys Murray Fogler, Russell Post and Brad Coffey, and attorney Adib Eghterafi in representing a highly-respected chemist in arbitration against his former employer for breach of contract. The former employer failed to pay our client $20 million under a written agreement in exchange for relinquishment of his intellectual property rights in ground breaking technology involving the oxidative coupling of methane gas. On August 13, 2010, a three-member arbitration panel found in favor of our client on his breach of contract claim, awarding him $20 million plus attorneys’ fees and costs. The panel rejected all counterclaims pursued by our client’s former employer. The case was later settled with court approval in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding forced by the arbitration award for $5,800,000 in cash consideration and the assignment of numerous patents and patent applications to our client.
Attorney fees and expenses totaled: $2,771,032.39
$8,091,600 JURY VERDICT FOR BURN VICTIM
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt represented a 38 year old woman born with profound mental and physical disabilities who sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns over nearly thirty percent of her body when the adult care facility she resided in negligently failed to ensure her safety in a house fire operated by her care facility, Four J’s Community Living Center, Inc. One of the other adult residents of the house, who had a long history of mental instability from decades of documented physical, sexual and mental abuse – all of which was known to Four J’s, was given a cigarette lighter by Four J’s staff for smoking. Four J’s failed to retrieve the cigarette lighter and later, while she was unsupervised, she used it to set her mattress on fire in her bedroom when she became upset at a Four J’s staff member. The fire eventually consumed the house, and destroyed it, badly burning our client. Suit was filed in the 269th District Court of Harris County, Texas. The case proceeded to trial in October 2011. Trial evidence demonstrated that the home was not equipped with overhead sprinklers, the Four J’s staff member made no attempt to use a fire extinguisher in the home after the fire started, and did not attempt to rescue our client (who was unable to see or walk because of her prior disabilities) from the fire. Further, one of the designated fire exits in the home was deadbolt locked from the inside, and the staff member on duty did not have a key to unlock it, thereby cutting off one avenue of escape from the fire for the residents of the home. Because of her injuries, our client was hospitalized in a burn trauma unit for over a month, and required repeated, painful debridement of her burn wounds, along with several skin graft procedures. The jury awarded $91,600 for past medical bills, and $8,000,000 for her permanent disfigurement, physical pain experienced, and mental anguish. The defendants are appealing the verdict.
$1,007,500 SETTLEMENT FOR THE SURVIVING FAMILY OF MOTHER KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt represented the minor children and adult siblings of an elementary school teacher in Collin County, Texas who was killed by a drunk driver. The drunk driver was served alcohol for nearly 12 consecutive hours at a sports bar. Although he was disruptive and started a fight that night in the bar, he was never asked to leave the premises, and the bar staff continued to serve him alcohol throughout, even serving drinks to him after the bar closed. An eye-witness leaving the bar reported that the manager of the bar walked the drunk driver to his car and put him behind the wheel. A few minutes later, our client was killed in automobile collision caused by the drunk driver when he turned into oncoming traffic. The police investigation established that the drunk driver was over-served to the point where his blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit in Texas. The settlement for the minor children was placed into a structured annuity that will ensure that their college educations are paid for in full, just as their mother was working to ensure before her tragic death.
Attorney fees and expenses totaled: $325,833
CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT FOR CHILD INJURED BY MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry & Lee Thweatt represented an 8 year old child who fell and broke his arm while playing at his house. The child suffered a Type 3 supracondylar fracture of his humerus bone which required surgery. Although the surgery to repair his broken arm was performed correctly, the child’s arm was not set correctly by his surgeon. As a result, blood flow to his forearm muscles was restricted, and within a week, after his arm was placed into a cast, most of the muscle tissue in his forearm died from inadequate blood supply. A debilitating and entirely preventable condition known as Volkmann’s contracture (commonly known as “claw hand”) resulted, permanently injuring the 8 year old child’s left hand, fingers and thumb. Following depositions and discovery, the case was settled before trial for a confidential amount.
CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT FOR WRONGFUL DEATH CAUSED BY NATURAL GAS EXPLOSION
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt negotiated a confidential settlement on behalf of the family of an 80 year old woman who burned to death in a fire caused when the natural gas line in her backyard fractured, leaking natural gas that later exploded from an unknown ignition source. Her home was destroyed in the fire, and due to her pre-existing physical disabilities, she was trapped in the home and unable to escape the fire as it spread. Another law firm first rejected the case and told the family that liability could not be established. However, after the family hired Terry & Thweatt, depositions of gas company personnel revealed that a prior, similar incident occurred five years before the incident that killed our client, and the company had made no changes in its policies or procedures to prevent a similar event from occurring again. Moreover, company documents showed that the dangerous condition that created the fractured gas line was openly visible to gas company meter readers for years before the fire, but neither they nor the gas company informed the elderly resident of the home that any potential danger existed. The case was settled before trial at mediation for a confidential sum.
$468,500 SETTLEMENT IN NEW MEXICO FOR INJURED PIPEFITTER
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt represented a pipefitter employed with Turnaround Welding Services, LLC who sustained a severely fractured right heel when he slipped on a piece of electrical conduit while descending a fixed ladder and fell approximately 20 feet to the ground below while working at the Hobbs Generating Station in Hobbs, New Mexico. The Hobbs Generating Station was owned by Lea Power Partners, LLC and was being constructed by Colorado Energy Management, LLC. The fixed ladder at issue was manufactured by AFCO Steel, LLC while L.P.R. Construction Co. installed the fixed ladder and MMR Constructors, Inc. installed electric conduit. The lawsuit was filed in New Mexico Federal Court in Albuquerque. Terry & Thweatt hired safety experts who proved that the conduit on which our client slipped causing the fall was located too close to the fixed ladder and the handrails of the ladder were too large which failed to provide a power grip, both of which were in violation of applicable safety standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and American National Standards Institute. Also, the fixed ladder in question did not have a ladder cage which could have helped prevent the fall. Lastly, a cable tray box was designed in such a way that it touched the ladder’s side rail which prevented continuous hand contact with the side rail in violation of safety standards. Because of his injuries, our client underwent multiple surgeries and was out of work for a year. After several mediations, the case settled during trial preparation for $468,500.
Attorney fees and expenses totaled $227,321.68.
$467,500 RECOVERED ON THIRD DAY OF TRIAL FOR TRUCK DRIVER REAR-ENDED BY DRUNK DRIVER
Attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt of Terry & Thweatt, P.C. filed suit in Harris County, Texas on behalf of a truck driver that was on his way to work when he was violently rear-ended in Porter, Montgomery County, Texas by a drunk driver that was driving a company van. The onboard GPS system showed the drunk driver was traveling 70 mph at the time of impact. The company that employed the drunk driver and owned the van failed to inquire into the driving history of the employee before hiring him. Had a background check been performed, it would have revealed the employee had previously been charged with driving while intoxicated. The company also did not have any policies or procedures in place regarding safe driving. Our client suffered significant injuries to his neck and back as a result of the collision. Following numerous depositions and exhaustive discovery, Terry & Thweatt took the case to trial where it settled on the third day for $467,500.00.
Attorney’s fees and expenses totaled $231,084.73.
$373,000 JURY VERDICT FOR INJURED REFINERY WORKER
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt represented a plant operator injured when an industrial elevator at a refinery in Sweeny, Texas malfunctioned and went into a free fall approximately 10 feet while the worker was a passenger in the elevator. Suit was filed in the 239th District Court of Brazoria County, Texas against Industrial Hoist Services, L.P., the company who installed and maintained the elevator at the refinery. Industrial Hoist Services never offered more than $20,000 to settle the case before trial. After a 3 day jury trial, the jury awarded $373,082.82 in damages to our client. $8,082.82 of the verdict was for past medical expenses; the remainder of the verdict was provided for physical pain and physical impairment resulting from our client’s permanent back injury. The case settled for a confidential amount after the trial.
$348,000 ARBITRATION AWARD IN BUSINESS DISPUTE
Terry & Thweatt attorney Lee Thweatt was co-counsel with attorney Daniel Goforth in the representation of a seller of a trust company who sued a federally-chartered bank for post-closing adjustments and contingency payments arising from a stock purchase agreement. After a nine day arbitration hearing, the panel awarded the seller $152,000 cash consideration and one-half of deferred payments from a subsequent resale of the trust company at issue, ultimately totaling $348,646.97.
Attorney fees and expenses totaled $178,598.86
$325,000 RECOVERED FOR SHRIMP BOAT DECKHAND
Attorney Joe Terry of Terry & Thweatt, P.C. negotiated a $325,000.00 settlement on behalf of a deckhand working aboard a shrimp boat, which was located off the shores of Texas and Louisiana. The deckhand had several toes amputated when the Captain of the vessel negligently engaged the pulley while the deckhand was fixing the shrimp net. Terry & Thweatt were able to negotiate this settlement for the Jones Act seaman only five months after filing the lawsuit in Jefferson County.
Attorney’s fees and expenses totaled $134,833.21.
$175,000.00 RECOVERED FOR AUTO COLLISION IN TEXAS CITY, TEXAS
Terry & Thweatt, P.C. attorney Joe Terry filed suit in Galveston County, Texas on behalf of two clients who were traveling on FM 1765 in Texas City, Texas when they were violently rear-ended by a patrol officer with the Galveston County Sheriff’s office, leading to the total destruction of both vehicles. After hydraulic tools were used to extract the clients, both were taken to the emergency room, one by helicopter, with complaints of head, neck and back injuries. According to the police report, the collision was caused by the officer’s failure to control his speed. Terry & Thweatt, P.C. were able to recover a $175,000 settlement for their clients.
Attorney fees and expenses totaled $73,296.22
$125,000 RECOVERED FOR THE VICTIM OF A FAULTY ELEVATOR
Terry & Thweatt represented an office worker injured by an elevator which malfunctioned and was not properly maintained. Our client sustained injuries which required surgical intervention for treatment. Suit was filed against the elevator maintenance company and the building management company for negligently failing to properly maintain and repair the elevator in question before the incident occurred. The case was settled at mediation for $125,000.
$125,000 FOR INJURED ASSISTANT STEWARD
Terry & Thweatt, P.C. attorneys took on case of Jones Act seaman injured on the job
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt filed suit in Mobile, Alabama on behalf of a Steward’s Assistant who was employed by Gulf Caribe Maritime, Inc. aboard the M/V DELTA MARINER, which was owned and operated by Foss Maritime Company. Terry & Thweatt’s client injured his foot and back while attempting to retrieve items on an upper shelf in the storeroom in order to prepare upcoming lunch for the ship’s crew while the vessel was in port in Arica, Chile. The ladder specifically assigned to the storeroom had been removed by an unknown crewmember, which was a regular occurrence. Terry & Thweatt, P.C. negotiated a $125,000 settlement on the Jones Act seaman’s behalf.
Attorney’s fees and expenses totaled $66,653.41.
$105,000 RECOVERED FOR OFFSHORE MECHANICAL TECHNICIAN
Terry & Thweatt, P.C. helps victim of electrical shock onboard rig
Attorneys Joe Terry and Lee Thweatt of Terry & Thweatt, P.C. filed suit in Harris County, Texas on behalf of mechanical technician employed with Oceaneering International, Inc. who injured his wrist, arm and shoulder when he received a significant electrical shock while working aboard MODU FRONTIER DRILLER, an offshore drilling rig which was owned by Frontier Drilling USA, Inc. and operated by Shell Offshore, Inc. The injury occurred while the offshore drilling rig was in repair yard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Terry & Thweatt, P.C. were able to recover a $105,000 settlement for the offshore worker.
Attorney’s fees and expenses totaled $54,995.67.
CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT FOR BOSUN INJURED ON SHIP
Terry & Thweatt attorney Joe Terry negotiated a confidential settlement on behalf of a Bosun who underwent surgery for injuries suffered while handling lines on a ship. Another law firm rejected the case and told the Jones Act seaman that liability could not be established since he had undergone several prior surgeries on his back. However, after the seaman hired Terry & Thweatt, the case was prepared for trial and was settled for a confidential sum on the first day of trial.
CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT FOR INJURED SHIP PILOT
Terry & Thweatt attorneys Joe Terry & Lee Thweatt represented a ship pilot who underwent multiple surgeries after suffering injuries while boarding a vessel. The offshore injury attorneys at Terry & Thweatt, P.C. were able to settle the case for a confidential amount prior to trial.
CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT FOR JONES ACT SEAMEN INJURED ON DREDGE
Terry & Thweatt attorney Joe Terry negotiated a confidential settlement on behalf of a dredge worker who underwent surgery for injuries suffered while working on the dredge. Another law firm initially passed on the case and told the Jones Act seaman that liability could not be established. However, after the seaman hired Terry & Thweatt, the case settled for a favorable sum after only taking a few depositions.
$100,000.00 RECOVERED FOR CLIENT REAR-ENDED BY TEXTING DRUNK DRIVER IN PEARLAND, TEXAS
Terry & Thweatt, P.C. attorney Joe Terry filed suit in Brazoria County, Texas on behalf of a client who was stopped at a traffic light on Broadway Street in Pearland, Texas when he was violently rear-ended by a drunk driver that was texting at the time of the collision. Our client sought medical treatment for pain to his neck, shoulder and lower back. Terry & Thweatt, P.C. was able to recover a $100,000 settlement for our client who suffered injuries as a result of this unnecessary drunk driving collision. Attorney fees and expenses totaled $40,521.75.
*The results described above do not guarantee the same results in future cases. They are simply provided as an example of the types of cases our firm handles and the past results we have obtained for our clients. We are proud of these results, and we work very hard for our clients, but please understand that each case is different, and recoveries for our future client(s), if any, will depend a great deal upon the facts and circumstances of each, individual case.