Driver gets $2.3 million settlement for head-on with tractor-trailer

A man who claimed a lumbar disc bulge and post-traumatic stress disorder in a head-on crash agreed to a $2.3 million settlement on Sept. 16. Felix A. Villa claimed that Peter Mejias, driving a tractor-trailer for Russell Transport Inc., crossed the center line. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that Russell Transport had a history of log book violations, and although it had safety policies, it had a poor record of making sure they were followed.

Villa v. Russell Transport Inc., No. 2012-DCV06062

Court: 120th District Court, El Paso County

Plaintiff Attorney: Graham E. Sutliff and Hank Stout, Sutliff & Stout, Houston; Rick DeHoyos, Law Office of Rick DeHoyos, San Angelo

Defense Attorney: Ken Coffman, El Paso


Employer not to blame for mechanic’s injury

On Sept. 12, an employer wasn’t liable for a mechanic’s arm fracture when he was working on a recreational vehicle. Julio Porras claimed that a slide-out section, which is pulled out of the side of the RV to create more room, fell and struck him. Plaintiff’s counsel also maintained that the employer failed to provide adequate training and instruction; failed to enforce safety procedures; failed to provide personnel to assist him; and failed to provide proper equipment. Defense counsel argued that Porras was an experienced worker who knew or should have known a forklift was necessary to safely perform the task but failed to use one even though a forklift was available. Defense counsel produced multiple witnesses who testified that Porras knew the correct method to make the repair and that he had made statements that he had made a mistake performing it.

Porras v. Fentons RV Service Inc., No. 201144982

Court: 270th District Court, Harris County

Plaintiff Attorney: Jordan A. Glaze, Law Office of Cristobal M. Galindo, Houston

Defense Attorney: Don Karotkin, Law Offices of Don Karotkin, Houston