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Jury awards $150,000 to cop punched while making arrest

On Aug. 6, a jury awarded $150,000 to a police officer who claimed that he was punched several times by a man as he was arresting another man. Houston Police Officer Asim Qureshi claimed that George Tisdel interfered as he was arresting a suspect. Qureshi then put handcuffs on one of Tisdel’s wrists when Tisdel allegedly swung the cuffs into Qureshi’s head and then punched him in the stomach. Tisdel filed bankruptcy during the litigation, but the stay was lifted. Tisdel was pro se and did not attend trial. Qureshi said Tisdel punched him several times. He claimed soft-tissue shoulder injuries and a head laceration.

Qureshi v. Tisdel, No. 201109581

Court: 334th District Court, Harris County

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Allen H. Kline Jr., The Kline Law Firm, Houston

Defense Attorney: George Tisdel, pro se


Plaintiff awarded less than half of what she sought

On July 24, a jury awarded $14,273 to a woman who claimed neck, back and knee injuries in a collision with a pickup truck. Nancy Martinez Lozano was struck by Enrique Joel Pena. Lozano claimed that Pena made an unsafe right turn from an exit lane of Highway 375 in El Paso when he struck her. She claimed that he didn’t stop before making the turn. Lozano claimed neck, lower back and left knee sprains and strains. She also claimed a lumbar disk protrusion. She underwent chiropractic treatment and saw a pain management doctor. In total, she sought $35,000 in damages. The defense asked the jury to cut off the past medical bills at the last chiropractic treatment. The records from Lozano’s last visit stated she was no longer in pain. Counsel argued the jury shouldn’t award any money for future treatment.

Lozano v. Pena, No. 2010-3267

Court: 327th District Court, El Paso County

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Charles J. Ruhmann IV, El Paso

Defense Attorney: Young Christian Jenkins, G. Patrick Collins & Associates, Dallas

Jury sides with defendant who denied hitting plaintiff

On Aug. 21, a jury sided with a driver who denied that he was involved in an accident with the plaintiff. Homero Cuellar claimed that Tony Joe Pena rear-ended him and then drove away on the highway. Cuellar continued driving down the highway, and, after about three miles, he came upon Pena, whose vehicle was disabled. Pena said he had lost control and hit the median. He denied having anything to do with any accident three miles back. Pena argued that if he hit the plaintiff, then his air bag would have deployed — as it did when he struck the median — making it impossible for him to drive three miles.

Cuellar v. Pena, No. 2011-12031

Court: 334th District Court, Harris County

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Heriberto R. Ramos, Heriberto Ramos & Associates, Houston

Defense Attorney: James A. Cersonsky, Soule, Baldwin & Fanaff, Houston

Driver awarded $17,547 for neck, back and shoulder injuries

On Aug. 22, a jury awarded $17,547 to a woman who claimed neck, lower back and left shoulder sprains and strains in a broadside crash. Sandra Ervin was driving in Tyler when Bonnie Munn pulled out in front of her from a stop sign and broadsided her on the driver side. Munn stipulated to liability. Ervin underwent trigger point injections, epidural steroid injections and cervical medial branch blocks. The defense noted the delay after the emergency room visit and argued that Ervin had prior injuries to the same areas she claimed were hurt in this accident.

Ervin v. Munn, No. 11-2490-A

Court: 7th District Court, Smith County

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Christopher J. Ewert, Ewert Law Firm, Tyler

Defense Attorney: Shane McGuire, Starr Schoenbrun Comte McGuire, Tyler

Jury awards $8,236 to plaintiff claiming cervical and lumbar strains

On Aug. 27, a jury awarded $8,236 to a driver who claimed cervical and lumbar strains in a rear-ender. In 2011, Amanda Bell was struck by Lazaro Garza. She underwent six months of chiropractic care and claimed her injuries caused debilitating headaches that prevented her from working for a month and caused her to drop out of college for a semester. She sought $11,000 for past medical expenses and an unspeciifed amount for past pain and suffering and physical impairment.

Bell v. Garza, No. 352256109-11

Court: 352nd District Court, Tarrant County

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Brandon A. Lavery, Ben Abbott PC, Garland

Defense Attorney: Robert Walls, Herald Farish & Hughes, Arlington

Driver and passenger awarded for cervical and lumbar strains

On Aug. 27, a jury awarded $42,450 to two plaintiffs claiming cervical and lumbar strains. In 2010, Derek Simon and Amanda Comeaux were rear-ended by Chandra Phu, who stipulated to liability. The plaintiffs underwent three months of chiropractic treatment. Simon claimed his injuries have left him unable to lift heavy objects, which cost him his job. Comeaux claimed to have difficulty with stairs and with lifting her children and that she was forced to drop out of cosmetology school for a semester, resulting in a loss of financial aid and a delay in starting a career in the field.

Simon v. Phu, No. 201059581

Court: 152nd District Court, Harris County

Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Mabel Lo, Vincent Ka-Lin Lo and Newton B. Schwartz Sr., Law Offices of Newton B. Schwartz Sr., Houston

Defense Attorneys: David H. Bradley and Leigh Lewis, Walters, Balido & Crain, Houston

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