Motor Vehicle

Plaintiff awarded for past medicals only A driver who claimed that she would need a lumbar fusion because of an intersection collision was awarded $3,134 for past medical bills only. Amber Frias sued Matthew Shrum for hitting her. Frias’ doctor told her that she would need a fusion at L4-5. She sought about $120,000 in damages. She underwent two lumbar MRIs, and the second one didn’t show any disc bulge. Based on this finding, the defense argued that Frias didn’t need surgery. Defense counsel also noted that the surgical recommendation was made over the phone only; it did not appear anywhere in the medical records.

Frias v. Shrum, No. 32824 Court: 90th Young County District Court Plaintiff Attorney: Carolyn A. Ostovich, Ostovich & Associates, Wichita Falls Defense Attorney: Mark A. Teague, The LeCrone Law Firm, Sherman


Jury finds defendant 90 percent at fault for crash A driver who claimed neck, back, shoulder and thumb injuries in a rear-ender recovered $2,700. James Stewart sued Caitlan Hight for hitting him. Hight claimed that Stewart was comparatively negligent for making a sudden and unexpected stop for no reason. Stewart was diagnosed with soft-tissue injuries of the left shoulder, neck and back, as well as a sprained left thumb. The defense argued that Stewart’s spinal and shoulder complaints were pre-existing, degenerative conditions. The jury found Hight 90 percent negligent and Stewart 10 percent negligent, which reduced the $3,000 award.

Stewart v. Hight, No. C1531163 Court: 145th Nacogdoches County District Court Plaintiff Attorney: M. Kirk Mathis, Chandler, Mathis & Zivley, Lufkin Defense Attorney: Clayton H. Haley, Fairchild, Price, Haley & Smith, Nacogdoches


Plaintiff mostly at fault, jury finds A driver who was rear-ended in an intersection was mostly to blame for the collision, a jury found. Philicia Feenstra sued Shannon Anderson, alleging that Anderson must have run a red light and rear-ended her. She claimed that she felt one impact from behind and then another when she was pushed into the car in front of her. Feenstra claimed that since Anderson admitted to rear-ending her, she is liable. Anderson claimed that Feenstra tried to swerve suddenly to avoid impacting the vehicle in front that was turning into a driveway. Anderson alleged that she was unable to avoid hitting Feenstra’s vehicle. She also claimed that Feenstra impacted the vehicle in front of her first. The jury found Feenstra 70 percent negligent and Anderson 30 percent negligent.

Feenstra v. Anderson, No. CC-15-00840-E Court: Dallas County Court at Law No. 5 Plaintiff Attorney: Charles A. “Chuck” Bennett, Ted B. Lyon & Associates, Mesquite Defense Attorneys: Matthew A. Ford and John R. Lawson, Law Offices of Gallerson & Yates, Irving


Defense prevails in left-turn collision A jury sided with a driver who was sued for allegedly failing to make a left turn at an intersection. Kenneth Fields sued Aleyda Murillo, claiming that she was in a left-turn-only lane but went straight anyway. Fields said that he was going the same direction as her and was on her right. He struck her car as he tried to go left at the intersection. Murillo denied that she was in a left-turn-only lane, and she maintained that Fields made an illegal left turn from one of the straight-only lanes. She gave clear, detailed testimony about the accident and the locations of the vehicles, her attorney said. Defense counsel argued that Fields failed to meet his burden of proof.

Fields v. Murillo, No. CC-16-06057-D Court: Dallas County Court at Law No. 4 Plaintiff Attorney: Steven L. Eason, Fuller & Eason, Dallas Defense Attorney: Steve Carlos Santayana, Law Office of James Lawrence, Irving


Union settles discrimination claim for $30K Two black union recruiters who lost their jobs only a few weeks after they were hired agreed to a $30,000 settlement. Maurice Roberts and Rosalind Holt worked for Local 100 United Labor Union to recruit public school employees to join. Roberts and Holt were discharged for failing to meet the minimum goal of recruiting five new members within their first two weeks. A white recruiter, who was hired at the same time as Roberts and Holt, failed to recruit any new members, but was not terminated, according to the EEOC. The union claimed that it informed all of its new hires that they were required to recruit a minimum of five new members within the first two weeks of employment. It denied that a similarly situated white employee was treated differently.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Local 100, United Labor Unions, No. 4:17-1628 Court: United States District Court, Southern District, Houston Plaintiff Attorney: Rudy Sustaita, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Houston Defense Attorney: Doug Young, Scanlan, Buckle & Young, Austin