HOUSTON – Texas trial and appellate firm Wright & Close LLP secured two take-nothing judgments after the Texas Supreme Court denied review in two of the firm’s cases, one of those involving $22 million in damages. Both cases hinged on issues of company liability in accidents involving independent contractors. Firm partners Thomas C. Wright, Russell Hollenbeck and Raffi Melkonian represented Oiltanking Houston, L.P., a Houston ship channel storage tank company that was sued over a fatal accident that resulted from welding work by an independent contractor.
We are pleased to see the state’s highest court agreed with the 14th Court of Appeals’ reversal of the nearly $22 million jury verdict against Oiltanking Houston. This was an unfortunate and tragic accident, but the company was not at fault. said Mr. Hollenbeck. The firm’s lawyers succeeded in making the case that under Texas law, a property owner is not liable when a contractor is in control of the work being performed and when the premises owner is not aware of dangerous conditions. Wright & Close lawyers secured the second take-nothing judgment in a case involving a worker injured after a fall while employed by an independent contractor at a Texas Instruments semiconductor plant. Representing Texas Instruments were firm partner Michael Choyke and associate Elizabeth Rivers. The worker was awarded nearly $500,000 at trial, but the verdict was reversed by the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas, which agreed with the firm’s lawyers that the contractor’s claims were barred by the recovery of workers’ compensation benefits.
On June 2, the Texas Supreme Court denied review in both cases. The cases are Oiltanking Houston, L.P. v. Delgado, No. 14-14-00158-CV and Texas Instruments, Inc. v. Udell, No. 05-14-01042-CV. Wright & Close LLP is a Houston-based civil trial and appellate firm handling complex trial and appeals work for clients across Texas. Our lawyers have a track record for achieving favorable resolutions in cases involving catastrophic personal injury, insurance coverage, intellectual property, oil and gas, product defects, commercial disputes, arbitration and mediation, and trade secrets, among others. We also assist with pretrial motions, special evidence problems, challenges to expert witnesses, and the critical work on the court’s charge to the jury. To learn more, visit http://www.wrightclose.com/.
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