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Thomas J. Henry Achieves $67 Million Verdict in Company Vehicle Accident

A Nueces County jury awarded $67 million to a victim paralyzed in a Texas auto accident.

Details Of The Accident

Nueces County jury members issued a high-low verdict in a case against Weatherford U.S. and its employee. The plaintiff, Christopher J. Arnold was paralyzed from the waist down after sustaining injuries in a highway accident involving one of Weatherford’s drivers.

In the agreement, Weatherford agreed to pay Arnold a minimum of $500,000 and a maximum of $9 million. On September 2, the jury issued a $67 million verdict including $33 million in punitive damages and assigned 62 percent responsibility to the Weatherford defendants, 30 percent to the driver of the vehicle in which Arnold was a passenger (who was not a named party in the litigation), and 8 percent to Arnold, who was not wearing a seat belt.

Arnold’s attorney’s Tom Rhodes of San Antonio and Thomas J. Henry of Corpus Christi persuaded the jury that even though the defendants alleged that the driver in Arnold’s vehicle made a U-turn that led to the multi-car pileup, the incident could ahve been prevented had Weatherford’s driver followed safe following distance procedures.

Regarding his strategy during trial Rhodes said, “Acknowledge the strength of their arguments and find a way to deflect it, without totally denying,” If the plaintiff team had argued that the driver of Arnold’s vehicle had no responsibility, “We would have looked stupid,” said Rhodes.

Henry believes they were able to put a large dent in the defense’s argument by questioning the first witness, the driver of the Weatherford vehicle.

“I got him to admit that if he had followed rules about following distances [between vehicles], he would have been able to prevent the collision,” Henry says.

Texas Auto Accident Statistics

Information below provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • 3,534 people were killed in traffic accidents in Texas in 2014, roughly one death every 2 hours and 29 minutes.
  • 581 of those fatalities were linked to wrong-way collisions, and 823 deaths were associated with crashes that occurred at or in relation to an intersection.
  • An additional 237,941 people were injured in auto accidents in Texas in 2014 with 17,152 people sustaining incapacitating injuries.
  • A reportable crash occurred roughly every 66 seconds.

Thomas J. Henry Files Class Action Lawsuit Against GM

News sources are reporting that Texas-based law firm Thomas J. Henry has filed a federal class action lawsuit against General Motors in regards to deaths and injuries linked to defective ignition switches and air bag failures in multiple recalled GM models.

About the General Motors Class Action Lawsuit

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported that Thomas J. Henry filed a federal class action lawsuit against GM. It is the first class action lawsuit filed against GM related to the recall.

Last month approximately 1.6 million vehicles were recalled by GM due to defective ignition switches.

According to the auto maker, affected switches can be jostled out of the “on” position and into the “off” or “accessory” positions, causing the engine to lose power and disabling safety features such as air bags.

While GM claims that only 13 fatalities can be positively linked to the defect, a report released by the Center for Auto Safety on Thursday linked 303 deaths to air bag failures in recalled Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions.

Thomas J. Henry is representing clients who were injured or had family members who were injured or killed in crashes involving the recalled vehicles.

Recalled General Motors Vehicles

  • The most recent information suggest that GM was first notified of a possible defect with the ignition switches in 2001, well before the recalled models first hit production lines.
  • In 2004, a GM engineer experienced the defect when he unexpectedly lost engine power during a test drive of a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, still the company did nothing.
  • By 2007, GM had received multiple reports of accidents connected to the faulty ignition switches with at least one fatality linked to the defect, but the company failed to issue a recall for affected vehicles.
  • It was not until February 13, 2014 that GM finally initiated the recall. By February 26, the company had expanded the recall to cover 1.6 million vehicles.
  • Among the recalled vehicles are:
    • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s
    • 2003-2007 Saturn Ions
    • 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHRs
    • 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuits (Canada)
    • 2006-2007 Pontiac Solstices
    • 2007 Saturn Skies

Thomas J. Henry Handling Holmes Street Explosion Cases

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (July 17, 2013) Several families affected by a recent explosion in Corpus Christi, Texas, have been granted an injunction against the City of Corpus Christi while their attorneys investigate its cause. The families are represented by Thomas J. Henry. Click here to view a Q & A session with attorney Michael Henry regarding the Holmes Street explosion.

On July 16, 2013, five individuals, all injured following the early morning blast on July 12 in Corpus Christi, requested that a Nueces County court prevent the City of Corpus Christi from destroying any evidence regarding the root cause of the explosion.  The Court, in granting the injunction, ordered that the City of Corpus Christi preserve all evidence including meter inspections, inspections of the gas lines, witness statements and photographs, and investigatory materials concerning the explosion.  In addition, the court ordered that the families that filed for the injunctive relief will be able to observe the investigative work currently being conducted by Corpus Christi Fire Marshall.

In seeking the restraining order, Thomas J. Henry, lead attorney for the families, stated “ultimately, we want to get to the bottom of what happened and find out why these victims’ lives have been turned upside down.”

Mr. Henry lauded the court’s responsiveness to the needs of the families, adding “by the court’s decisive action today, the rights of these individuals and others affected by this explosion can be protected.”  In the end, he added, the person who caused the explosion “must be held accountable for the harm caused to these families and others in the vicinity of the blast.”


Thomas J. Henry win $25 Million for Client Injured on the Job

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (May 31, 2013) Thomas J. Henry has made yet another multi-million dollar recovery on behalf of an injured client.  On Thursday, May 30, 2013, a Corpus Christi jury returned a verdict in the amount of $25,000,000 to Thomas J. Henry client, Leo Davila.

The case involved a work-related injury caused by an unsafe work environment. Mr. Davila sustained serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, requiring surgical intervention.

The jury heard issues regarding third party liability for creating an unsafe work environment resulting in injury. Thomas J. Henry presented the damages portion to the jury- detailing Mr. Davila’s extensive brain injuries and life care plan.

When asked about the verdict, Thomas J. Henry stated, “This verdict represents an issue in the State of Texas. Employers need to ensure that all employees, even third party employees, have safe working environments so they don’t get injured on the job.”


Thomas J. Henry Secures $21M Verdict Against Coca-Cola in Trucking Case

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, May 7, 2012- As reported by The Associated Press, Yahoo News, the Houston Chronicle, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and several other news outlets, Thomas J. Henry recently secured a $21 million verdict against Coca-Cola in a trucking accident case involving a distracted delivery driver.

On May 7, 2012, a Nueces County jury awarded $21 million to a woman who was hit by a Coca-Cola truck whose driver was chatting on a cell phone while at the wheel.

The jury awarded Vanice Chatman-Wilson, 37, $10 million in punitive damages and $11 million in actual damages for the 2010 accident that left her with severe neck and back injuries.

When his firm received the case, Thomas J. Henry immediately knew they had a huge safety problem on their hands and that battling Coca-Cola would mean picking apart a corporate cell-phone use policy which applies to thousands of employees throughout the U.S.

“I knew Mrs. Wilson deserved justice, and the rest of the motoring public deserved safer drivers; so, Bob Hilliard and I decided to put our law firm litigation teams together to shred Coca Cola’s policy.”

During the trial, Coca-Cola’s truck driver reportedly testified that if she had known the risks of talking on the phone while driving she would not have done it.


Contact Information

Thomas J. Henry
The Law Offices of Thomas J. Henry
(361) 985-0600

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