We Work Hard for the Justice You Deserve
The lawyers of Stevenson & Murray work tirelessly to obtain justice and get the results our clients deserve. The following are actual cases and show how our team works to advocate and defend the rights of our clients across numerous specialties, case types and jurisdictions. However, every case is different, so we invite you to discuss the specifics of your case with us in a confidential consultation.
Product Liability: Defective Space Heater
Case Result: $22 Million Verdict Followed by Confidential Settlement
A defective space heater caused the deaths of four children who lived with their mother in a Louisiana mobile home. The heater manufacturer strongly contested the cause of the fire. No direct eyewitnesses survived the fire. The lawyers of Stevenson & Murray produced expert testimony that reconstructed the deadly fire. The evidence showed the heater tipped over and failed to power-off. As a result of tipping over during normal use, the heater overheated and ignited a fire that quickly destroyed the mobile home. The children were unable to escape the fire and died.
Stevenson & Murray obtained documents that showed two things: First, the heater manufacturer had the opportunity to equip the heater with a safety tip-over switch that would cause the heater to shut down when tipped over. According to internal documents, it would have cost the heater manufacturer less than $1.00 per unit to equip the heater with the tip-over switch. Second, an additional document titled “Cost of Poor Quality” showed the heater manufacturer failed to recognize the danger to human life as one of the costs of poor quality.
A jury in Cook County, Illinois returned a verdict that awarded $22 million in damages after a trial lasting several weeks. The parties entered a confidential settlement agreement that clearly recognized the damages caused by the defective space heater. The verdict received recognition in the National Law Journal’s Top Verdicts of 2013.
Land-Based Rig Accident
Case Result: $16.425 Million Verdict, 8.7 Million Recovery for Plaintiff
The plaintiff was a driller on a land-based rig. He sustained severe abdominal injuries when a thin, highly pressurized stream of water tore through his midsection, causing him permanently to require the use of a colostomy bag and delivery of his nutrition through liquid formulas. Stevenson & Murray extensively developed the case and established liability for negligence against several parties for failure to properly conduct and supervise pressure testing as well as for providing inadequate tools. The case was developed and prosecuted under both Louisiana and Texas law. Seven defendants ultimately contributed to the settlement of this case, totaling $16.425 million. After deducting case expenses of $262,886, a comp lien of $600,000 and total attorney’s fees of $6,424,845.60, the injured plaintiff recovered $8,737,268.40, and his minor son recovered $400,000.
Product Liability: Defective Fan
Case Result: Confidential Settlement
A defective floor fan caused the death of a Laredo, Texas, man. Evidence showed the fan overheated and ignited a fire while the man slept. The man’s family filed a lawsuit against the fan manufacturer, which entered into a confidential settlement with the family before trial.
Chemical Plant Accident
Case Result: $8 Million
A Houston man worked as a welder on a turnaround project at a Gulf Coast chemical plant. As he sat on scaffolding to perform a welding job, a piece of welding material entered his work boot and severely burned the top of his left foot. After the incident occurred, the welder’s initial medical treatment included only a prescription for medicated ointment. The company doctor returned the welder to work without restrictions. Unfortunately, the welder could not return to work as a result of his injury.
Stevenson & Murray filed a lawsuit against several entities responsible for causing the injury. The evidence at trial showed the defendants failed to provide a safe place to work and failed to implement and enforce safety measures that would have prevented the welder’s injury. Evidence at trial also showed one of the defendants tried to conceal the severity of the welder’s injury.
A Brazoria County, Texas jury returned a verdict that awarded $8 million in damages. The Texas Lawyer publication featured the verdict as one of the top Texas verdicts of 2009.
Case Result: $2.6 Million Verdict Followed by Confidential Settlement
A Jones Act seaman suffered an injury to his lower back and shoulder while working to repair a hydraulic pump. The lower-back injury required surgery to repair a herniated disk. A Texas jury awarded $2.6 million in damages, after which the parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement on appeal.
Case Result: $3.6 Million
A dredge worker suffered an injury at work when an object fell and hit him on the hard hat he wore. The worker reported the injury to his employer and went to the company doctor, who returned him to work the same day. The worker later underwent neck surgery to repair a herniated disk. A Texas jury awarded damages in the amount of $3.6 million.