After several weeks of an informal, partial gag order entered at the request of KBR shortly before the verdict was delivered, we are now able to comment more fully on the verdict, the full facts of the case, and other developments in the fight for the Qarmat Ali veterans. As was widely reported, on November 2, 2012, an Oregon jury unanimously returned an $85 million verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit for KBR’s misconduct at Qarmat Ali. This first trial pitted 12 US National Guard veterans against defense contractor KBR, and the twelve jurors not only found KBR liable for negligence in causing harm to these men, but also confirmed by “clear and convincing evidence” that KBR was guilty of “reckless and outrageous indifference to a highly unreasonable risk of harm and conscious indifference to the health, safety, and welfare” of our troops.
The facts of the trial were simple: KBR promised the Army’s Corp of Engineers it would repair a the Qarmat Ali water injection treatment plant in southern Iraq and that KBR’s “subject-matter expertise” would allow it to fully evaluate and safely repair the facility. Unfortunately, instead KBR knowingly exposed the military personnel providing security and the other personnel working at Qarmat Ali to massive levels of sodium dichromate present at the site after decades of use by the Iraqis as an anti-corrosive. The soldiers returned home to face medical issues ranging from respiratory dysfunction, persistent skin rashes, and even cancer. The commander of one of the National Guard units, Lt. Col. James Gentry of the Indiana National Guard, died of cancer attributed to the exposure in Iraq, and one of his men also died from lung disease attributed in part to his exposure at KBR’s Qarmat Ali project.
The damages received by the each of the 12 plaintiffs included actual damages of $850,000 and $6.25 million in punitive damages, totalling $85 million for
Doyle Raizner has filed a maritime personal injury lawsuit against Florida Marine on behalf of a contractor who was injured while unloading a barge belonging to the company. The plaintiff was an employee of Accutrans at the time of injury. Accutrans was contracted by Florida Marine.
The plaintiff fell into a hatch while walking the barge. The hatch did not have nonskid coating and resulted in a serious and debilitating injury. The hatch was slippery, unprotected, defective, and unfit for its intended purposes.
Florida Marine is responsible for the safety aboard its vessels and was negligent in ensuring the safety of all of those aboard. The company also exhibited gross negligence by recklessly and dangerously failing to carry out its safety obligations in violation of many US laws.
The plaintiff is asking for past and future medical treatment to be paid along with compensation for loss of earning capacity. Doyle Raizner stands behind their client in the fight against Florida Marine’s negligence and gross negligence.
The recent meningitis outbreak stretching across the country has placed the owners of the compounding pharmacy where the disease originated in the spotlight. The pharmacy was a family business and the family’s wealth and business tactics are being exposed.
The Conigliaro family of Massachusetts started with recycling business in the early 90s that prospered and lead to other business opportunities. The boom of the healthcare industry helped propel the family into a multi-million dollar business that provided them with multiple homes, luxury cars and other assets. Some of the homes listed include a $4.2 million Boston penthouse and a $2.35 million Cape Cod vacation home.
The most troubling of all the new information coming to light is the role of a family member not listed on the founding documents or website. Dr. Doug Conigliaro, an anesthesiologist, is described by employees as the person in charge. Dr. Conigliaro was fined $10,000 in 2002 by the Florida state medical board for malpractice. The fine resulted from a lawsuit filed after Dr. Conigliaro punctured the spine of a woman while inserting a pump to deliver painkillers in 1995. She became paralyzed below the waist and died in 1998. The suit was later settled for $1 million.
When officials saw the pharmacy after the outbreak was reported, they found dirty mats and hoods, a leaky boiler, dark debris floating in vials of medicine and evidence the pharmacy was not properly sterilizing its products. The family has not made any statements and is only speaking through their longtime attorney.
Doyle Raizner represents many victims of the outrageous conduct exhibited by the Conigliaro family and the New England Compounding Center, and stands behind them in the search for justice against a family and corporation who placed profits over safety.
Doyle Raizner has filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Permissive Abstention pursuant to the Wilton/Brillhart doctrine established by the United States Supreme court on behalf of a Dallas homeowners association. The Motion is in response to a declaratory action filed by Lloyd’s London in federal court in the the Northern District of Texas.
After Lloyd’s London failed to cooperate and refused to pay benefits due and owing under the policy, the homeowners association was forced to invoke the appraisal provision of its policy. The mutually-agreed upon umpire issued an appraisal award in favor of the homeowners association, which awarded damages for all buildings in the association. However, rather than pay the homeowners association in accordance with the award, Lloyd’s London opted to file the declaratory action in federal court, seeking declarations of non-liability and asking the court to intervene and set aside portions of the award for more than half of the association’s buildings.
Prior to filing the Motion, Doyle Raizner had previously filed suit against Lloyd’s London on behalf of the homeowners association in state court for violations of the Texas Insurance Code, breach of contract, and fraud, among other charges. Pursuant to the Wilton/Brillhart doctrine, a federal court should abstain from adjudicating actions when a parallel proceeding is pending in state court between the same parties regarding issues of state law. The pending state court action between the homeowners association and Lloyd’s London contains claims that arise solely under Texas law and would properly be ventilated at the state court level.
The adjuster assigned to estimate the value of damages on behalf of Lloyd’s underestimated the damage, failed to apply reasonable standards and did not promptly provide a reasonable explanation. Failing to provide notification of acceptance or rejection to the plaintiff by the 15th business day is a violation of the Texas Insurance Code. Lloyd’s committed bad faith by not properly handling their policyholder’s claim. Each
On November 26, 2012, the 215th District Court of Harris County issued a ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the individual Lloyd Snyder and Cunningham Lindseyagainst American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company (a division of AIG) (“AISLIC”). The summary judgment established that AISLIC had wrongfully refused insurance coverage to Snyder and Cunningham Lindsey by rejecting AISLIC’s claim that it did not receive proper notice of Snyder’s lawsuit versus Cunningham Lindsey. The Court reached this decision because it was clear that AISLIC had received notice, as required by Texas law, through its long time insurance agent/broker, HUB International Limited.The decision establishes that AISLIC is liable for at least two million dollars in attorneys’ fees and expenses for breaching its contract of insurance. The company is also liable for an additional eighteen percent annual interest penalty until full payment is rendered under the Texas Prompt Payment Act for failing to timely pay the attorneys’ fees at the time they were incurred from 2004 to the present. Including all damages, AISLIC’s exposure due to its wrongful actions is estimated to be approximately five million dollars.
The U.S. Coast Guard is reporting a fire this morning in the Gulf of Mexico south of Grand Isle off the Louisiana coast. Reports vary at this time but two deaths have been reported and as many as 11 workers airlifted to Baton Rouge. The platform is owned by Black Elk Energy of Houston.
Our thoughts are with the families of the platform workers.
On this Veteran’s Day, Doyle Raizner thanks the men and women whose service and sacrifice has made our nation great and made it free. Our firm is honored to represent so many veterans and military families in their time of need, and is committed to protecting them from those who would dishonor and disrespect their service to make a profit. We are so proud to represent the veterans of Qarmat Ali and those contaminated by toxic burn pits operated in Iraq and Afghanistan by military contractors, and the families of soldiers lost in other incidents brought on by the negligence of military contractors.
Thank you for your service and your sacrifice and your commitment, and know that we will never stop fighting for you and for justice.
Doyle Raizner’s Phoenix office has moved to a new location. The new office is located at 2929 E. Camelback Road, Suite 126.
The Phoenix office focuses on property insurance, personal injury, workers’ comp bad faith and insurance bad faith. In response to the rising problem of insurance bad faith activity in Phoenix and across Arizona, Doyle Raizner has opened a Phoenix office in order to assist residents of Arizona who have been affected by insurance misconduct.
Attorney Kevin Wein, formerly of Steptoe and Johnson, leads the firm’s efforts in the Phoenix office.
A number of insurance companies have refused to honor their contractual obligations to pay valid claims, leaving many policyholders unable to recover after sustaining property damage during the hail storm of October 2010. Doyle Raizner is proud to help the policyholders of Phoenix who suffered losses and fight for their compensation.
Click here to read our blog about property owners’ next steps after the destructive storm.
U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have released the 2013 “Best Law Firms” rankings naming Doyle Raizner as a personal injury “Best Law Firm”.
The third edition of these rankings features law firms given consistently impressive performance ratings by clients and peers. Achieving a high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise.
The mission of “Best Law Firms” is to help guide referring lawyers and clients — from the country’s largest companies requiring corporate legal advice to individuals seeking counsel regarding personal legal issues.
“U.S. News has more than two decades of experience in providing the public with the most accurate and in-depth rankings of a wide range of institutions, including our Best Law Schools rankings,” says Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report. “Law firms are an integral part of our rankings and a natural accompaniment to the law schools rankings.”
Doyle Raizner is based in Houston and has offices in Phoenix, Arizona and Galveston, Texas. The firm’s practice areas include maritime and Jones Act, insurance bad faith, pharmaceutical personal injury and more. Both partners Mike Doyle and Jeff Raizner are board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mike Doyle served as president of the Houston Trial Lawyers’ Association in 2007 while Jeff Raizner currently holds the position.