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A charter bus was taking a group of senior citizens from DFW to the casino owned by the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma.

Lloyd Rieve (photo courtesy of nbcdfw.com), who worked for Cardinal Coach, lost control of the bus in Irving. It flipped over and landed on its side. Sue Taylor, who had organized the trip, and two women, Alice Stanley and Paula Hahn, sustained fatal injuries.

Family representatives filed a lawsuit for the wrongful deaths of Ms. Stanley and Ms. Hahn. The plaintiffs settled with Mr. Rieve and Cardinal before trial and proceeded against the Choctow Nation, which denied any liability. It blamed Rieve and Cardinal for the crash.

The plaintiffs argued that the casino derived most of its income from bus trips like this, with most of them from here in North Texans. Cardinal had apparently failed to perform the required safety background check on its employee, Mr. Rieve, who had a bad driving record.

The trial took two weeks. The jury deliberated for four days.

The verdict awarded the Hahn family approximately $6 million and the Stanley family $5 million.

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Photo courtesy of Fox 4

I was leaving my office Sunday afternoon when I drove by this SUV which had driven into a huge hole after a water main had ruptured. Fortunately no one was injured, but this could have led to some serious injuries.

It is frightening that Texas’s roads were just rated a D in this report.

Our highways are sometimes designed and maintained poorly and cause crashes. Over the past nearly 40 years, I have seen these road hazards that have led to sometimes catastrophic car and truck wrecks:

  • Huge potholes and cracks
  • Large debris and standing water
  • Inadequate or nonexistent shoulders with steep drop-offs
  • Overgrown trees blocking visibility of signs and other vehicles
  • Missing or malfunctioning traffic signals and signs
  • Poorly designed bridges, curves or grades
  • Inadequate lights
  • Poorly designed or placed signs
  • Dangerous ridging and buckling of pavement Continue reading

IMG_0507-225x300-1William Berenson has been selected to the 2018 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel for the fourth year in a row.

NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission

is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of the Bar and provide a

5-stars-from-RTF

We are pleased to announce that we successfully resolved the claim of an injured young man for the total amount of insurance available of $100,000.

Motorcycle cases can be more difficult than those where people are driving cars and trucks. Liability disputes are common. Jurors can hold biases against riders that can make large verdicts rare, even though injuries can be severe.

Here, both drivers claimed they had the right of way when a light was changing from yellow to red. Worse, three eyewitnesses sided with the car driver and our client was seen riding at a high rate of speed just before the crash on his bright red “crotch rocket.”

But Brandon was extremely injured and was in a great deal of pain. He had no idea how he could get his medical bills and lost wages paid.

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UBER

Many of us use Lyft and Uber to get around town. But how safe are we? You need to know about these recent horrifying crimes their drivers committed on passengers:

Yesterday, Uber once again promised its customers that it was working on making them safer.

Rather than rely on vague promises, here are seven good tips you can use to gauge your safety before you decide to get into an Uber of Lyft.

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BB-with-scholar-KidsIt was my pleasure to speak at the fifth grade graduation at the Rufino Mendoza Elementary School this morning.

I adopted this school on the economically challenged North Side of Fort Worth 13 years ago. I wanted to reach out to the community and support our children.

Today I donated five scholarships and have given a total of 20 to Mendoza students over the last four years.

To obtain one, students won challenging math, reading, science, writing, leadership, and music competitions. They submitted science projects, wrote essays, made speeches, balanced checkbooks, and identified musical composers.

When each winner’s name was announced, parents and family members shouted out with joy. One could feel that young lives were being changed and that their futures shone brightly.

Each winner was fitted with a cap from the school he or she wants to attend. You can see Harvard, Notre Dame, University of Texas, Texas A & M, Baylor, TCU, and University of North Texas caps in this photo.

The children’s desired fields of study were also impressive. They include environmental engineering, nursing, science, criminology, culinary arts, zoology, art, and computers.

Every year, I leave the graduation feeling that our city and our country are heading in the right place. Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world, as Nelson Mandela wrote.

I wish this morning’s winners, Josie, Tiffany, Tino, John,Emily, Paula, Amy, and Marcos, and all of our students success as they continue their studies and work to achieve their goals.

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1One of the downsides of living here in the fastest growing area in the U. S. is the huge increase in traffic — and car crashes — on our roads. An article in today’s Star Telegram asks if DFW is going to be the next LA?

A jaw-dropping 150,000 people moved to our area just last year. When I first moved to Dallas in the mid 70’s to attend SMU Law School, that number was the entire population of Arlington.

Now consider that we have 80,000 auto collisions in Dallas and Tarrant Counties each year.

That puts DFW squarely in the urban planning nightmare: more people = more highways = more collisions.

This article shows that even after $1.6 billion was just spent widening the notoriously dangerous Interstate 35 north of downtown Fort Worth, there are still serious problems there.

I resolved a tragic collision case at its new interchange with Loop 820 last year after a man died after crashing into this piece of road construction equipment. It had darted across the interstate in front of his small car in the middle of the night, causing his death.

Most of us drivers dislike seeing the bright orange “work zone ahead” signs, especially during our morning or afternoon commutes. And while these signs may indicate upcoming traffic jams, detours, and other inconveniences, they are there for our safety and for the protection of the people at work.

When you see a road work sign, remember to be extra vigilant of your surroundings and be prepared for sudden stops, turns, debris, workers, and construction equipment.

There were over 25,000 automobile wrecks in work zones last year in Texas according to the Texas Department of Transportation, up 30% over the past few years.

Here is a good link that can show you how to avoid these congested areas and get to where you are driving safely.

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18-wheeler-fire-in-GrapevineWhy are there so many horrible truck collisions here?

Last week in Dallas there was another catastrophic collision between an 18-wheeler and a vehicle that took someone’s life. And last night near DFW Airport the tractor-trailer shown here crashed and caught on fire. We see these wrecks far too often in North Texas.

The federal government recently released a study that showed that 120,000 truck crashes happened in two years, and this was back in the early 2000’s. Since then, the population and number of vehicles have exploded, so the number is much higher. Seeing a speeding or reckless 18-wheeler driver or resulting crash is common. 

If you or someone you love have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident, you need the best legal assistance — and fast. There are three reasons:

  • A good lawyer will investigate liability, hire accident reconstruction experts, interview police officers and eyewitnesses, secure evidence, and prove that the trucking company driver and his company were at fault. On the other hand, the truck company will send out its attorneys and investigators to the scene immediately to do the exact opposite.
  • Survivors often suffer from permanent injuries. The attorney can arrange necessary medical care, help get expensive bills paid, and secure a good settlement or verdict to pay for damages.
  • Multiple vehicles and insurance policies are usually involved.

The key to winning  your case is to obtain as much evidence as possible. By doing so, a victim of a truck crash will greatly increase his or her chances of receiving the best financial results.

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Honoring my father-in-law and all veterans

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Memorial Day ushers in our summer with BBQ’s, the Colonial golf tournament down the street from my office, and a relaxing 3-day weekend. Most of us may not stop to think about what it cost to obtain our care-free summer days. But we should never take them for granted.

Millions of soldiers fought and hundreds of thousands died so that we could live in the greatest country in the history of the world. You may forget this until you watch gut-wrenching movies like “Saving Private Ryan,” “Dunkirk,” or others that show you the incredible sacrifices they made.

I am proud that my father-in-law, Samuel Rubinton, served four years in World War II as a Lieutenant Colonel. And incredibly, he worked his way up from a private! He was awarded several military honors for valor for his work behind enemy lines and is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. I never had the privilege to meet this fine man, as he died many years before I married my wonderful wife 30 years ago this August, but wish that I had.

Despite our differing beliefs and opinions, we can still rally together as families, friends, and as a single nation on Memorial Day in remembrance and gratitude.

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One of the reasons I love living in Texas is how nice people are. And I grew up in Nashville where folks were just as friendly.

Most of us drive responsibly and even go out of our way to help others get around.

But should there be a limit to our Southern hospitality if it endangers others?

What if a driver is slowing down for a red light and another driver signals to turn left. After Driver 1 waves Driver 2 across and he darts across, Driver 3 crashes into 2’s car. Which of the three people caused the collision to happen?

Multi-vehicle cases can be difficult. I just settled a lawsuit when my client was driving on a busy road at night in the rain. A young woman claimed that she was waved through and was therefore not responsible for causing the collision. I took her deposition, made her admit that she was in fact responsible, and successfully resolved the lawsuit.

This tactic of blaming other drivers is often raised in-car accident cases.

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