When has a trial lawyer represented his client too zealously?
The Texas Supreme Court heard arguments Friday here in Fort Worth in the nationally-watched sanctions case of Brewer v. Lennox Hearth Products. There was a packed courtroom and an overflow crowd at Texas A&M Law School.
The Court’s decision will set boundaries on just how far a lawyer can go to win a trial. And making the hearing even more sensational, the attorney in question, William Brewer III of Dallas and New York City, has often been in the headlines, most recently while representing the National Rifle Association.
We don’t know why every weekend produces another round of fatal car and truck crashes across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Or why we treat this news as if it is inevitable. Or that there is nothing we can do about it. But we all know that it can be frightening to drive on our North Texas highways. This past weekend produced more tragedies including these:
- South of Fort Worth: two people lost their lives in Burleson Sunday evening at 6:30 when a car traveling north on Interstate 35 crossed through the cable barrier and hit a southbound vehicle head-on. Two people in the north-bound car perished and other people were injured, some critically.
- South Dallas: a woman crashed into a truck and car that had already collided and were on the shoulder on Interstate 20, taking her life.
I joined several hundred people on Saturday morning at the national headquarters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Las Colinas for its signature event, the Walk and Dash Like MADD.
We were there to pay tribute to those who had lost their lives in driving while intoxicated crashes, increase public awareness of this epidemic, and raise money. The comraderie was strong as families displayed photographs and personal displays, rebuilt motorcycles, and other memories of their loved ones.
Families held hands and walked and ran several miles together. A Dallas City Councilman eulogized a former city councilwoman and her daughter who were recently killed in a DWI crash.
The Texas Longhorns and its huge fan base (including Mr. Berenson who graduated from the University of Texas in 1976) are in mourning after learning that Cedric Benson died in a motorcycle crash in Austin Saturday night. What a terrible way to begin the football season.
Cedric was one of the best running backs in the history of Texas high school and the University, then played eight years in the NFL with the Bears, Bengals, and Packers. He was 36 years old. We extend my condolences to his family and the family of his passenger who also died at the scene.
We at Berenson Injury Law want our roads to be safer for all motorists, including for those who ride motorcycles. You have to ask
- Why does Texas have more fatal crashes than any other state?
- Why do about 500 people die each year riding their motorcycles in Texas
- What causes us to be #1 in this terrible category?
- How can we stop so many motorcycle riders and other motorists from dying and being injured on our roads? Continue reading
Sunday morning in Fort Worth, a one vehicle collision caused six people to die at 2:00 a.m. – when the nearby bars were closing – on Northside Drive. A truck speeding out of control failed to negotiate a turn and crashed into a tree. Even a homeless man died. And this heartbreaking story was not even the only fatal DWI crash in DFW that day.
Later that evening, a 17-year-old passenger in a masssive car wreck went into labor and delivered a stillborn child. Her driver was speeding on Great Southwest Parkway when he blew through a red light and crashed into a pickup truck. That driver and his two passengers who were in their 70s were seriously injured. What makes this story even more maddening is that the car driver, who was only 17, was driving while intoxicated and didn’t even have a driver’s license.
What is going on out there?
Carolyn Davis died and her daughter is in critical condition after a Mazda SUV crashed head-on into their car. The horrific wreck in Oak Cliff is just the latest DWI crash in North Texas.
And here is an even worse part of this story, if that is possible. The drunk driver, a 36-year-old man, had already been arrested at least three times for DWI. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison after his most recent conviction. But the sentence was suspended because he agreed to drive a vehicle that had an ignition interlock device. Just last week, he completed his probation and the device was removed from his vehicle. This tragedy was a few days later.
UPDATED 7/18 – This tragedy worsened when Melissa Lashan Davis-Nunn died last night in the hospital. The drunk driver has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. The drunk told police that he had taken Xanax and claimed he was riding with two others, although no other passengers were found at the scene. and was joking with a nurse that he was there for a penile enhancemenet procedure.
As we are often wondering on this blog, what in the world is going on out there? And how can we keep the same catastrophes from happening again?
Deadly car and truck accidents happen across the DFW area almost every day. One happened near our office last week when an SUV rolled over on I-30 which critically injured several people and took the life of a 22-year-old woman. Here’s a photograph from the scene. And on Sunday night, two people were ejected from a truck in a rollover accident east of Dallas. Since rollovers accidents have the highest fatality rate of any collision, this is an important public safety topic for all of us.
Causes of rollover accidents
Rollovers happen for a number of reasons and are more complex from a liability viewpoint than other vehicle accidents.
When three drivers are speeding at 100 mph, a deadly crash is inevitable
There is no excuse for driving too fast. Anytime you do, you put yourself, your passengers, and every one else on the road at tremendous risk. People who speed will crash into other vehicles at a much higher rate of speed, set off violent chain reactions, and cause injuries and even deaths. These become heart-breaking stories, like what happened recently in a Dallas crash that tragically ended the life of a 9-year-old girl.
Olivia Mendez was in a car that was making a left turn at Lake June Road in Dallas. She had just graduated from her school that evening and was almost home. But three muscle cars were speeding down the road from the other direction. The driver of a Dodge Challenger couldn’t stop in time and slammed into the girl’s car, throwing her from it. Her parents and her 3-year-old sister were also seriously injured. The police arrested the three racers and I hope they get long sentences. But nothing can replace the life of this sweet young child. We made a donation to the family’s GoFundMe site and hope you can as well.
12 road fatalities in Fort Worth and Dallas area in just the last 5 days! (Edited)
It is shocking that over 3,500 people die on Texas roads each year — many of them here in North Texas. These stories are heart-breaking:
1. Yesterday a crash between an 18-wheeler and a Corvette sadly claimed the life of a 26-year-old man in Fort Worth. Two others were injured, one critically. The crash shut down Loop 820 in the eastbound direction near the I-35 interchange for hours. It is not known what caused the crash.
I send my condolences and prayers to the man’s family and to the victims. I was chilled to read about this crash since I filed a lawsuit several years ago against the large company responsible for the death of a man at almost that same location and went there several times to investigate the scene.
2. Last night in south Dallas, a pick up truck driver ran a light, crashed into a SUV making a left turn at an intersection, and took the lives of a mother and her 6-year-old son. The young man driving the truck was DWI. He faces intoxication manslaughter charges.
3. Earlier yesterday a traffic wreck in south Grand Prairie caused another fatality when a driver lost control of his car on a wet road and collided head-on onto an oncoming car.
4. On Sunday two people lost their lives in a Glen Rose crash.
5. And I am helping the family of a woman who was killed in Dallas several weeks ago and two other people who were injured, one seriously. A man who was DWI — at only 4:00 in the afternoon — crashed into the three women as they were getting out of their car. The drunk fled the scene. Fortunately he was apprehended and is in the Dallas County jail. Since he only has the standard liability policy and there is only a standard underinsured policy, I am representing the family and victims at no charge. I hope that he is given a long prison sentence.
6. Yesterday afternoon, two young men died in Dallas when one of them was drag racing with another car and lost control, causing him to hit a guard rail and bounce off into oncoming traffic.
7. And last light a violent crash on I-20 in Arlington was caused by an intoxicated driver who ran off the road and hit two people — a young woman and her father who had come to rescue her — who were standing outside her car. They and another person inside the car lost their lives. The cars exploded and a fire storm erupted that could have caused more deaths. As if this tragedy were not devastating enough, a police officer rushing to the scene was involved in a collision and seriously injured.
8. Today a Grand Prairie Police officer was standing outside of his patrol vehicle with his radar gun out when he was tragically struck and killed by a 17-year-old kid racing a sports car on the George Bush Turnpike in broad daylight.
What in the world is going on out there? The wrongful death count on DFW roads is out of control.