BP calls fine sufficient penalty; Company cites $1 billion
expense to upgrade plant in Texas City
Jan. 22, 2008
BP's agreement that one of its divisions will plead guilty
to a felony and pay a record fine under the federal Clean
Air Act is sufficient punishment for risk management failures
that contributed to the deadly 2005 explosion at its Texas
City refinery, the company said in a court filing Tuesday.
SOURCE: The Houston Chronicle
Victims Of BP Refinery Explosion Force Company To Face
December 22, 2007
So often does BP Plc and its subsidiaries find themselves
in courthouses, the company could publish an insider's guide
to them across America. They get prosecuted. They get sued.
They get rapped by regulators. If it's not BP oil spilling
in Alaska, it's a BP refinery exploding in Texas and claiming
15 lives. SOURCE: Tampa
Fired BP refinery operator says blast blame came fast;
Testifies after former boss says unsafe culture permeated
plant for years
Dec. 6, 2007
GALVESTON — An operator who was among several workers
fired by BP for failing to follow written procedures for
the startup of a unit that exploded in March 2005, killing
15 people, testified today that he was one of the first
to be blamed. SOURCE: The
Throw the book at BP
November 26, 2007
This one will put me in strange territory, since I'm not
usually one to come down on the energy companies. The group
typically has more than enough detractors, many of whom
are irrational and uninformed. But in the case of BP (NYSE:
BP) and the aftermath of the 2005 explosion at its Texas
refinery, I'll make a vocal exception. SOURCE: The
BP victims call deal 'lenient'; seek $2 billion fine
November 20, 2007
HOUSTON -- A Corpus Christi attorney for workers killed
and injured in BP PLC's 2005 plant explosion asked Tuesday
that a court reject a plea agreement between the oil giant
and the federal government, asserting that the proposed
$50 million fine should be increased to $1 billion. SOURCE:
----- END BP RELATED NEWS -----
For those in the legal profession, or for anyone looking
for a list of helpful resources, we have compiled a list
of some of the most useful and current websites available.
They include people-finders, search engines, government
sites, public records, and more.
Click here to
access our list of Legal Research Links.
Articles regarding Electronic Stability Control
(ESC) in automobiles:
Effect of Electronic Stability Control on Automobile Crash
CHARLES M. FARMER Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
Arlington, Virginia, USA
Published by Taylor & Francis
Synopsis: Per vehicle crash involvement rates were compared
for otherwise identical vehicle models with and without
electronic stability control (ESC) systems. ESC was found
to affect single-vehicle crashes to a greater extent than
multiple-vehicle crashes, and crashes with fatal injuries
to a greater extent than less severe crashes. Based on all
police-reported crashes in 7 states over 2 years, ESC reduced
single-vehicle crash involvement risk by approximately 41
percent (95 percent confidence limits 33–48) and single-vehicle
injury crash involvement risk by 41 percent (27–52).
This translates to an estimated 7 percent reduction in overall
crash involvement risk (3–10) and a 9 percent reduction
in overall injury crash involvement risk (3–14). Based
on all fatal crashes in the United States over 3 years,
ESC was found to have reduced single-vehicle fatal crash
involvement risk by 56 percent (39–68). This translates
to an estimated 34 percent reduction in overall fatal crash
involvement risk (21–45). Full
Electronic Stability Control
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Status Report,
January 3, 2005
Synopsis: About half of the 28,000 passenger vehicle crashes
with occupant deaths that occur each year on U.S. roads
involve a single vehicle. Equipping cars and SUVs with electronic
stability control (ESC) can reduce the risk of involvement
in these crashes by more than 50 percent. The effect on
all single-vehicle crashes (fatal and nonfatal) is somewhat
less, about 40 percent, and the crashes per registered vehicle
year) of cars and SUVs with ESC as standard equipment versus
prior versions of these vehicles when they weren’t
equipped with ESC or ESC was available only as an option
(very few vehicles were equipped with this option). The
study vehicles were restricted to models with no design
changes except for the addition of ESC. Full
Preliminary Results Analyzing the Effectiveness of Electronic
Stability Control (ESC) Systems
by Jennifer N. Dang National Highway Traffic Administration
Synopsis: Automotive braking technologies have evolved
from very simple systems (i.e., block brakes) to more sophisticated
systems (i.e., cable-operated four-wheel brakes, hydraulic
four-wheel brakes, drum brakes, disc brakes with front-rear
split, etc.). Today, drivers rely on much more technical
systems to help them not only to decelerate and accelerate
but also to stabilize their vehicles while in motion. Antilock
Brake Systems (ABS) are the first of a series of three braking
technology developments. They are four-wheel systems that
prevent wheel lock-up by automatically modulating the brake
pressure when the driver makes an emergency stop. Traction
Control Systems (TCS) are the second technology. They deal
specifically with front-to-back loss of friction between
the vehicle’s tires and the road surface during acceleration.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems are another breakthrough
technology evolving from and incorporating the first two
technologies – ABS and TCS. They are stability enhancement
systems designed to improve vehicles’ lateral stability
by electronically detecting and automatically assisting
drivers in dangerous situations (e.g. understeer and oversteer)
and under unfavorable conditions (rain, snow, sleet, ice).
Previous Perry & Haas News Stories:
David L. Perry of Perry & Haas, Attorneys at Law
2005 Nominee for Trial Lawyer of the Year
Trial lawyers have a special commitment to justice. Their
advocacy skills breathe life into the rights of individuals
and groups that have suffered injustice and harmful abuses.
Every year, trial lawyers provide millions of people with
the means to obtain justice. In the majority of these cases,
the client is an individual who has been damaged in some
way - physically, mentally, emotionally, monetarily - by
the wrongful conduct of a business or corporation.
And every year, the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice selects
a trial lawyer who has taken great risks and overcome incredible
odds to advance the common law, make new laws, and win justice
for their clients and for the common good of the public.
David L. Perry and co-counsel Patrick McGroder of Phoenix,
Arizona have been selected as finalists for this year's
award. One of the reasons was because of their hard fought
legal battle for law enforcement officials against Ford
Crown Victoria Police Cars. For five and a half years, David
L. Perry has prepared to try and then settled nine separate
cases involving police officer burn deaths or injuries.
The Schechterle v. Ford Motor Company case represented the
culmination of those five-plus years with the successful
settlement against Ford Motor Company.
With 12 officers dead as the result of the fiery crashes
in the Crown Victoria Police Cars as well as a number of
civilians in their personal Lincoln Town Cars, Grand Marquis',
and Crown Victorias - which all have the same design problem
- David L. Perry will continue the fight.
Congratulations, David L. Perry, from your clients and
Another Victory for Consumers
Defective Driver's Door and Seatbelt Case - Corona vs. Ford
Father of three children and husband, Juan G. Corona, 33,
was killed on October 28, 1999 when his 1992 Ford Explorer
was struck on the left front side by an intoxicated driver.
The defendant driver was later charged with intoxication/manslaughter.
During the collision, the driver's door of the Explorer
came open. Mr. Corona was ejected and killed, because of
the defective design of both the driver's door latch and
the seat belt in the Explorer. Ford Motor Company entered
into a confidential settlement after two full weeks of trial
$1 Million Memorial Gift Honors Local Man and Generates
Funds for Equipment, Scholarships, and Technical Training
at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Wright vs CITGO
Corpus Christi, Texas - A $1 million memorial gift has
been donated to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
in honor of a local man killed in a refinery explosion two
years ago. Judy Wright, the widow of Lonnie Wright, is donating
$1 million to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Perry
& Haas attorneys who represented her in a lawsuit against
the refinery where Mr. Wright was killed, are supporting
this gift by waiving attorneys fees on that portion of the
According to Dr. Diana Marinez, dean of the College of
Science and Technology, "The gift will have a significant
impact on the future of the University and its students."
For the case overview, click
Texas Man, Attorneys Win Public Service Award
Steven J. Sharp award
Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) will
honor John Caballero of Victoria, Texas, and his attorneys
René Haas and David Perry of Corpus Christi, Texas,
for their roles in improving safety in the workplace and
encouraging responsible corporate decision-making.
Mr. Caballero, Mr. Perry and Ms. Haas will receive the
1999 Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award at ATLA's membership
and awards luncheon during the association's convention
at the Hilton San Francisco and Towers Tuesday, July 20,
from 12-2 p.m.
In 1995, Mr. Caballero was literally scalped and permanently
disabled by a blast of fluid and gas as he was testing a
gas well for Esenjay Petroleum Corporation. Mr. Caballero
won a punitive damage award against Esenjay after his lawyers
demonstrated the company had been grossly negligent in the
care of its wells.
Mr. Caballero, however, turned down the jury verdict in
exchange for Esenjay's promise to institute a new safety
program that would prevent other workers from suffering
similar tragedies. Esenjay agreed to work with a safety
engineer to set up that safety program.
"We felt it was more important to make sure that the
safety measures were started than it was to pursue the money,"
says Mr. Caballero.
Mark Mandell, the president of ATLA, says, "Mr. Caballero's
case is a prime example of the power of the civil justice
system. Punitive damages play a very important role, and
this case proved it. They punish a company for negligent
behavior, but they also deter other companies from employing
similar dangerous practices, and, as in Mr. Caballero's
case, they can be used to bring about important, lifesaving
Since the time of that agreement, Esenjay was sold and
the purchasing company initially did not abide by the agreement
with Mr. Caballero. John Caballero and his attorneys filed
a new lawsuit asking that the company honor the agreement
to improve safety conditions. That lawsuit was settled in
June of this year with the company agreeing to a new safety
Mr. Caballero and his lawyers proved that injured people
and the companies that hurt them can work together for a
common goal—in this case, the safety of others.
"It was historic for the defendant and the plaintiff
in a civil case to come together. I was truly impressed
that John Caballero let neither the desire for money nor
his need for retribution overcome his wish to have his experience
serve to protect others," says Mr. Perry.
Mr. Perry is nationally renowned for his expertise and
success in personal injury trial law, and specializes in
product liability, automotive and negligence cases. His
landmark $106 million victory against Ford Motor Company—which
resulted in forcing the automobile industry to improve fuel
tank design safety—is just one example of his commitment
to defend citizens' rights against unsafe products. He played
a major role in the creation of the Attorneys Information
Exchange , a national legal resource for automotive litigation.
Ms. Haas served as a felony prosecutor and as the first
elected female judge in Nueces County, Texas (Corpus Christi),
before devoting her career to the rights of consumers. She
and Mr. Perry won a $47 million victory in May against General
Motors after a jury found the company negligent in choosing
not to install head restraints in certain pickup trucks.
As in the Caballero case, another family will be forgoing
the damage award ($31 million) as an incentive for the company
to make safety changes. In that case (Harper v. General
Motors), the family of a man who died as a result of injuries
sustained in a GM Chevrolet truck wants GM to use the damage
award money to recall and install, at no charge, head restraints
on trucks without them.
ATLA's Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award is given to
those attorneys and their clients whose cases tell the story
of American civil justice and help educate state and national
policy makers and the public about the importance consumers'
rights. The award honors Steven Sharp of Richland, Oregon,
who lost both arms in 1992 in a defective tractor hay baler.
Sharp won an $8.5 million jury verdict against the tractor
company. The company appealed, but on June 24, 1999, the
Wisconsin State Supreme Court affirmed Sharp's courtroom
ATLA, with more than 56,000 members in the United States,
Canada and abroad, is the world's largest trial bar. It
was established in 1946 to safeguard victims' rights, strengthen
the civil justice system, promote injury prevention, and
foster the disclosure of information critical to public
health and safety.
& Haas does not offer any guarantee of case results.
STRENGTH. INTEGRITY. EXPERTISE.
Past success in litigation does not guarantee success in
any new or future lawsuit.
Our web site describes some of the cases that the attorneys
of Perry & Haas have worked on in the past.
Our description of those cases is summary in nature.
You should be aware that the results obtained in each of
the cases we have worked on was dependent on the particular
facts of each case. The results of other cases will differ
based on the different facts involved.