NEWS & BLOG

Many Texas residents living in oil-and-gas-rich areas of the state, including the Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Barnett Shale and others, have been content to play a waiting game in terms of contending with the influx of drilling rigs and heavy trucks that clogged many state roads for the past couple years. Their presumption is that, once the wells…
The wife of a long-time BNSF employee alleged that her stomach cancer was caused by years of cleaning chemicals off her husband’s work clothes. He and other workers used creosote in making railroad ties and they testified that they often went home caked in the chemical. The plaintiffs apparently presented evidence linking creosote to the wife’s cancer but it…
Excellent piece in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times describing how arbitration is supplanting jury trials. Here’s an excerpt: “Tort reform is a game of bait-and-switch in which ordinary citizens have been snookered by carefully orchestrated and relentless propaganda into seeing a phantom boogeyman in the much-reviled “trial lawyer” who brings “frivolous lawsuits” to “runaway juries” that render “out of control…
Some smart professors at Baylor Law School were skeptical of all the anecdotal “evidence” used by the business and insurance lobbies to push for more restrictions on the rights of injured plaintiffs, so they decided to poll Texas trial judges about “frivolous lawsuits” and “runaway juries.” Here is their conclusion, based on over 300 responses from judges across the…
Jury service in the United States is unique among justice systems worldwide, so much so that American juries have been called the “bulwark of democracy.” In fact, our Founding Fathers believed trial by a jury of one’s peers to be of equal importance with representative government, and both concepts were integral in drafting the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson…
…they’d let civil lawsuits and juries take care of problems like KBR and Halliburton. A congressional committee is investigating what role defense contractor KBR played in the accidental electrocution of at least a dozen soldiers in Iraq during the past five years. The inquiry stems from whether KBR, which is contracted to maintain housing for troops, properly repaired electrical…
A California judge has ruled that Starbucks Corp. must pay baristas in that state more than $100 million for forcing them to share tips with shift supervisors. San Diego Superior Court Judge Patricia Cowett also found that state law prohibits managers and supervisors from profiting from employee gratuities and issued an injunction to stop the practice. Starbucks said it…
Good editorial in today’s Houston Chronicle from Alex Winslow of Texas Watch: Recent reports paint an ugly picture of irresponsible behavior by oil and chemical companies in Texas and across the country. In response to the BP Texas City tragedy, the federal agency responsible for policing workplace safety has started a review of the safety habits of U.S. refineries….