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September 2020

$416 Million Verdict
$416 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

The stakes were high for a petroleum geologist who studied a potential oil and gas reserve when she took her research to a major oil and gas production company hoping to partner with them in the production of this field. She believed she was meeting in confidence with people she could trust. Unfortunately, they misled her into believing her predictions were wrong. When she discovered later that this same company was producing in this field, she knew she had been duped. But, proving a theft of trade secret case against a major oil company was not going to be easy. We worked closely with our client to understand the research and data she collected. We knew we would have to present complex facts to a jury in a clear and concise manner in order to prevail. The oil and gas company spent tremendous amounts of money trying to set legal traps and creating hurdles for our client. When that did not work, they resorted to personal attacks on our client. Fortunately, she was never dissuaded by their tactics and successfully proved the company intentionally stole her idea and profited from it.

$143.4 Million Verdict
$143.4 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

When an underground liquid natural gas storage cavern exploded and destroyed over 20 residents homes and property, CMZ took on the case many firms were unwilling to take. After taking numerous depositions and months of discovery, CMZ collected the evidence proving three gas and pipeline companies had pumped far more gas into the cavern than they were allowed under their operating permit. There were numerous flaws in operating and safety procedures. The facility was unstaffed and people in charge of monitoring alarms were extremely slow to respond. Unbelievably, the companies showed no remorse and believed they had already suffered enough because they had to spend money to update the facility after the blast. The jury saw it differently and awarded $5.5 Million in compensation to cover the extensive losses in property values and damages from the blast plus $138 Million in punitive damages. The jury foreperson was quoted as saying, “this should make real statement for safety concerning something as dangerous as this gas.”

$55 Million Verdict
$55 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

When a giant oil company thought it could get away with stealing the oil royalties from poor folks in a small East Texas community, they thought our clients would not fight back. They were wrong. Our clients had no money to fight an oil company or pay an attorney. But, we agreed to take their case. The oil company had engaged in a scheme to mislead the royalty owners and steal their money. We filed suit and took them to task. The jury convicted the company of theft of oil royalties and awarded our clients the money they should have been paid.

$27.8 Million
$27.8 Million 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

CMZ represented the owners of a company who merged with a larger competitor company. The merger provided stock in the larger competitor company to our clients. A few days after the merger, the larger competitor announced that its fourth-quarter earnings were below expectations. Our clients had been provided with financial documents and a prospectus that showed a much higher value for the stock than what the company reported a few days later. Our clients had obviously been deceived and received much less in value that what their company was worth. CMZ filed suit in state court and the competitor company and invoked an arbitration clause. CMZ represented our clients in arbitration and sought the difference in value of the stock given at the time of the merger and the value of the stock after the revelation of the less than expected earnings. The arbitration panel agreed our clients had been deceived and awarded the difference in stock values we sought for our clients.

$16.9 Million Verdict
$16.9 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

Civil litigation has helped make our communities and the products we use safer. At CMZ, when a Houston escalator injured a young boy, we took action. The escalator industry was aware the movement of an escalator could pinch and hold shoes between the steps and side rail of an escalator. Through discovery, CMZ found a memo written by the CEO of the escalator manufacturer describing this particular condition as “unreasonably dangerous.” And, it was especially dangerous for children because their shoes are smaller and they oftentimes stand near the side of the escalator as they ride up or down. The industry also knew a very inexpensive guard existed which would prevent people from being injured in this manner. Unfortunately, escalator companies did not want to pay to retrofit dangerous escalators. As a result, our client, a 4 year old boy lost 3 toes when his shoe became trapped and his foot was mangled in the escalator. Because CMZ and our clients exposes this problem within the industry and a jury was willing to stand up and hold them accountable, escalators are safer for us all today.

$16.7 Million Verdict
$16.7 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

Our client was stopped on the road waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so he could make a left turn into a restaurant for lunch when he was suddenly rear-ended by a large moving truck. The impact was so severe it paralyzed him from the waist down. The moving company refused to accept responsibility and attempted to shift the blame to other motor carriers. It even sued Ford Motor Company claiming a defective seat in our client’s vehicle was the cause of our client’s paralysis. The case involved complex legal issues regarding motor carrier regulations, corporate liability, contracts, and defenses. The moving company thought it would be able to bury us in motions and legal fights in order to keep a jury from ever hearing the facts of this case. But, like David against Goliath, CMZ was able to meet every challenge and obstacle and obtain justice for our client.

$9.6 Million Verdict
$9.6 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

When tragedy struck this East Texas family, they reached out to CMZ to help find answers. A pickup truck crossed the centerline of the highway striking our client head on. The wreck killed both drivers. The pickup truck driver had no driver’s license and the insurance company wanted to settle quickly with our clients, but our clients wanted answers. CMZ filed suit and discovered not only was the driver unlicensed, but also that he was working at the time of the wreck. And, that he had been working over 24 hours without rest when the wreck occurred. The employee had been working in the Beaumont area and was attempting to drive back to company headquarters in Fort Worth when the wreck occurred. The employer attempted to escape liability claiming its employee had been ordered to stay in Beaumont and rest before returning to Fort Worth and that he had disobeyed company orders. However, CMZ was able to track down co-workers who testified that was not true. And, CMZ obtained records proving these employees were routinely working long hours without rest while driving company vehicles all over the State of Texas. Moreover, the company claimed it wasn’t aware the driver had no license. But, CMZ was able to prove in fact most of the drivers this company used were unlicensed. Because our clients refused to settle and demanded answers, this company was forced to change its unsafe practices to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

$8 Million Verdict
$8 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

When a high profile public official was subjected to multiple instances of slander and defamation by a media outlet, he called CMZ. Slander and defamation laws, especially pertaining to public officials, are complex and these cases are very difficult to prove. Through extensive discovery, we were able to prove the false statements were made recklessly with the intent to harm our client. The media outlet refused to settle and insisted on a trial by jury. After hearing the overwhelming evidence, the jury agreed with CMZ and awarded significant damages.

$8 Million Verdict
$8 Million Verdict 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

The life of this couple was forever changed following a wreck that occurred when our client was struck by a tire that broke loose from an oncoming vehicle. A few days before the crash, the tires had been rotated at a nationally known retail store. CMZ was able to prove through documentation that the store had in fact worked on the tires and through expert testimony that the technicians had failed to obtain the proper torque on the tires lug nuts when re-installing the tires. Our client sustained a traumatic brain injury that permanently affected his ability to work and his relationship with his wife. The jury awarded a significant amount to her for the loss of the love and joy she experienced as well as the income he will be unable to earn for the remainder of his life.

$5 Million Settlement
$5 Million Settlement 150 150 CMZ Law Lufkin/Houston

This heartbreaking story arose when a well known food manufacturer began marketing a nutritional supplement marketed to people with the inability to eat regular foods. Our client was a __ year old boy who died in his father’s arms as his father fed him a bottle of the formula. The product had been marketed to doctors and dieticians who believed the product was safe for this young boy. Unbeknownst to anyone but the food company, the product had undisclosed allergens that were fatal to people with certain food allergies. The young boy literally choked in his father’s arms. The food manufacturer attempted to blame our client’s underlying medical conditions and other factors as the cause of his untimely death. More shocking was the assertion that his life had little to no value because of those underlying conditions. The parents of this young man fought to make this company admit its mistake and change its marketing and labeling practices so this would not happen to anyone else.

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