Attorney Steven Kherkher Wins $46.5 Million Verdict Against Monsanto

Yesterday, attorney Steven Kherkher of Williams Kherkher won a $46.5 million verdict against Monsanto and three other companies in a 10-2 jury decision in a St. Louis Circuit Court. Kherkher represented 3 plaintiffs in this case – which is just the latest in a string of lawsuits against Monsanto – alleging that Monsanto was aware of a connection between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but that they continued to market the compounds as safe for use into the 1970s.

The jury award included $17.5 million for the three named plaintiffs in the case, as well as another $29 million in punitive damages against Monsanto and the three other defendants. When asked about the jury’s decision, a 24-year-old juror in the case stated “I think it goes to show that large companies can put stuff out there that’s harmful and they can do it for along [sic] time but that justice is going to be served whether it’s a year after the products are put out, or in this case, 80 years.”

From 1935 to 1977, Monsanto was the leading manufacturer of PCBs in the United States, which were used widely in paint, food packaging materials, and industrial equipment, among other products. The EPA banned the use of PCBs in 1979, stating that “PCBs have caused birth defects and cancer in laboratory animals, and they are a suspected cause of cancer and adverse skin and liver effects in humans.”


John Boundas named to Super Lawyers

At Williams Kherkher, we are proud to announce that John Boundas, a partner here at the firm, has been selected to Super Lawyers once again; John has earned the recognition each and every year since 2009.  He was also named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in both 2004 and 2009.

In order to be selected to Super Lawyers, attorneys must pass through a four step selection process in which they are nominated by peers, evaluated through independent research, evaluated by their peers, and then finally selected for recognition. Only 5% of lawyers are actually selected to Super Lawyers. That being said, our entire team would like to congratulate John on his fine work and for once again earning this recognition.


Update on OGA Charters Bus Accident

Officials have reported that a total of 8 individuals were killed and 44 others injured in Saturday’s OGA Charters rollover bus accident that occurred near Laredo, Texas. Additionally, records provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have revealed that OGA Charters has twice been ordered by regulators to address safety concerns with one of their buses.

In May of 2015, Louisiana state inspectors ordered OGA Charters to take one of its buses out of rotation so that they could address concerns with the vehicle’s brakes and emergency exit. The company was again ordered to remove this bus from the road in August of 2015 when the problems worsened.

It is unclear if the bus involved in Saturday’s accident is the same bus at the center of these 2015 safety concerns.


OGA Charters bus accident results in 8 deaths, approximately 40 injuries

Photo: Danny Zaragoza/LMT

Photo: Danny Zaragoza/LMT

A devastating OGA Charters bus crash on U.S. 83 in South Texas has resulted in the deaths of 8 passengers and has left around 40 people injured. Webb County officials have reported that the bus originated in the Rio Grande Valley and was on its way to the Kickapoo Lucky Casino Hotel in Eagle Pass, which is about 125 miles northwest of Laredo.

The highway at the scene of the one-vehicle rollover accident remained closed this afternoon as emergency crews and investigators continued their work at the site.

It is always tragic to hear about accidents on Texas highways, especially those involving high-volume passenger vehicles, like buses. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families of those involved.


Massive four-alarm warehouse fire in Houston releases hazardous materials

It took nearly 200 firefighters and 65 fire units to bring a fire that burned through a warehouse complex at 1700 Laverne Street under control earlier today. Authorities suspect that hazardous materials burned in the fire and declared it a “‘hazardous material incident,’” according to NBCDFW.com. The fire is believed to have moved through a number of businesses, including a gun store and company that “fills and labels containers of ‘powders, granules, liquids, and gels.’”

Out of concern for the hazardous materials that may have been consumed in the fire, authorities ordered residents of the nearby Spring Branch neighborhood to stay in their homes until the fire was contained. Additionally, fire officials recommended that residents actively take steps to prevent smoke from entering their homes. Neighborhood residents were eventually allowed to leave their homes around 2 p.m.

The fire is believed to have started in the back yard of a nearby home at around 10 a.m. before then jumping over to the warehouse complex. Though the exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined, it is currently under investigation by authorities. As of now, no injuries have been reported.


Symptoms of Risperdal-Caused Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is the enlargement or swelling of the male breasts and is typically caused by a hormonal imbalance (estrogen and testosterone). Risperdal-caused enlargement has the possibility to develop in one or both breasts, and the formation of the breasts may also be asymmetrical or uneven. While gynecomastia does not necessarily endanger the health of those affected, it can have a psychological impact due to embarrassment of the child. In some cases, the trauma or psychological damage can continue into adulthood, which could pose more serious risks.

Some of the physical symptoms of Risperdal-caused gynecomastia include the following:

  • Noticeable growth in the breast area
  • Enlargement and swelling of the nipples
  • Unexplained discharge from the nipples
  • Pain and tenderness in the breast area

If your child was prescribed Risperdal and suffered from gynecomastia, discuss the legal options available to you with the experienced team at Williams Kherkher. Call our office at (800) 220-9341 to learn more about what we can do to help you and your family.


What are the serious side effects of power morcellators?

A power morcellator is an electric device used for surgery, such as laparoscopic hysterectomy or a myomectomy, and its function is to break down large pieces of tissue into smaller fragments. The cut-up tissue is then removed from the body through a small incision. The device resembles a tube with blades used to shred targeted tissue.

Unfortunately, there are some extremely serious side effects that an individual may experience after a procedure done with a morcellator:

  • Bleeding
  • Obstruction of bowel
  • Significant bruising in the area
  • Reoccurrence of fibroids (or the spread of fibroids to different body parts)
  • Damage to the organs
  • Excruciating pain on the site of the incision
  • Pain on the abdomen and the pelvis
  • Soreness of the muscle

A warning by the FDA shocked medical communities after they stated that power morcellators have a tendency to break apart and spread undetected cancer in women. If you have suffered from the aggressive growth of cancer after undergoing a medical procedure that made use of a power morcellator, please speak with our lawyers at Williams Kherkher. Call us today at (800) 220-9341 to learn more about your rights.


One injured in Pasadena refinery explosion

One worker was injured in a refinery explosion that occurred just after 10 am on Saturday, March 5, at Pasadena Refining System, Inc. (PRSI). According to reports, the explosion and subsequent fire occurred while a compressor was starting up. Officials believe that during this process, some hydrogen was released which ignited diesel fuel that was in the unit.

The worker who was injured in the incident suffered a flash burn to the head and was taken to Bayshore Medical Center in Pasadena to receive treatment. While responders worked to put out the fire at the plant, a plume of smoke rose to great enough heights that the Houston Ship Channel had to be shut down temporarily.

This particular plant has a history of environmental violations.


Attorney Margret Lecocke to Speak on Panel at 39th Annual Labor-Management Conference

Attorney Margret Lecocke from Williams Kherkher will be speaking on Friday, March 4th, at the 39th Annual Labor-Management Conference hosted by the Southwest/Rockies Region of the National Academy of Arbitrators and the Greater Houston Chapter of the Labor and Employment Research Association.

The conference will run from Mach 3rd through the 5th and will take place at the Double Tree Hotel near Houston’s Hobby Airport. Margret Lecocke’s panel will take place on Friday morning and is titled “Red Light – Green Light with a Twist: Arbitrators and Advocates in the Hot Seat.”


Attorneys from Williams Kherkher to Volunteer Time at HBA LegalLine

This Wednesday, March 2nd, several attorneys from the team at Williams Kherkher will be volunteering at the Houston Bar Association’s LegalLine. Since 1986, the Houston Bar Association has been providing their LegalLine service to residents of Harris County on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month.

On these dates, members of the community can call in from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and talk to licensed attorneys who are there to provide free legal advice, legal referrals, and offer other kinds of assistance to those who might not otherwise be able to afford legal help.

The team at Williams Kherkher is once again honored to have the opportunity to serve the Houston community through such an important and impactful program.


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