The recent record verdict by a Harris county jury of 82.5 million dollars for the family of a man killed in an explosion at a natural gas processing plant is the result of specific trial strategy, says one Houston attorney.
Board certified personal injury attorney Rob Ammons helped the jury to see company that constructed, engineered and installed a Cleburne natural gas processing plant was negligent in the death of a Mineral Wells, Texas man. Hanover Compression LP, now known as Exterran Energy Solutions LP of Houston was ordered to pay $82.5 million dollars in compensatory damages to the deceased's family, together with Quicksilver Resources Inc., the owner of the plant that was found partly negligent.
"There were a variety of strategies that were used in this case," Says Ammons. "Number one was to introduce the jury to the decedent, to Josh Petrie. And he was just a wonderful young man. But we also wanted to show the jury (and we did) the incentives that the companies have, and where their priorities were, fact that they did literally place their profit, or their pocketbook, over the safety of workers. And that they made decisions that which knowingly compromised safety."
Ammons says other factors contributed to the success of the case as well, including jury visualization. "We had a furnace that exploded because a company did not meet its obligation to comply with the safety standard. So, through a computer-aided animation, we showed how and why the furnace exploded, as it was installed by this company. And we also showed what would have happened, under the same circumstances, if the safety standard had been followed."
Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons' law practice, The Ammons Law Firm, is located in Houston, Texas. The Ammons Law Firm practice is exclusively personal injury law, handling such cases as tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers, and workplace negligence.