BCH Sues Over Missouri Man Killed in Boat Explosion

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC and The Wilbers Law Firm have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Brunswick Corporation, Sea Ray Boats, and Brunswick Boat Group on behalf of the bereaved mother and two children of a St. Louis, Missouri man killed in a boat explosion.

As detailed in the complaint, the decedent boarded a boat with other passengers for a fun day at the Lake of the Ozarks. Unfortunately, the day took an unexpected and fatal turn. When the 33-foot Sea Ray boat was about to leave the dock after refueling, it “exploded in a massive fireball.” The explosion ejected the decedent’s friends from the boat, while the boat driver had to flee the burning vessel by jumping into the water. The decedent could not escape the boat and was burned to death in the fiery blaze.

Read more about this case on our press release.

BCH is proud to advocate for personal injury victims and their loved ones. Driven by our passion for helping others, our national trial lawyers work hard to earn the trust of our clients and to win them the justice they deserve. To speak with an experienced lawyer, contact BCH online today.

BCH Brings Wrongful Death Suit Over Long Island Man’s Fatal Onewheel Nosedive

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC has filed a new wrongful death lawsuit over alleged product defects associated with the Onewheel self-balancing transportation device.

As stated in the complaint, our firm represents the family of a man who was involved in a crash in August 2020 while riding his Onewheel device down a Long Island road. The lawsuit claims that while the man was riding on flat, paved road, his Onewheel suddenly shut off and nosedived, causing him to be thrown from the board. The incident was seen by several witnesses and recorded on video, the lawsuit states.

As a result of allegedly being thrown from his board, the man sustained severe head and brain trauma, multiple fractures, broken ribs, a broken arm, and a punctured lung. Despite receiving medical attention after his crash, he died from his injuries in September 2020.

Read more about the lawsuit on this press release.

The latest lawsuit follows several wrongful death and personal injury claims brought by BCH on behalf of victims and families across the country. As with other Onewheel lawsuits, the new filing accuses Future Motion of failing to uphold duties to safely design, manufacture, and market its Onewheel device.

BCH Files Wrongful Death Suit Over Future Motion’s Onewheel “Nosedive”

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC has filed a product liability lawsuit over the wrongful death of a father who suffered fatal brain injuries while riding a Onewheel device that abruptly shut off and nosedived.

What is Onewheel?

Onewheel is a self-balancing electric transport device – sometimes referred to as an electric skateboard or hover board – manufactured and marketed by Silicon Valley-based Future Motion Inc. (FM).

Though it uses a deck similar to that of a skateboard, it is powered by a single heavy tire and gyroscopes / accelerometers designed to keep riders level and allow them to steer by shifting body positioning. It can reach speeds of 20 mph or more.

Though the OneWheel and OneWheel+ XR have become popular, there have been growing concerns over injuries suffered by riders, as well as possible defects like the Onewheel nosedive – a scenario in which the motor may unexpectedly shut down, causing the board to slam forward, strike the ground, and send riders into what can be serious crashes.

That’s what happened to the victim in this case.

About the Lawsuit: Onewheel Nosedive Causes Fatal Injuries

Filed in California Superior Court for the County of Santa Cruz, the wrongful death lawsuit claims that one of the Onewheel’s key features – arguably its most dangerous – is that it provides a “pushback” when approaching the device’s limits of use, as well as when “regenerating” power on downhill grades to charge its battery.

However, the lawsuit notes, it is often the case that rather than solely providing a pushback, which is allegedly designed to warn riders to avoid dangerous situations, the Onewheel may abruptly lose its ability to help maintain balance, nosedive, and throw riders off the device. Different factors – such as a rider’s weight, tire pressure, battery level, speed, and grade of incline or decline – may also cause the Onewheel nosedive.

In our case, the victim had been riding his Onewheel on flat pavement in a Houston neighborhood park when, upon information and belief, the device experienced a nosedive, causing him to be thrown forward from the board. He experienced severe brain trauma in the crash, and later died during surgery.

Read more about the lawsuit here.

Our clients allege that the fatal crash occurred because:

Fighting for Onewheel Accident Victims Nationwide

Our trial attorneys at BCH intend to fight for the justice our clients deserve, and for compensation of the damages they suffered as a result of this tragedy. We are hopeful this case will highlight the dangers allegedly associated with the Onewheel, and compel FM into taking responsibility for its products and any harms they may have caused others.

Our legal team is aware many other consumers have experienced crashes, injuries, and potential defects with their Onewheel devices – including sudden shut offs and the notorious Onewheel nosedive. We are available to review potential claims from victims and families nationwide. Contact us to speak with a lawyer.

BCH Files Suit Against Monsanto Over Roundup Cancer Claims

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC has filed a lawsuit against global agricultural giant Monsanto over claims that its signature weed killer Roundup caused a Texas man’s fatal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Missouri, where Monsanto Company is based, on behalf of the man’s surviving spouse and two daughters. It claims:

Read more on this press release.

The 35-page civil complaint details claims of Monsanto’s unscrupulous conduct in developing the world’s most popular herbicide; from ghostwritten studies and intimidation tactics designed to conceal what it knew about risks associated with the glyphosate, to its repeated failures to ensure the safety of consumers who used Roundup.

Monsanto, which was recently acquired by German-based Bayer, is facing thousands of claims from victims and families whose lives were altered by non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other blood cancer diagnoses they say were caused by long-term use of Roundup and similar glyphosate-containing products. Juries in the first trials in the litigation have awarded billions of dollars in compensation to victims.

Call to Discuss Your Case

BCH will be aggressively litigating this matter on behalf of the family and is actively investigating potential claims from others who believe they may have a potential claim. This includes farmers, landscapers/groundskeepers, property owners, and anyone diagnosed with NHL after using Roundup or similar glyphosate herbicides.

Our Texas Roundup injury lawyers serve clients nationwide, and are known as national-caliber trial attorneys with proven success in complex, high-stakes litigation involving dangerous products, toxic exposure, and wrongful death. Call or contact us online to speak with a lawyer.

Texas Officials Link Man's Death to Exploding Vape Pen as Lawsuits Over Dangerous Devices Pile Up

A man from Fort Worth, Texas died after his vape pen exploded and severed a major artery, local officials say. A report from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office shows the 24-year-old victim’s fatal injury was sustained as a result of a vaporizer pen that exploded while he was attempting to use it.

According to KHOU 11, the victim had purchased a vaporizer pen from a local vape store in Keller, Texas. When he attempted to use it in a vehicle, the battery exploded and sent debris flying into his face and neck. He was able to exit the vehicle and search for help before being rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries two days after being admitted.

Imaging tests performed on the victim showed metal from the vape pen embedded in his neck and that his left carotid artery, which carries blood to the brain, had been dissected. It remains unclear as to what type of vape pen the victim had been using. The store where he purchased the pen has not issued any comments to the media.

Exploding Vape Pens: Serious Risks of Injury & Death Prompt Lawsuits

The tragedy involving this victim, who would have celebrated his 25th birthday this month, is unfortunately not the only one involving vaporizer pens. According to reports, the first wrongful death lawsuit involving a fatal vape pen explosion was filed in California in late 2017 over the death of a New York man who was killed when using a vape pen in his home in 2015. Just 9 months ago, officials linked the death of a South Florida man to an exploding vape pen which sent shrapnel into his skull. The incidents have raised a number of concerns over consumer safety involving vape pens.

Vape pens, or e-cigarettes, are devices which use small heating elements to vaporize liquid solutions, sometimes called “juice,” as well as solutions containing extracted CBD and / or THC components of marijuana popular in states with legalized medicinal or recreational cannabis. Though there are many devices currently on the market, they generally consist of a battery component (typically thin cylindrical lithium-ion batteries) and a cartridge, which contains the solution to be vaporized. They may automatically activate a heating coil when a user takes a “drag,” or manually when a button is pressed.

A study from the UNT Health Science Center recently published in Tobacco Control has found that between 2015 and 2017, U.S. emergency rooms reported more than 2,000 explosions and burn injuries involving e-cigs. The report also noted there were likely many more which went unreported.

The Problem with Vape Pens

Lithium-ion batteries used in many vape pens have layers of metallic anode and cathode materials which are separated by a porous film containing a liquid electrolyte that can explode or ignite when batteries overheat. While lithium-ion batteries are used to power many consumer products, such as laptops, cell phones, or power tools, advocates say they're often too powerful and under-regulated when they’re used in vape pens, making the devices more prone to overheating and more likely to injure users.

Faulty vape pens pose significant dangers to consumers, particularly when they explode or catch fire while they are in a user’s mouth, near their face or neck, or in their pocket, or while the user is driving a motor vehicle. In such situations, victims face elevated risks of suffering serious harm, including:

As stories from victims and research come to light, the dangers of vape pens and e-cigs are becoming clear. Often marketed as safer alternatives to combustible tobacco and traditional cigarettes, these devices can be dangerous and deadly – especially when companies that have an obligation to ensure the safety of their products fail to meet their legal duty of care.

E-Cig, Vape Pen Lawsuits on the Rise

Lawsuits over vape pens implicated in serious injuries or deaths have been steadily increasing. In many cases, these lawsuits focus on product liability, and raise claims against:

These lawsuits often focus on the negligence of in-person and online retailers that sold defective and dangerous vape pens and vape pen products, as well as manufacturers of the products themselves. As with other personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, these claims provide victims and families with an opportunity to hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligence, and to raise awareness about significant dangers and the need to ensure better regulatory oversight. They also allow them to seek financial compensation for what can be substantial damages involving medical bills and future medical needs, lost income or earning potential, physical pain and suffering, emotional injuries, and more. Juries in these cases have awarded millions in favor of victims injured as a result of e-cig explosions.

Injured? Nationwide Trial Attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC Can Help.

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC is a national law practice with a reputation for securing proven results on behalf of victims and families in complex personal injury cases, including those involving serious injuries and wrongful death caused by dangerous and defective products. If you have questions about a potential claim involving an exploding vape pen or e-cigarette anywhere in Texas or the U.S., our attorneys are available to discuss your rights and options during a free, in-depth consultation.

Call or contact us online to speak with a lawyer.

Texas Trial Lawyers Association Files Amicus Brief Over Judge James Farris Asbestos Case

The Texas Trial Lawyers Association (TTLA) filed an amicus brief in response to a Texas appeals court throwing out Ellarene Farris’ suit against Jefferson County earlier this year. She accused the county of exposing Judge James Farris, her husband to asbestos while working in the courthouse. He died nine days after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2004.

The case was tossed out by the appeals court on the basis that Judge Farris hasn’t been exposed to asbestos in December of 1996 when he retired. The court argued that the six month exposure window closed back in 1997 – however, the decision was not unanimous. Justice Terry Jennings dissented, stating that,

“Based on the majority’s reasoning, Judge Farris was required to provide Jefferson County with notice of a premature and speculative claim within six months of December 1996,” said Justice Jennings. “Because Judge Farris had not suffered any damage or injury, and did not even arguably have a claim against Jefferson County, until nine days before his death, I would hold that Ellarene’s notice, provided within six months of Judge Farris’s first symptoms and, ultimately terminal, mesothelioma diagnosis, was timely.”

In its amicus brief, the TTLA urged the court to grant a rehearing and adopt Justice Jennings’ dissent as the opinion of the court.

“The majority of a panel of this Court held that the notice should have been given eight years earlier, immediately after Judge Farris’s last exposure, but well before he had knowledge of any of the elements required to be included in the notice,” the TTLA wrote. “In so doing, the panel majority completely ignored the statute’s requirements for the contents of the notice–the substantive elements of the claim. As the panel dissent notes, notice can only be given after a claim has accrued, or after there has been “damage or injury”… If the panel majority had followed this Court’s methodological precedent, it would have avoided that absurd result by construing the statute as a whole.”

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, which represents Ellarene Farris, hopes to see the court’s decision to throw out her case reversed. She deserves to see justice for her husband’s wrongful death. Our Houston mesothelioma attorneys are available by phone, or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation with a member of our firm.

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BCH Client's Asbestos Wrongful Death Case Moves on to the United States Supreme Court

BCH attorneys representing Jeanette Poage recently filed a brief with the US Supreme Court in opposition to Crane Co.’s latest appeal of the $11.5 million jury verdict.

Jeanette Poage, the widow of James Poage, received $1.5 million for wrongful death and $10 million in punitive damages after her husband died of mesothelioma he contracted after working on a World War II-era ship, the USS Haynsworth, between 1954 and 1958.

Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC attorneys Robert Cowan, who is listed as counsel of record, and Aaron Heckaman, together with their highly successful Missouri co-appellate-counsel, Michael Gross and Joe Yeckel, filed the brief in opposition on February 20.

You can read more about the history of this case here:

At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, our Houston mesothelioma lawyers are committed to fighting for the rights of injured victims in order to secure them the maximum compensation possible. Call our firm to speak with one of our lawyers over the phone, or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation and get started on taking the next step in your case today.

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Jeanette Poage Jury Verdict Upheld by Missouri Supreme Court

The Missouri Supreme Court recently upheld the original $11.5 million jury verdict won by Jeanette Poage after hearing an appeal by Crane Co.

Poage filed her lawsuit after her husband, James Poage, died of mesothelioma back in 2012. He was a machinist on the USS Haynsworth in the 1950’s, where he worked to maintain the valves, including replacing parts as needed. According to the original lawsuit, some of the parts handled by Mr. Poage contained asbestos. You can read more about the details of the case in our blog covering the previous appeal filed by Crane Co.

Crane Co. continued their attempts to appeal the initial court decision, but the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the original verdict.

“In the present case, Mr. Poage suffered more than mere economic damages,” the justices wrote in their decision. “Mesothelioma is a gruesome disease. Dr. Pantaleoni explained the effects it has on one's body: “[Y]ou can have your lungs compressed so you suffocate and die, it can choke off your stomach so that you starve to death or it can choke off your throat so you can't eat and you die.” Moreover, detecting the disease is very difficult. Dr. Arnold Brody testified that the duration of time between an individual's exposure to asbestos until symptoms of mesothelioma occurring usually spans “20 to 80 years,” but most cases involved a latency period of “30 to 50 years” or “40 to 50 years.” In Mr. Poage's case, he left the Navy in 1958, and he was not diagnosed with mesothelioma until September of 2011. The time between the inhalation of the asbestos dust and its manifestation of physical symptoms makes it much more difficult to detect the “harm.””

Crane Co. may file another appeal, but we are ready to stand by our client and fight until she receives the justice she deserves.

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be able to file a lawsuit to secure the compensation you deserve. At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, our Houston mesothelioma attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of injured victims and will provide you with the support you need in and out of the courtroom. Call us to speak with an attorney today, or send us the details of your case by filling out our online form and start out with a free case evaluation.

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Employee of Nabors Industries Dies After Injury

Off the Gulf of Mexico last week, an employee of Nabors Industries was working on another company’s oil and gas platform after suffering an injury. The employee was working on a rig for Whistler Energy II, a Houston-based company working on a Gulf drilling project. The executive vice president and CEO of the company declined to go into many details of the accident, but did state that there was no explosion.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is investigating the matter, but there were no reports of other injuries. Furthermore, there was no evidence of an explosion, pollution, or fire.

The drilling project was temporarily halted, but the gas and oil production was not suspended because it was on a separate deck than the accident.

Any kind of on-the-job injury is difficult to endure, but when it results in a fatality, it can be devastating. These are difficult situations because the worker was contracted from Nabors Industries and was working on the Whistler Energy II platform. It’s important to determine the exact cause of the accident and what could have caused the fatal injury. This can help the family of the decedent file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party or parties.

At Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC, our attorneys know that any time an accident results in a fatal injury, it is a sensitive situation for the family of the victim. We are compassionate to the needs of our clients. This is a time when you need someone taking a stand for your rights and the rights of the decedent.

If you lost someone close to you, call our firm and learn what kind of options you may have. We are here for you and your family and we ready to help you through this difficult time.