Premises Liability

  • Reagan v. Vaughn changed the law in Texas when the Texas Supreme Court recognized, for the first time, that if a parent’s injury is “serious, permanent and disabling,” a child (both minor and adult children) may recover for the loss of the relationship with their parent. After David Reagan was struck in the head by a baseball bat swung by a bar manager trying to break up a fight, David (now functioning at a six- or seven-year-old level due to the traumatic brain injury) and his daughter hired Fred Hagans to sue the Pasadena bar. After winning at trial, and receiving a verdict for the loss a child incurred from the relationship with an injured father, the appellate process began. Fred Hagans handled the case from the trial court all the way through briefing and oral argument at the Texas Supreme Court.
  • A prominent personal injury lawyer was teaching Houston lawyers about his experience with focus groups and how to get the most out of them when he suddenly fell backwards. The stage he was sitting on top of had not been latched together and the chair he was in fell between the two parts of the stage. The lawyer sued the owners of the hotel where he was speaking but soon hired HMH. After reaching a settlement that helped fund a charitable venture the lawyer was involved in, the lawyer wrote that he had never thought about all he had been through—or what his own clients must go through—until Fred Hagans and William Hagans spent two days with him at his house in Florida digging into the details of his injuries.
  • A businesswoman walked into the breakroom at the oil company where she worked when her feet suddenly slipped out from under her, her body’s full force coming down on her kneecap, shattering it instantly. When her coworkers came to her aid, they saw the “Wet Floor” sign left behind a trashcan against the wall when the cleaning crew hurriedly moved on to the next floor. A lawyer friend of hers put her in touch with William Hagans and Stephanie Taylor. Over the next two years, HMH took depositions, reviewed documents, and attended hearings. The defendant company was sanctioned after they told their fourth story about what happened. Finally, and without trial, the defendant’s insurance company agreed to pay significantly more than even the businesswoman—a career risk manager at large Houston companies—could have ever imagined. “They always did what they said that they were going to do,” the client said, “and they achieved beyond that.”