Attorney Mike Pierce
Mike Pierce joined Arnold & Itkin LLP as an associate in 2007 and became a partner in the firm in 2011. As a member of Arnold & Itkin LLP, Mike contributes his extensive experience in handling cases involving medical malpractice, products liability, and maritime law. During his time with Arnold & Itkin LLP, Mike has tried more than 20 cases to verdict in state and federal courts in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma.
Mike grew up in a small town outside Shreveport, Louisiana, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University. He went on to earn his law degree, with honors, from the Baylor University School of Law, where he received numerous academic awards. He also served as an associate editor of the Baylor Law Review and as a member of the Baylor Moot Court Team.
Following law school, Mike accepted a position at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country. During his time at the firm, Mike successfully represented healthcare providers and insurance companies in a wide range of litigation matters in both state and federal courts as well as in administrative proceedings before the Texas Department of Insurance.
Throughout his career, Mike has always focused on providing innovative and persuasive solutions to legal problems, with a particular focus on preparing cases for trial. As a result, Mike has consistently achieved positive results for his clients.
For his work, Mike has been recognized as one of the "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" in Texas by the American Trial Lawyers Association, has been selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ Edition from 2010 to 2013, and has earned membership in both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. In addition, Mike's verdicts were listed in Verdict Search's Top TX Verdicts of 2009 and 2010.
Mike Pierce's Results
The following are examples of cases in which Mike has served as lead counsel or had primary responsibility for the verdict or settlement. The client's portion of the total recovery may have been subject to medical liens and other third-party claims. These past results are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims. Each case presents its own unique facts and legal issues.
$117 Million Verdict Won for Ambulance Accident Victim
Arnold & Itkin, LLP successfully tried a case on behalf of the victim of a severe ambulance accident. The plaintiff had been seven months pregnant and experiencing stomach pain when she called Acadian Ambulances to pick her up and transport her to the hospital in December 2010. The driver of the ambulance who picked her up had a history of bad driving and poor vision. When driving down LA-1 North, he dropped his RSI device onto the floor. Without reducing speed, he leaned down to locate and grab it – completely looking away from the road. During this time, he drove the ambulance into the back of a sugar cane truck. The plaintiff's spine was severed at T4 during the accident and she sustained serious brain injuries. There is no chance of a full recovery and she will be in a wheel chair for the rest of her life.
At the time of the verdict, she had already sustained medical bills in excess of $1.4 million, with an estimated cost of $30 million for her future care plan. After the accident, her unborn daughter was prematurely delivered; since then, both the infant and the plaintiff's other daughter have gone to live with their grandmother.
Arnold & Itkin, LLP was able to successfully prove fault on behalf of the ambulance driver and succeeded in obtaining a $117 million verdict for the mother, as well as her two daughters.
$14 Million Settlement in Jones Act Seaman Case
Kurt Arnold, Jason Itkin, and Mike Pierce resolved a Jones Act seaman case for $14 million two days before trial. Arnold & Itkin LLP represented the seaman after he suffered a head injury on the Hercules 15 inland barge. The Hercules 15 was located in Lake Washington, Louisiana at the time of the incident. Hercules employees tack welded a three foot pipe to the derrick and then forgot to remove it before starting drilling operations. The pipe was jarred loose and hit Plaintiff in the head. The case was filed in Galveston County Court in March 2008. The case was set for trial February 2, 2009. Hercules settled the entire case for $14 million on the eve of trial.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $5,894,230.17.
$11.6 Million Verdict Won by Arnold & Itkin
Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Jason Itkin, and Michael Pierce won a $11.6 million jury verdict in a Houston, Texas case involving a worker who suffered a catastrophic injury that resulted in the loss of most of the sight in one of his eyes. The jury deliberated for only a day and a half before finding the defendant liable for designing a faulty piece of equipment that led to the injuries. The pretrial settlement offer was less than $300,000.00.
$3.8 Jury Verdict for Worker Injured in Basket Transfer
Arnold & Itkin, LLP won a $3.8 million jury verdict on behalf of an offshore contractor who was injured during a basket transfer that went wrong. The injured worker was from Jeanerette, Louisiana and was hurt while attempting to transfer from a crew boat to a jack up rig in rough seas. Arnold & Itkin's client eventually needed surgery on his back and neck to treat his injuries. The crew boat company argued that the accident never even occurred and that the man's surgeries were unnecessary. Arnold & Itkin proved these allegations were wrong. Before trial, the defendant only offered $200,000 to settle the case, but settled after the trial for $3 million to help the client and his family move on with their lives. The case was tried in St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana with the Honorable John E. Conery presiding.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $1,448,403.42.
$2,500,000 Verdict for Amputee
Arnold & Itkin LLP attorneys Mike Pierce and Kurt Arnold obtained a $2.5 million verdict in a products liability case involving a defectively manufactured tiller handle steering mechanism for an outboard motor. The defective tiller handle broke after the bottom of the outboard motor struck a submerged object. The boat spun out of control as a direct result of the handle breaking. The plaintiff suffered a severe injury to his right arm necessitating amputation of the arm. Several law firms declined to take the case due to the difficulty in proving a manufacturing defect without the defective handle, which was discarded by a third party shortly after the accident. Arnold & Itkin LLP aggressively prosecuted the case. Defendant made no pretrial settlement offers. Mike Pierce and Kurt Arnold obtained a favorable verdict in the Sixteenth Judicial District Court of Cameron Parish Louisiana.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $1,294,825.55.
Confidential Settlement Achieved for Injured Employee
Arnold & Itkin attorneys Michael Pierce and Ryan Grant are pleased to announce that they reached a confidential settlement after one-week of an estimated two-week trial of a workplace accident claim. The plaintiff claimed he suffered a closed-head injury as a result of pedestrian-motor vehicle accident which occurred on his employer's premises. The defendant employer did not have worker's compensation insurance. Prior to trial, the parties mediated the case twice without reaching a settlement. After nearly a week of trial, the defendant approached Plaintiff regarding settlement and the parties were able to reach a confidential settlement prior to Plaintiff calling his last witness.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $1,286,225.51.
$2,250,000 Recovery in Back Injury Case
Arnold & Itkin LLP obtains a $2.25 million settlement on behalf of a seaman who suffered a debilitating back injury after falling from a machine to the deck below while trying to avoid a more serious injury when the crane operator caused the medicine ball to swing toward the plaintiff.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $946,333.46.
Settlement Reached One Week Before Trial for Injured Construction Employee
Arnold & Itkin Maritime Attorneys Michael Pierce and Ryan Grant are pleased to announce that they have reached a confidential settlement on behalf of a worker who suffered a fractured heel as a result of falling off an elevated tank during a pressure release aboard an offshore platform. The case involved numerous parties and required extensive discovery to identify the cause of the pressure release. Pierce and Grant were ultimately successful in showing that several different contractors as well as the manufacturer of a hydraulic control panel made errors which led to the release. After two unsuccessful mediations, the parties reached a settlement approximately one week before trial. Several of the defendants agreed to pay more than twice the amount of their prior mediation offers.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $1,077,154.23.
$1.95 Million Verdict for Injured Former Nurse
After a one week trial in Vermillion Parish, Arnold & Itkin LLP attorneys won a jury verdict and accompanying judgment for $1.95 million in a claim against Moncla Well Service, Inc. The case was brought on behalf of a former nurse injured when an improperly secured piece of oilfield equipment fell from the back of a truck and struck her car. As a result of this accident, the plaintiff suffered severe injuries to her head, jaw, and back. Defendants argued that her back injuries and headaches were not related to the accident but the jury disagreed. The verdict was one of the largest awards in a personal injury matter in Vermillion Parish, Louisiana. A portion of the verdict was placed in a structured settlement for net recovery to the client of $1,328,111.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $827,726.17.
$1.72 Million Jury Verdict for Victim of Crane Accident
Arnold & Itkin LLP industrial lawyers Cory Itkin and Michael Pierce are pleased to announce a $1.72 million jury verdict on behalf of Ernesto Tamez and his wife. Mr. Tamez was seriously injured in a crane accident at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas on January 18, 2005 when a Maxim Crane Works crane operator negligently swung a heavy oil burner into him. Mr. Tamez was pinned between the burner and a nearby handrail and injured his back, neck, and shoulder. Prior to the trial, Maxim Crane Works made no settlement offer. The company argued that the accident was entirely Mr. Tamez's fault and that his injuries were not as serious as he claimed. They also claimed that some of his injuries could have been caused by simple wear and tear on the 60 year old Tamez's body. The case was made more complicated by the fact that Mr. Tamez and his wife do not speak English and had to testify with the aid of a translator. After a weeklong trial in Galveston, Texas, the jury found that Maxim Crane Works was 100% responsible for the accident and awarded Mr. Tamez and his wife $1.72 million. Arnold & Itkin LLP stood by their clients for 4 years and helped Mr. Tamez get the medical attention he needed and the compensation he deserved. The case was pending in Galveston County, Texas with the Honorable David E. Garner presiding.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $736,778.00.
$1.4 Million Settlement in Maritime Case
Attorneys Jason Itkin and Mike Pierce obtained a $1.4 million settlement on behalf of a worker injured offshore. The client sustained a concussion, as well as suffering from a herniated disc as a result of the accident.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $609,767.04.
$924,000 Recovered for Victim of Fall
Attorneys Jason Itkin and Cory Itkin received an $850,000 verdict and an additional settlement for the plaintiff totaling almost $925,000. The client was injured when he fell off a ladder after his oxygen was cut off and he went unconscious. The attorneys carefully reviewed the case and determined a strategy that proved successful.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $552,799.27.
$900,000 Settlement for Seriously Injured Clients
Plaintiffs retained a local funeral home to provide complete services for their mother's funeral. Unbeknownst to plaintiffs, the funeral home retained a fly-by-night limousine company to provide transportation from the funeral home to the cemetery. The limousine company had no insurance. The limousine driver failed to maintain control of his vehicle and struck a concrete support post at high speed. One of the plaintiffs suffered a fractured pelvis, which necessitated several painful surgeries. After months of extensive discovery and pretrial preparation, Mr. Arnold and Mr. Pierce were able to secure a $900,000 settlement against the funeral home.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $375,736.00.
$875,000 for Worker Injured Near Saudi Arabia
The plaintiff was working on a jack up rig off the coast of Saudi Arabia on a tripping pipe. The crew had originally been American, but had been replaced by Saudi Arabian workers who did not speak English after most American crew members resigned over working conditions. Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Mike Pierce proved that the lack of communication and inexperience of the crew led to the accident. The case settled for $875,000.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $444,110.60.
$770,000 Settlement in Case of Injured Offshore Platform Worker’s Shoulder Injury
Houston maritime lawyer Mike Pierce is pleased to announce that he has successfully reached a $770,000 settlement on behalf of a Danos & Curole employee injured while working aboard a Chevron platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred when the employee fell down a stairway on the platform, seriously injuring his shoulder. A post-accident investigation revealed that the stairway in question did not have adequate slip protection, and the handrail of the stairway did not meet ANSI standards. The injured worker underwent three surgeries to correct the damage to his shoulder. The case settled three weeks before trial was set to begin in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $369,586.00.
$650,000 Settlement secured by Mike Pierce in Fisherman's Back Injury Case
Houston maritime lawyer Mike Pierce of Arnold & Itkin LLP successfully reached a $650,000 settlement on behalf of a crab fisherman injured when a hydraulic system aboard his vessel malfunctioned, causing a crab pot to strike the fishermen. The fisherman suffered nonsurgical injuries to his lower back. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $327,744.00.
$650,000 Settlement In Unoperated Back Injury Case
Michael Pierce recovered $650,000 on behalf of a Wood Group service technician who was injured when a third party failed to properly hang a blowout preventer on a land rig. His job was to cut through the casing to allow the rig to be moved. Because it was not secured properly, the 15 ton blowout preventer swung, pinned him up against the wall. He suffered broken ribs, internal injuries and injury to his back. The case was pending in Harris County.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $327,379.57.
$639,000 Verdict for Victim of Car Accident
The victim was travelling on BELTWAY 8 when a Chevy 2500 going about 60 mph hit her. Her brand new Avalon was totaled and she suffered injuries from her lower cervical to her upper thoracic. Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Mike Pierce and Paul Skrabanek won a $639,000 jury verdict. The case was appealed and later settled.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $395,849.98.
$636,000 Jury Verdict for Injured Worker
Mike Pierce solo-tried the case of a client who blew two cervical discs while working offshore. He was awarded a $636,000 verdict.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $380,251.66.
$525,000 for Basket Transfer Injury
The plaintiff suffered severe injuries to his back, legs, and other parts of his body when he was slammed into a guardrail while being lowered onto a boat. He suffered further injury when he slipped and fell on the deck of the boat upon his landing. Attorneys Jason Itkin, Mike Pierce and Cory Itkin secured a $525,000 settlement on his behalf.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $309,729.31.
$500,000 for Injured Boat Worker
The plaintiff was on the Sea Spirit while it was tied off to Platform Vermillion 250. The Sea Spirit came too close to the platform, and a rope got caught up underneath the tire line. When the rope popped, it hit the client across the leg, causing him injury. The case was settled for $500,000.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $319,435.30.
Nearly $450,000 Verdict Won for Injured Shrimp Boat Worker
Arnold & Itkin Attorneys Ryan Grant and Mike Pierce are pleased to announce they obtained a verdict of almost $450,000 on behalf of an injured seaman in Matagorda County, Texas after a four-day trial. The plaintiff sustained an injury while he was employed working as a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico. He sustained a severe back injury while working on behalf of his employer, one of the largest private shrimp fleet operators in the United States. His employer denied his claim for maintenance and cure and contended at trial that the Plaintiff never worked for them.
Arnold & Itkin successfully argued at trial the Plaintiff indeed worked for the Defendant and sustained a serious injury aboard their vessel. Arnold & Itkin also successfully argued that the Defendant acted willfully or arbitrarily in failing to pay the Plaintiff his maintenance and cure after learning the severity of his injuries, entitling Plaintiff to an award of his attorney's fees in addition to the jury's verdict.
$120,000 Settlement for Child Born with Birth Defect
Jason Itkin, Mike Pierce and Alexander Dwyer, Arnold & Itkin defective drug attorneys, obtained a $120,000 settlement for a child born with a birth defect as a result of exposure to a dangerous drug.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled $51,938.07.