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- Arnold & Itkin

AI’s $1.7 Million Verdict Withstands Appeal Efforts

Today’s blog is a story about a company that refused to take responsibility for their part in severely injuring an innocent oil worker—even when the law has continually stood on our client’s side.

In 2013, Arnold & Itkin won the top aviation verdict in all of Texas: $1.7 million for an offshore safety inspector who was injured in a helicopter crash on the way to work on a Gulf oil platform. When the pilot made a controlled landing, he triggered the flotation devices on the vehicle—but one flotation device failed, causing the helicopter to roll over in open water. Both the pilot and our client survived, but the experience was both harmful and deeply traumatic. Sadly, poor helicopter maintenance causes more accidents than one might think, so we were thrilled to win our client enough compensation to support him through his recovery and beyond.

We were also proud to hold the helicopter company, PHI Inc., accountable for what occurred.

However, PHI fought the verdict every step of the way. Once trial concluded, they filed an appeal—and in 2016, we went to court again to hear PHI’s argument against the award for our client. Thankfully, the 13th Court of Appeals upheld the verdict.

“The appellate court noted in their decision that some of PHI’s appellate claims clashed with their trial arguments,” said Cory Itkin, one of the senior attorneys at our firm.

However, PHI wasn’t done—they tried to take the case to the Texas Supreme Court, making one final effort to prevent our client from getting the compensation he deserves. Today, we are proud to announce that the Texas Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, ensuring that the original verdict still stands. We hope this case stands as a lesson to other companies who believe that groundless and endless appeals are an acceptable way to delay justice to injured plaintiffs. Our attorneys hope that the decision to refuse the case sets a precedent for other courts to stop providing a venue for wasteful, unjust efforts to appeal fair verdicts.

The injured fire and safety inspector has been denied justice for 7 years, even when the law awarded him a verdict 4 years ago. We’re thrilled that our client will now receive the compensation he’s been entitled to, plus interest. His total award now exceeds $2 million.