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West Mermis Earns Total Defense Victory in South Texas Fatality Trial


West Mermis Earns Total Defense Victory in South Texas Fatality Trial

San Diego, Texas – West Mermis, PLLC, a Houston-based law firm, secured a take-nothing defense verdict for its client, a national highway construction contractor, in South Texas. Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award $40 million to the decedent’s family. Following a two-week trial, the jury rendered a complete defense verdict.

The lawsuit arose out of a two-vehicle accident that occurred within a road construction project in Duval County, Texas. Mr. Vincent Vargas’ vehicle rear-ended an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer within the construction contractor’s highway construction zone. Mr. Vargas suffered fatal injuries as a result of the accident, and his parents filed a lawsuit against the construction contractor.

The case was tried by a jury in Duval County. Plaintiffs sought to establish that the construction contractor breached its contract with the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). TXDOT’s Traffic Control Plan prescribed a specific traffic-flow configuration and conspicuous signage. The Plaintiffs alleged that the construction contractor failed to post the required warning signs and install traffic control devices (such as rumble strips) within the road construction zone. These alleged omissions by the construction contractor, according to the Plaintiffs, caused the accident and Mr. Vargas’ untimely death.

At trial, West Mermis highlighted the safety measures the construction contractor utilized during the road construction and the professionalism with which it performed its work. The defense team, led by Lawrence J. West and assisted by Francis D. McWilliams, emphasized to the jury that the evidence did not support the Plaintiffs’ allegations. During closing arguments, Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award $40 million to Mr. Vargas’ family as compensation for his death. The jury had other ideas. In fact, the jury found the construction contractor not liable and returned a full defense verdict.

My client was falsely accused of being responsible for this tragic accident. Facts are stubborn things, and despite the best efforts of a well-prepared opponent, our team succeeded in emphasizing the facts in support of our client’s defense. We are pleased to have secured a verdict that my client deserved.” – Larry West

West Mermis, PLLC, has brought together some of Houston’s top legal talent, with highly skilled attorneys in litigation, construction, and business law, and backed with the courtroom experience and knowledge that contributes to favorable results for the firm’s clients.

West Mermis

Contact: 713.255.3550

West Mermis provides practical legal solutions for our clients in the construction industry. Our attorneys have proven courtroom experience before federal and state courts, and routinely represent clients in high-stakes commercial arbitration. We provide high quality legal advice throughout the life cycle of construction projects, prioritizing the business interests of our clients.

Headquartered in downtown Houston, West Mermis is consistently recognized by our peers and clients as a go-to law firm for high-value and result oriented legal services.

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