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Southeast Texas' Legal Journal

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    GALVESTON – The widow of a Harris County man who died at a Galveston time-share facility in December 2011 has filed a lawsuit.

    In court papers filed Nov. 21 in Galveston County District Court, Andrea Mathis Mayer pins the Dec. 9, 2011, death of Paul Mayer on Silverleaf Resorts Inc., Silverleaf Club, Silverleaf’s Seaside Resort Club, Silverleaf Seaside Resort and RCI LLC.

    Silverleaf Seaside Resort

    Silverleaf Seaside Resort

    Andrea M. Mayer says she and the decedent were visiting the defendants’ property when they encountered “inadequate” accommodations which the suit alleges were not properly addressed or fixed.

    According to the plaintiff, Paul Mayer, 80, “was required by the defendants to exhaust himself that evening after arriving by carrying luggage up three flights of stairs, then walking back down the three flights of stairs for dinner and then back up the three flights of stairs to the room provided by the defendants.”

    The plaintiff further explains that Paul Mayer, a cancer survivor and Korean War veteran, was overwhelmed by fatigue, fell, and fatally struck his head on “an improperly self-closing door” in the room.

    “Compounding the loss was the deceptive time-share transaction in which the plaintiff and her late husband were misled into purchasing a time-share in Conroe rather than the Galveston location where the time-share solicitation occurred,” the suit says.

    Consequently, the widow seeks unspecified monetary damages.

    She is represented by attorney Roy K. Ewart of the Law Offices of Mae Nacol & Associates PC in Houston.

    Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the litigation.

    Case No. 13-CV-1481


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    GALVESTON – A Tomball couple is pursuing legal action after the husband was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, alleging the illness was caused by benzene exposure. Benzene_drums

    George Rasco and his wife filed suit against ExxonMobil, Pharmacia Corp., the Dow Chemical Co. and United States Steel Corp. on Dec. 2 in Galveston County District Court.

    The suit alleges Rasco was exposed to benzene and benzene-containing products through his employment as a pipefitter and welder from 1975 to 1985.

    According to the original petition, he was required during that time to use a liquid wrench to perform numerous tasks. The wrench was believed to contain benzene, the plaintiffs assert.

    Bradley

    Bradley

    Rasco claims he was “unaware” that his exposure to such products was “hazardous to his health and could cause this disease.”

    Consequently, George and Betty Rosco seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

    Attorney Tina H. Bradley of Hobson & Bradley in Beaumont is representing them, and Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves is presiding over the case.

    Case No. 13-CV-1505


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    GALVESTON – The defendants in a lawsuit stemming from a Texas City woman’s alleged fall in a La Marque parking lot formally refute her allegations, recent court records show.

    Brenda Gregorcyk is suing Movie Palace Inc. and Houston resident Paul White, doing business as Night Moves, in response to the Oct. 21, 2011, event in question.

    Miller

    Miller

    Gregorcyk claims “a large crack in the parking lot” caused her to lose her footing and injure her shoulder, head and body, stating the respondents failed to light the area.

    She consequently seeks $800,000 in damages.

    The defendants’ original answer filed Nov. 22 counters that the plaintiff failed to keep a lookout as well as neglected to take “adequate precautions to assure her safety.”

    Her reported injuries occurred either before or after the event for which she sues, the five-page document adds.

    Attorney Paul Miller of Miller, James, Miller & Hornsby LLP in Texarkana is representing the defendants.

    Attorney Steve Engelhardt of Engelhardt Law PLLC in Houston is representing Gregorcyk.

    Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding.

    Case No. 13-CV-1255


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    GALVESTON – A business owner who was recently arrested and charged for his alleged role in a high school prostitution ring answered a lawsuit against him.

    Recent court records show that Michael Wayne McIntosh, 62, provided an original answer to said lawsuit on Nov. 22, formally denying the allegations fielded by one of the parents of his purported victims.

    Grimes

    Grimes

    The unidentified plaintiffs, who launched the litigation early last month, claim McIntosh “physically assaulted, seduced and sexually assaulted” their minor daughter during the summer and as recently as a couple of months ago.

    “The defendant McIntosh intentionally caused physical contact with the plaintiffs’ daughter who is a minor while he knew or should reasonably have known that (the girl) was a minor and would find that contact offensive and that as a minor she could not consent to such contact,” the original petition explains.

    Authorities arrested the defendant on grounds he allegedly convinced a local 17-year-old girl to have sex with him for money last June, asserting the encounter in question led to the Clear Springs High School student coaxing her friends into sleeping with McIntosh.

    McIntosh, who reportedly earned the moniker “Money Mike,” was alleged to have paid nearly $4,000 to have sex with the teenage girls.

    He is represented by attorney Richard M. Grimes of Grimes & Fertitta, P.C. in Houston.

    Case No. 13-CV-1426


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    GALVESTON – A Dickinson woman has filed a lawsuit over what she asserts is the forceful entry of her residence by law enforcement, recent court documents say.

    Linda Morecraft Trump is suing Webster police officers R.D. Barryman, J.A. Tovar, C. Pray and P.T. Bacon for the alleged Dec. 3, 2011, incident. police_lights

    The suit, filed Dec. 3 in Galveston County District Court, explains that the defendants and “15 or more” unidentified law enforcement officers descended upon her house at approximately 6 a.m. of the specified date.

    Trump further shows the respondents failed to identify themselves after they reportedly kicked in and dismantled the front door “with a faulty search warrant presented only upon request after the plaintiff had been detained.”

    She was “forced to the floor, handcuffed and detained” for 90 minutes “with no probable cause,” according to the original petition.

    It adds the claimant, who was 62 years of age at the time, suffered injuries to her upper left arm, left shoulder, wrists and right calf.

    Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages.

    She is representing herself, and Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter is presiding over the case.

    Case No. 13-CV-1515


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    GALVESTON – Late April is usually when baseball season is in full swing. For a man who is suing for injuries allegedly sustained at a batting cage, late April 2014 is when a Galveston County jury will hear his lawsuit.

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    Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves granted plaintiff Glenn Pappe and defendant Acrofit Gymnastics Houston Inc.’s agreed motion for continuance on Nov. 25, pushing their trial setting to April 28, 2014.

    The original trial date was Dec. 2.

    As previously reported, Pappe pursued legal action earlier this year after an employee of the defendant purportedly distracted him and caused a ball to strike him in the eye during a visit to its facilities on June, 2, 2012.

    As he was using the pitching machine, one of the respondent’s workers yelled out to him to which his attention was taken away from the machine, the suit says.

    An incoming ball then connected with Pappe’s left eye.

    The original petition adds the plaintiff was the only one at the batting cages.

    Meanwhile, Acrofit Gymnastics insists that the complainant is to blame for his reported injuries.

    Both parties’ motion explains that time is needed to take depositions, which are “being scheduled within the next 3-4 weeks.”

    Attorney David J. Miller of Miller, Scamardi & Carrabba in Houston is representing the respondent.

    Case No. 13-CV-131


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    HOUSTON – A former Houston area dance team instructor who was recently convicted of having an inappropriate relationship with a female student faces a lawsuit from the victim and her mother.

    Recent court documents filed Dec. 4 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas say Amanda Feenstra “abused her position” when she worked at Humble High School from 2009 to 2011.

    Pittman

    Pittman

    According to the suit, Feenstra showed an “unusual and bizarre admiration” for the then-adolescent, who was the colonel of the school’s Wild Cadets dance team, which ultimately led to the relationship in question.

    The plaintiffs explain that Feenstra convinced the girl’s mother to have the student move in with her and her husband, stating Feenstra hatched her “sadistic plan of turning (the girl) into (her) sexual toy” shortly afterwards.

    Feenstra and the victim reportedly engaged in sexual intercourse at the house when Feenstra’s husband was away as well as “various other locations” including the school itself.

    School officials apparently were aware of the dubious interaction between Feenstra and the teenager, but “did nothing to investigate or stop” the aforementioned relationship, the original petition says.

    Feenstra

    Feenstra

    It further asserts that Feenstra continued to contact and stalk the victim after the latter’s graduation.

    Initially reluctant to report Feenstra’s purported actions and conduct, the plaintiff spoke to a former HHS dance instructor who, in turn, contacted school authorities.
    Police arrested Feenstra last March.

    She was sentenced to a decade of deferred adjudication and probation in late October.

    The suit, which also names the Humble Independent School District and the HHS administration as defendants, insists the victim is “likely emotionally scarred for life” because of Feenstra.

    A jury trial is requested.

    Attorney Aubrey “Nick” Pittman of The Pittman Law Firm P.C. in Dallas is representing the complainants.

    Case No. 4:13-CV-3351


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    GALVESTON – Nearly a year ago, Galveston tenant Brandon Jones took Richard Jarvis, White Star Properties LP and Residual Construction Inc. to court over a fall he took from the roof of his apartment.

    Jones’s personal injury lawsuit, filed last Dec. 28, came to a close last week when Galveston County Court-at-Law No. 2 Judge Barbara Roberts signed an agreed take-nothing judgment.Gavel-judge

    As previously reported, Jones alleged he was sitting in a chair on the rooftop of the defendant’s property when the chair broke and he fell two stories.

    He insisted the terrace area lacked railing and was “allowed to fall into a state of disrepair or faulty function without any safeguards in place to prevent a fall.”

    “The defendant(s) failed to provide any reasonably [safe] measures to provide [a] safe environment that would have prevented a fall,” the original petition said.

    Court records show that two original answers were provided in response to Jones’s claims.

    Judge Roberts’s order states that neither party is granted compensation.

    Attorney Kurt B. Arnold of Arnold & Itkin LLP in Houston represented the plaintiff.

    Danielle Harsany Maya of Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP in Houston represented the defendants.

    Cause No. 69,015


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    GALVESTON – A waiter from Hungary has filed suit against a cruise ship claiming he suffered a back injury while working aboard a cruise ship earlier this year, recent court documents say.

    In a lawsuit filed Dec. 9 in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, Peter Simon asserts Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. failed to take any steps last Feb. 1 to prevent said injury.

    Crown Princess

    Crown Princess

    Prior to the incident in question, Simon was handling coffee cups in preparation for the guest dinner service on board the Crown Princess.

    The suit says the plaintiff lifted a tray of cups when he injured his lumbar spine, insisting he lacked proper back support or suitable assistance from the respondent.

    According to the original petition, the company sent Simon back to his native country to seek his own medical treatment “as the injury occurred near the completion of the plaintiff’s contract.”

    Hungarian physicians determined the complainant suffered a herniation which caused “uncomfortable shooting pain down the plaintiff’s leg.”

    Rusak

    Rusak

    Simon explains that his doctors ordered him to make lifestyle changes in order to “avoid straining his spine due to the disk herniation, nerve root compression and spondylosis.”

    Said changes prompted the plaintiff to end his waitering career as well as “to many activities the plaintiff normally enjoyed,” the suit says.

    A jury trial is requested.

    Attorney Richard D. Rusak of Brais, Brais & Associates PA in Miami is representing the plaintiff.

    Case No. 3:13-CV-444


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    GALVESTON – A young man sued along with his family over an alleged incident with a pellet gun recently entered a motion for summary judgment into the lawsuit, recent court records show.

    As previously reported, Harris County residents Mark and Barbara Parkinson are pursuing legal action against Lyman, Marie, Will and Jimmy Dolan after their son, Zach, was purportedly shot with the weapon in question at the defendants’ Kemah residence.bullseye

    The Parkinsons assert that Jimmy Dolan “intentionally, recklessly or negligently caused the pellet gun in his possession to fire and cause injury to the left side of Zach Parkinson” as a way to “frighten” the boy, who was reported to have suffered injuries to his heart and lung.

    The Dolans’ response counters that the complainants’ supposed negligence brought forth Zach Parkinson’s injuries, insisting the accident was “unavoidable.”

    In his 21-page motion filed Dec. 3, Will Dolan insists he did not have a legal duty to supervise his older brother.

    The motion adds that Will Dolan “was not holding the discharged pellet gun and did not cause the discharge of the pellet gun.”

    An order from Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter is pending.

    Case No. 13-CV-690


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    HOUSTON – Named in an April lawsuit alleging an elevator door closed “abruptly and forcefully” on a Harris County man, the owner of a Houston high-rise recently denied responsibility.

    Transwestern filed an original answer Dec. 4 refuting Richard Gamino’s personal injury claims, questioning the jurisdiction accorded to Houston federal court.

    Four Oaks Place in Houston

    Four Oaks Place in Houston

    Gamino, who works in the building known as Four Oaks Place which is owned by Transwestern, initiated legal action after the door of a freight elevator at the facilities manufactured and maintained by Schindler Elevator Corp. malfunctioned and left him with head and neck injuries and in an unconscious state.

    “The defective condition of the elevator posed an unreasonably dangerous condition, constituting a product defect and a premises defect, resulting in an unreasonable risk of harm of which the defendants were fully aware,” the suit, which also implicates Schindler, says.

    Transwestern’s rebuttal contends that the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the Dec. 15, 2011, incident in question.

    It further denies it “had any obligation whatsoever to maintain or service the elevator in question.”

    Attorney William Book of Tekell, Book, Allen & Morris LLP in Houston is representing Transwestern.

    Case No. 4:13-CV-1779


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    GALVESTON – For Francisco and Marissett Tolentino, a family vacation to the Dominican Republic ended in an “unfortunate and untimely” tragedy for which they fault their insurance company.

    According to a lawsuit filed Dec. 17 in Galveston County District Court, Health Care Service Corp., doing business as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, acted too slowly to approve what would have been a lifesaving measure for the Tolentinos’ daughter, Isabella.

    The Tolentinos needed a medical jet to immediately transfer Isabella, who was suffering appendicitis at the time, from the resort town of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to Miami so she could get what her parents felt was proper treatment, but the defendant secured the plane when the situation had worsened, ultimately resulting in the 6-year-old’s death, the suit claims.

    A Dominican hospital, which was part of the insurer’s network, treated Isabella and mandated she undergo an operation, although her parents claim they “were not comfortable with the idea of subjecting their daughter to a procedure in a foreign hospital that may not meet the standards of professionalism and care of an American hospital.”

    Expressing a desire to have Isabella seen in the U.S., the family claims they tried to get the insurance company to sign off on the transfer.

    DeLeon

    DeLeon

    The original petition says the Tolentinos were unsuccessful convincing the insurer to provide the service without delay, despite their pleas on “how young she was and that appendicitis is life threatening.”

    Shortly afterwards, Isabella’s surgery was performed at Hospiten Bavaro, not too far from the resort the plaintiffs were visiting.

    The suit alleges the procedure did not work and Isabella’s condition worsened.
    BCBS purportedly continued to delay sending Isabella to Florida. Then when it finally gave the green light to the transfer, the child had started to show signs of brain damage, according to the plaintiffs.

    The lawsuit claims that physicians in Miami informed the Tolentinos that the Dominican doctors’ observations of Isabella’s condition were contradictory to theirs.

    “Too much time had been wasted,” however, for a chance to save the girl, the suit says.

    According to the suit, Isabella was later pronounced dead.

    Consequently, her parents seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

    They are represented by attorney Jacob A. De Leon of the De Leon Law Firm in Houston.

    Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the litigation.

    Case No. 13-CV-1553


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    GALVESTON – A personal injury lawsuit pitting a father and his son against a local fitness club was settled just before it was to head to trial, recent court records indicate.

    An agreed judgment with Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor’s signature was entered into Paul Garza’s suit on Nov. 20, effectively disposing the nine-month-old litigation targeting Galveston Racquet Club Inc.Gavel-judge

    A jury trial was scheduled to begin Dec. 2.

    As previously reported, Garza filed suit against the exercise facility on March 19, 2012, stating the defendant did not take measures to prevent his young son from hurting himself at the Galveston Health & Racquet Club on March 18, 2010.

    The elder Garza alleged the defendant’s daycare staff allowed the boy “to climb atop a blue, plastic covered foam block, approximately 4 feet tall,” adding the child “fell and broke his wrist and growth plate” and “may have suffered permanent and disabling injuries as a result of this accident.”

    In its defense, the respondent countered that the boy’s supposed injuries were “caused solely by unforeseen or unforeseeable circumstances and/or actions of the plaintiff that were beyond the reasonable control of the defendant” and his father’s complaint was made way past the two-year statute of limitations.

    The judgment states Garza and his son are to be compensated $3,000.

    Case No. 12-CV-500


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    GALVESTON – Once slated to go to jury trial in early next month, a lawsuit focusing on injuries allegedly caused by an unattached gasoline hose received extra time.

    Plaintiff Georgios Maltsakis and defendants Murphy Oil USA Inc. and motorist Jerry Delossantos will now face off in court on March 17, 2014, instead of Jan. 13.Calendar-Planning-photo

    Galveston County Court-at-Law No. 3 Judge Kerri M. Foley issued an order in favor of the parties’ motion for continuance on Dec. 13.

    As previously reported, Maltsakis filed suit earlier this year in response to the June 16, 2011, incident in which Delossantos allegedly drove away from a pump without removing the pump hose from his vehicle, resulting in gasoline “being sprayed all over Georgios and [his son's] face and body.”

    The original petition shows the plaintiffs “immediately experienced burning sensations on their skin and eyes” and were taken to the nearby University of Texas Medical Branch where they underwent a series of X-rays and other tests.

    Maltsakis adds he was forced to miss a week of work.

    A delay in obtaining medical records from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston prompted the current continuance request.

    The first instance was brought forth in October by scheduling conflicts experienced by the attorneys on both sides.

    Cause No. 69,343


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    GALVESTON – The plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging their daughter was assaulted at a Dickinson day care last year have designated expert witnesses, recent court records show.

    In a 23-page document filed Dec. 12, Christa Williams-Yates and Mark Yates enlisted seven individuals to testify as part of their case against Kid City Child Care Learning and Sports Center LLC and Symons Kid City Management LLC.ABC_blocks

    Among those slated to speak during the May 2014 jury trial are Dr. Sheri S. Corning, the girl’s treating physician; lead plaintiffs’ attorney Charles H. Peckham; and Alexia V. Gannon, a Houston-based attorney and investigator.

    As previously reported, the suit claims the complainants’ child reportedly suffered nursemaid’s elbow while under the defendants’ supervision on Sept. 20, 2012, stating a staff member fought with the toddler in order to force her to enter the school from the playground.

    “During the fight, this staff member forcibly and violently yanked the right arm of the child up over her head dislocating her arm at the elbow – a radial head subluxation,” the original petition says.

    The suit accuses the respondents of disciplining the girl for crying instead of providing her medical attention.

    Williams-Yates was reportedly told that the girl “was merely upset at being punished for being disruptive;” however, the former later discovered she was was actually in pain and took her to seek help.

    According to the claimants, because of the subject incident, the child “has been distrustful of adults, has been much more defensive and accusatory of others, has been acting out violently and is in counseling post-injury.”

    The defendants refuted the allegations in an original answer filed July 19.

    Case No. 13-CV-793


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    GALVESTON – A qualified protective order was entered into an Alvin woman’s personal injury lawsuit against Beltone and a host of businesses, recent court records indicate.

    Visiting Judge David E. Garner signed the order on Dec. 11, allowing plaintiff Waldine Geraci and the entities she brought the suit against to produce or obtain her health information from Clear Lake Regional Medical Center and other healthcare providers.Beltone_logo

    Geraci sued Beltone last May in response to a hip injury she reportedly sustained at one of its area stores two years ago, alleging the incident occurred when she tripped and fell on the last step of the store premises as she was about to enter her vehicle.

    Insisting she did nothing to cause the event in question, the plaintiff asserts the strip mall in which the business is located has a handicap ramp that is “not easily noticeable” and an apparent lack of signs.

    The original petition was revised twice with the most recent instance including more respondents.

    Last month, a relative of Geraci serving as her next friend and the defendants filed a joint motion requesting the aforementioned protective order on grounds the former does not have medical power of attorney, which prompted the Medical Center’s refusal to release the claimant’s medical records.

    A jury trial is scheduled for 9 a.m., Aug. 11, 2014.

    Case No. 13-CV-612


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    GALVESTON – Claiming he was injured while performing a task for BNSF Railway Co. two months ago, San Leon local Dan A. Novak is pursuing legal action. Recent court documents filed Dec. 20 in Galveston County District Court show Novak … Read More »

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    HOUSTON – Complaining that the Klein Independent School District failed to assist his son after the boy allegedly sustained a head injury last year, a Harris County man has filed a lawsuit. Instead of sending the then-Kuehnle Elementary School first … Read More »

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    GALVESTON – A Harris County man alleges he suffered a wrist injury last year while using the restroom at the Kemah Boardwalk and is suing Landry’s. In a lawsuit filed Dec. 23, 2013, in Galveston County Court at Law No. … Read More »

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    GALVESTON – A timeshare trade broker wants a Harris County woman’s wrongful death lawsuit against it and the Silverleaf entities removed from Galveston County, according to recent court records. RCI, LLC entered a motion to transfer venue into Andrea Mathis … Read More »

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