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Prepare for North Texas' Hail Storm with These Safety Tips - Reyes Browne Reilley Law
April showers bring May flowers, but springtime storms in Texas pose a very real threat. Meteorologists have predicted severe weather for the DFW this evening, which could include baseball-size hail.

Tonight’s forecast also expects damaging winds, with gusts that could reach 70 mph. The chance of tornados is also possible. Read these tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe during these dangerous storms.

Hailstorm Safety Tips

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Prestige Limo Employee Faces 40 Criminal Counts After Tragic Crash Kills 20 - Reyes Browne ReilleyNauman Hussain, son of the Prestige Limousine Chauffer Service owner, has been indicted in connection to the upstate New York limo crash that took the lives of 20 people in October of 2018. Hussain is now facing 40 criminal counts, including 20 counts of second-degree manslaughter and 2o counts of negligent homicide.

The felony complaint states the Hussain hired the limo’s driver, Scott Lisinicchia, and was aware that he did not hold a CDL, or commercial driver’s license. State Police Superintendent George Beach told reporters that Hussain received “written violations” from State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation informing him that Lisinicchia “shouldn’t have been operating the type of vehicle involved in the crash”.

The criminal complaint states that the negligence also extended to the limousine’s safety, which was actually a modified Ford Excursion. According to the NTSB’s Preliminary Report, the original wheelbase of the Ford Excursion had been lengthened by 180 inches to increase the seating occupancy to 18 occupants. These after-market modifications most likely caused the mechanical and safety deficiencies of the vehicle, and lead to the vehicle being deemed unsafe. According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the vehicle had been inspected by the New York State Department of Transportation a month prior to the crash and had failed. Although it had been ordered to be taken out of service, it remained in use by Hussain’s company, Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service.

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Tornado Safety Tips - Reyes Browne Reilley Law Firm   If you grew up in Texas, you are probably all too familiar with the blaring sound of tornado sirens. Springtime weather changes present a very real threat for residents of Tornado Alley. Although extremely violent EF5 tornadoes are rare, it is imperative that every tornado watch and tornado warning is taken seriously. Before a tornado is headed your way, read these tips to make sure you know exactly what to do when that siren sounds to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Be Prepared

  • Brief your family with a tornado emergency plan for where to go for safe shelter
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The Controversial Case of Jussie Smollett - Reyes Browne Reilley
The unsettling case of Jussie Smollett first gained coverage in the early morning of January 29th. News broke that Empire television star was attacked while walking through the 300 block of East Lower North Water Street, in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. It was reported that two masked men attacked the actor, tied a noose around his neck, and spilled an unknown liquid over him. Allegedly, the attackers were screaming homophobic and racial slurs, including “this is MAGA country” – a reference to the President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan and the racial tension surrounding his administration.

As news of the attack spread throughout the nation, many people were disturbed and voiced their concerns on social media. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and other political figures commended Smollett’s bravery and supported his call for a thorough investigation. Unfortunately for Smollett, that’s exactly what happened. Not only did the detectives uncover the identities of his attackers, but they unveiled a hoax perpetrated by the victim himself.

Smollet’s plan was thwarted when Chicago police found security footage of  Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundario catching a cab down the street from where the attack was said to have taken place. After they were identified and brought into custody, it was revealed that the brothers were not only extras on Empire, but one was Jussie’s close friend and personal trainer. According to the brothers, Smollet approached and offered them $3,500 to carry out the choreographed attack on himself.

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Tragedy struck a local Garland family when their son, Christopher Pham, 23, was one of three killed while changing a car tire on Interstate 635/LBJ Freeway in Dallas around 3:30 AM Sunday.

Driving home with four friends, the group’s car got flat tire. After pulling over to the side of the freeway, Pham and two friends, now identified as Hieu Minh Doan (22) and David Nguyen (23), exited the car to change the tire while the two others remained inside. The group was then struck by Jesus Chavarria-Vazquez, who fled from the scene on-foot, leaving his 12-year-old son injured inside his vehicle. Pham and his two friends outside of the car were pronounced dead at the scene, and the two others who remained inside survived with injuries. Police are still searching for Chavarria-Vazquez now.

“Dealing with one [victim] is horrific and to compound it three times is unimaginable. It appears that all three were friends, so this just had to be a horrific scene.”   —Dallas Sergeant Warren Mitchell

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Injured Employee Sues Aveanna Healthcare For Ignoring Their Cries For Help - Reyes Browne ReilleyJoellyn Swope works as a home health services provider in the Houston area. One of her patients was in a semi-comatose state, and “lacked conscious control over her physical movement,” according to Swope. She was assisting this immobile patient by herself, with no other coworkers in the home.

Swope noticed that she was having problems lifting the patient by herself. She voiced these concerns to her employer, Epic Health Services, Inc. DBA Aveanna Healthcare. However, instead of finding a solution to help Swope successfully help the patient,  Aveanna Healthcare reprimanded her for “criticizing the patient’s weight,” as stated in the original petition.

On May 14th, 2017, Swope was attempting to physically lift her patient when the patient’s weight shifted, causing them to roll onto Swope’s wrist. Due to the patient’s inability to control their physical movements and Swope’s difficulty lifting the patient alone, Swope’s wrist became hyper-extended, resulting in injury. According to the Harris County District Court, on March 4th, 2019 Swope filed a lawsuit against her employer for ignoring her complaints concerning her safety while administering incontinence care. As the plaintiff, Swope is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

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Record Breaking — Highest Pedestrian Death Count in Almost 30 Years - Reyes Browne Reilley
2018 brought the highest count of U.S. pedestrian deaths in nearly 30 years — since 1988. According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were an estimated 6,227 pedestrians deaths last year.

Transportation Safety Experts are attributing this rise in fatalities to the modern trend of optimizing highway construction to raise the maximum speed of commuting vehicles. Another factor is the shift in the types of vehicles on the road. Sedans and passenger cars are being replaced with trucks and SUVs, according to the GHSA study. These types of vehicles are heavier than smaller vehicles, and can cause more injury to pedestrians while driving at the same speed.

                “We’re killing way too many pedestrians. This has got to be a high priority,”                                    —Jonathan Adkins, executive director of GHSA

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E-Scooters Crash Leaves Woman in a Coma - Reyes Browne ReilleyWe recently discussed the dangers e-scooters have been posing to riders and pedestrians across the country, but there is a new lawsuit coming out of Florida that may pave the way for safer regulations across the country.

In late December, Ashanti Jordan ended her shift at Broward General Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, and started her 4-mile ride home on a Lime scooter. Following Lime’s instructions of staying off sidewalks, she stayed on the main road where she unfortunately collided with a Toyota Corolla. Flying more than 100 feet, Ashanti, who was not wearing a helmet at the time, suffered broken bones, fractured ribs, and a catastrophic brain injury that has left her in a vegetative state ever since.

Ashanti’s mother, Tracy Jordan announced her plan to sue Lime on behalf of her daughter for negligence. While the state of Florida doesn’t allow e-scooters to be ridden in the streets, Lime’s instruction uses language that specifically instructs riders to stay on main roads, therefore putting them in very dangerous situations. This violates its operating agreement with the city, which requires them to inform riders of the legally and safely ride the scooters. Riders are getting hit by cars, hitting pedestrians, and having accidents that shouldn’t be occurring.

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At Least 8 Casualties and Counting as Polar Vortex Hits Midwest - RBR Law
The upper midwest and eastern states are experiencing the coldest winter storm they’ve seen in years. Not only are these subzero temperatures astounding, but they are incredibly deadly.

At least eight fatalities have been reported as a direct result of the polar vortex. An elderly Illinois man was discovered several hours after he had fallen trying to get into his home. A University of Iowa student was also found dead just hours before dawn behind an academic building.

Chicago’s temperature plummeted to 21° below freezing Wednesday morning, only 6° away from The Windy City’s all-time record of -27° in 1985. As the storm continues, meteorologists predict this record could be broken this week. Norris Camp, Minnesota, almost made it there without allowing for wind, recording an actual air temperature of 48 degrees below zero.

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fyre festival fiasco - Reyes Browne Reilley
Flying to the Bahamas for what was advertised as an “experience of a lifetime” quickly became a disastrous and potentially dangerous situation — one that would be known as one of the greatest scams of the decade. The biggest takeaway from this PR nightmare? Things are not always as they seem.

The Fyre Festival, created by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja-Rule, had been heavily marketed through numerous social media channels and captivated millennials with lofty promises of famous attendees, gourmet food, unforgettable musical performances, top of the line accommodations- all taking place on a private island previously owned by Pablo Escobar. After paying upwards of $200,000 for tickets, guests flew out to Great Exuma, Bahamas to find a “refugee-like” environment filled with half-built hurricane tents, rain-soaked mattresses, no medical personnel, and barely any food to share amongst the guests. Even after Fyre Festival was cancelled, guests were left stranded at the airport without nourishment or even a way to get home.

Through documentaries like Netflix’s Fyre Festival: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, we are seeing first hand how aware the event’s organizers were of the poor and unsafe conditions on the island well before the attendees arrived. Their alleged negligence and fraud has lead to more than nine different lawsuits against the Fyre Festival organizers and promoters. This past July, Seth Crossno and Mark Thompson were these first to be awarded a settlement of $1.5 million each in compensatory damages, and $1 million in punitive damages for not only the tickets ($13,000) but for the mental anguish they suffered as well. With more class action lawsuits making their way through the justice system, this will not be last we hear of Fyre Festival.

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