Hare Wynn Recognized in 2017 Top 100 Verdicts and Settlements List for State of Texas

Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP obtained the second largest settlement in Texas last year, according to the National Law Journal’s (NLJ) annual list of the state’s Top 100 Verdicts and Settlements.

The $11 Million settlement that was reached on behalf of two men killed in a 2015 crash near Odessa, Texas.

Hare Wynn attorney Jamie Moncus served as co-counsel on the case along with Mike Simpson and Kim Jones of Simpson & Simpson.

The families of John Reynolds of Vicksburg, Miss., and Tommy Rivers of Fort Worth, Texas sued Corpus Christi-based Sage Enviro Tech, LTD and its employee, Hector Botello Jr., in Nueces County Court last year. Sage Enviro Tech was accused of negligently allowing Botello, who had a history of mental illness and alcohol abuse, to drive for the company.

Botello was driving for Sage Enviro Tech when his Dodge Ram pickup crossed the median of Interstate 20 in Odessa and collided head-on with the pickup carrying Reynolds and Rivers. Botello suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash. Reynolds and Rivers died at the scene. They were both returning from a “battle of the bands” event organized by the men in El Paso, which they started as a fundraiser to benefit historically black colleges across the United States.

Although Botello was not charged with any violations or crimes, the police incident report listed his “long-term alcoholism” and “anxiety condition” as contributing factors in the crash.

The lawsuit accused Sage Enviro Tech of recklessly failing to consider Botello’s history when entrusting him to drive a vehicle for the company. Botello had a DWI conviction in California in 2009. Sage was alleged to have known that Botello had a history of alcoholism and mental illness when he was hired as a driver.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Reynolds’ widow Krystle Reynolds, his parents, James and Clara Reynolds, and Rivers’ daughter, Kelsey Rivers, as well as the estates of the two men on behalf of Reynolds’ two children and Rivers’ child.

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