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Oil Field Worker Crushed by 3,000 Pound Load

While moving a load of metal rods, an oil field worker was seriously injured. The impact was devastating, smashing his teeth and breaking his neck. As the man tumbled to the ground, the 3,000-pound load let go on top of him, shattering both of his knees.

The field hand remained pinned beneath the massive pile of pipes for more than an hour before first responders arrived. He was lucky to emerge alive — his body was a broken mess. In addition to the broken cervical vertebrae, he suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis and legs. He would never be able to work in the field again or even walk the same.

Attorney Muhammad Aziz became aware of the case by a colleague two years after the accident. A partner with Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner of Houston, Aziz specializes in catastrophic personal injury cases, especially in oil fields and other large work sites. It initially seemed to the veteran attorney that the Plaintiff and his supervisor might be liable as they were the only two employees at the site. Nevertheless, he dove deeper into the Plaintiff’s claims: how were the pipes banded? What caused them to shift? What pathway were the men using to move them?

At first, it was challenging to understand of what happened. Mo’s client had no memory of the event. His supervisor, operating the machine that was moving the load, couldn’t see what caused the pipes to spin. However, the first field deposition Aziz took changed his understanding of the case. The deponent revealed that he and his team produced a video reenactment detailing just what happened, proving that the Defendants were at fault. From there, Mo continued deposing more than a dozen liability witnesses, each one blaming the Defendants for unsafe practices.

The Defense wasn’t having it. They claimed that the Plaintiff and his supervisor were operating without regard to safety, like a couple of cowboys in the Wild West — they did not properly secure the pipes, they asserted, and they didn’t use a line to lead the load, as was customary. If the field hand had been using a tagline, they maintained, he wouldn’t have been close enough to be injured.

Aziz amassed a team of experts to testify on behalf of his client. He brought in oil field experts and job safety specialists. He made the case that the site was unsafe long before the load ever got there. The first mediation, however, didn’t go well. Mo knew he needed to bolster the damages side of the case. He enlisted the help of physicians to explain what his client went through and life-care planners to forecast what his life would look like from that point on. Then, he brought on legal animation experts DK Global to show in video form the extensive surgeries his client had endured. He wanted to bring the Defense — and potentially the jury — into the operating room.  

DK Global collaborated with Aziz and his experts to produce three videos, taking viewers through more than 20 surgeries. The presentation opened with a look at the Plaintiff’s skeleton, showing the site of every injury marked in red. The perspective then zoomed to his skull to show his traumatic brain injury, with superimposed shots of his actual brain scans. The camera moved to the Plaintiff’s mouth, displaying his broken dental plate. The animation continued down his body, documenting dozens of injuries — fractures in his neck, scapula, pelvis, and both legs; compartment syndrome in his right leg; incomplete quadriplegia. The videos then rendered the surgeries and plates placed in his body to correct his various injuries. The impact of the animations was overwhelming, proving that the field hand was lucky simply to have survived.

At the second mediation, several people on the Defense commented how impressed they were by the presentation. Aziz responded that if the animations blew away experienced professionals like themselves, imagine what they would do to impressionable jurors. Before the second mediation, the Defense had offered to settle the case for an amount in the mid-six figures. However, after the second mediation and viewing the animation, both sides agreed to resolve the case for $25,000,000.

A partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Muhammad Aziz specializes in catastrophic personal injury cases nationwide, particularly oil field accidents, eighteen-wheeler wrecks, and chemical plant fires. Since joining the firm in 2006, Aziz has recovered more than $800,000,000 in settlements for his clients. He’s been recognized as one of the Top 100 Texas Super Lawyers. Texas Lawyer Magazine honored Aziz as “Attorney of the Year” in their Texas Legal Excellence Awards in 2021. In 2022, he received the “Excellence in the Legal Profession” award from the Muslim Bar Association of Houston.

Muhammad Aziz became aware of the case by a colleague two years after the accident. A partner with Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner

"Every case so far that I've used these animations in has been a multiple eight-figure settlement."
Muhammad Aziz - Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner
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