Author Archives: Touchstone Bernays


Touchstone Bernays proudly welcomes five new attorneys to the firm.  Sarika Patel and Natalie Myers are both 2013 graduates from Texas Tech School of Law. Sarika received her undergraduate degree from Austin College and Natalie received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University.  Jared Price is also an alumni of Texas Tech School of Law, graduating in 2015 magna cum laude, and received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech as well.  Linda Villa has over 14 years of experience in coverage law and insurance defense litigation. She graduated from St. Mary’s School of Law after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas. Jeffrey Nanson is an alumni of SMU Dedman School of Law and received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas.

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On August 28, 2015, after a five day trial in which defendant stipulated liability for a serious motor vehicle collision between a tanker truck and a passenger car occurring on Interstate 35, a LaSalle County jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiff, but awarded much less than sought in recovery.  The car operated by defendant, a construction project manager on his way to Laredo, crossed the highway median and collided with plaintiff’s truck traveling northbound at highway speed resulting in a complete shutdown of the northbound lanes of the highway. Plaintiff  was the driver of the tanker truck involved in the collision, and he claimed to have suffered significant injuries as a result of the collision which would require both neck and back surgery, and significantly limit his future ability to earn a living as a truck driver. The jury declined to award damages of $2,000,000 as suggested by plaintiff’s counsel, but instead awarded total damages of $260,625.  Counsel for defendant suggested to the jury that the evidence established damages of $115,585. Partner Bart … Continue reading

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Partners Wayne Gordon and Amie Fordan successfully obtained a summary judgment in favor of their manufacturing client on a product liability case arising out of a house fire in Galveston, Texas. Plaintiff had alleged the fire was caused by a defective battery in a golf cart stored in the garage which caused extensive damage to their home and contents. Plaintiff was unable to create a fact issue on any defect in the battery or that the battery was the cause of the fire. In a different suit, partners Wayne Gordon and Amie Fordan successfully upheld on appeal a summary judgment granted to their manufacturer client by the trial court in a product liability case arising out of a 18 wheeler accident in Dallas. The plaintiff had alleged the accident was caused by a blowout due to a defective tire. The trial court granted summary judgment on the basis that no fact issue was established by the plaintiff of either the defect or causation. The appellate court recently upheld the summary judgment.

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Touchstone Bernays attorney Andrew T. Fifield will moderate a discussion among district court judges from Dallas, Collin, and Denton Counties on May 20, 2016, in Dallas.  The program is entitled  “What Civil Court Judges Want You to Know”  and is sponsored by the National Business Institute (NBI).  Andy is board certified in personal injury law and a member of the Trucking Industry  Defense Association (TIDA).

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Partner Bart Ridley recently attended the Annual Meeting of the Professional Liability Defense Federation held in Chicago during October 2015.  The annual meeting serves as an opportunity for professional liability insurance industry members and defense counsel to convene for continuing education and the exchange of information used to increase the effectiveness of defending those facing claims of professional negligence.  With presentations covering legal, medical, construction design, accounting, cyber, and employment practices liability claims, the 2015 PLDF Annual Meeting was attended by over 100 members from across the United States.  For more information about the benefits the Professional Liability Defense Federation, you are encouraged to visit Touchstone Bernays partners Heather Bocell and Bart Ridley attended the annual conference for the National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. NRRDA is an organization comprised of legal and claims professionals in the retail and restaurant industries that focuses on the development of strategies to reduce the number and severity of claims, the management of common premises liability risks, and enhancing defenses in litigated matters. Ms. … Continue reading

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