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

Posted in News | Leave a comment


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.

Posted in News | Leave a comment


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).

Posted in News | Leave a comment


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

Posted in Events, News | Leave a comment


2015 Texas Super Lawyers Named Congratulations to Ronald W. Johnson, Mark E. Smith, R. Wayne Gordon, William C. “Rocky” Feemster, James D. Bertsch, Barton L. Ridley, Michael D. Tanner, and Dawn Woelfel Hansen, all of whom have been named as 2015 Texas Super Lawyers.  Super Lawyers are selected through a rigorous, multiphase rating process, which includes independent research and peer evaluations. These outstanding attorneys have attained success in their field, uphold all ethical standards, and are recognized by their peers for their achievements. Only 5% of the attorneys in Texas are named as Super Lawyers. This is the third year in a row that every partner in the firm at the time of evaluation has been named a Texas Super Lawyer! Best Lawyers in America Ron Johnson has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  This selection resulted from an exhaustive peer-review survey comprised of thousands of confidential evaluations by top attorneys. 2015 Texas Rising Stars Law and Politics magazine produces the Super Lawyers and … Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment