Blizzard Law Firm’s $44M Court Win Nabs No. 1 Ranking on Texas Lawyer’s Top Verdicts List for 2021
Verdict against Hilton on behalf of sexual assault victim also recognized by National Law Journal
HOUSTON – A $44 million verdict secured by trial lawyers from Blizzard Law PLLC against Hilton Hotels has been named to two prestigious lists of top verdicts for 2021.
Blizzard Law attorneys partnered with Michelle Simpson Tuegel on behalf of rape survivor Kathleen Dawson in a lawsuit against Hilton Management LLC and her accused attacker. The legal team successfully argued that the hotel’s lax security practices and failure to follow standard operating procedures led to the sexual assault of Ms. Dawson. Jurors agreed that Hilton’s negligence played a significant role in the March 2017 attack and awarded Ms. Dawson $44 million for medical expenses, lost earning capacity and mental anguish.
Testimony in the case showed a passerby called 9-1-1 when she saw Ms. Dawson on the ground outside the hotel with a man who looked as if he was about to sexually assault her. Police and Hilton security responded, but the hotel then helped place Ms. Dawson in the attacker’s room, where he raped her. Evidence showed the hotel never bothered to check her identification, which would have shown Ms. Dawson was a paying guest of the Hilton with her own room.
Texas Lawyer listed the decision as No. 1 in the premises liability category in Texas and No. 16 overall. The National Law Journal reported the verdict as No. 43 in the nation.
“This verdict was important for many reasons,” said Blizzard Law founder Ed Blizzard. “This case sends a message to all hotels about safety and respect, and a message to hotel guests about what to expect from these facilities. Securing this verdict was one of the highlights of my career, and I am thankful for the honor of being named to these lists.”
Video of Mr. Blizzard speaking about this case is available here.
“While these honors are truly inspiring, this case means so much more to us,” said trial lawyer Anna Greenberg. “This was an emotional and exhausting trial that paid off in the end. We hope this case sets a new standard for guest safety in the hotel industry.”
The case is Kathleen Ann Dawson vs. Hilton Management LLC, and Larry Joe Clowers, Jr. No. 2018-84453 in the 189th Judicial District Court in Harris County.