COVID-19 Resource Center

Defense Verdict for Big Box Retailer in Houston

October 4, 2021 – Press Release

October 4, 2021 (Houston, TX) – Hawkins Parnell & Young litigator Amy Welborn, a partner in the Austin office, obtained a defense verdict for a Fortune 100 retailer in Harris County, Texas. This is the second defense verdict Amy has secured for the client within four months.

After being restrained by the retailer for shoplifting plumbing materials, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit asserting wrongdoing under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). He made additional allegations of libel and slander, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, and false imprisonment. The plaintiff also claimed property damage from his business flooding while detained.

Amy began chipping away at the claims by obtaining summary judgment for the DTPA claims. During pretrial, she secured dismissals for the claims of libel and slander, malicious prosecution, and abuse of process. With Judge LaShawn Williams allowing the false imprisonment claims to move forward, Amy defended the retailer over a three-day trial. At closing, the plaintiff asked the jury to award punitive damages and sought attorney fees. The Houston jury returned a unanimous defense verdict for the Hawkins Parnell client in less than three hours.