Ms. Flanagan has successfully defended numerous individuals and companies across Texas in a wide range of cases involving wrongful death, personal injury, premises liability, residential and commercial construction defect. In addition she has significant experience in assisting companies following catastrophic events leading to serious bodily injury or death. This assistance often begins hours after the event with an onsite emergency response, and coordination of the investigation from city, state, and federal authorities, as well as local media. This includes coordination with OSHA during its investigation and defense of the employer during OSHA investigation, and subsequent litigation, if necessary. Ms. Flanagan’s representation of employers during the OSHA investigation has led to citations being deleted or vacated in their entirety, or reclassified to a lesser often, and significant reductions in penalty fines.
Ms. Flanagan has vast experience in defending premise owners and occupiers against claims of injury by employees, contractors, and third parties due to alleged unsafe conditions existing on the premises. Clients include owners/operators of oil field equipment, general contractors, subcontractors, grocery stores, convenience, apartment and other residential complexes.
In addition to the defense of wrongful death and personal injury claims, Ms. Flanagan has successfully defended clients in a variety of labor and employment issues including claims of breach of noncompeting agreements, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliatory discharge, theft of trade secret, breach of confidentiality agreement, breach of non-solicitation agreements. Ms. Flanagan has also litigated commercial disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, defamation actions, Dram shop claims, and products liability actions. She has experience in handling all aspects of litigation, including, motion practice, written discovery, depositions, settlement analysis, mediations, and trial.
Ms. Flanagan also has significant experience in defendant both first party and third party claims insurance claims. In 2011, Ms. Flanagan was fortunate enough to spend time on secondment in the London insurance market working with a leading Lloyd’s syndicate, working closely with claims handlers while gaining invaluable insight into the underwriting and brokerage process unique to the London market. This experience has allowed her a better understanding of the needs of the London based insurers, and the ability to better guide her clients.
Ms. Flanagan also serves as the Regional Chair for the Southern Region of the Women’s Construction Litigation Alliance (WCLA), a non-profit public benefit corporation that supports and encourages women in every facet of construction litigation, including but not limited to premises and products liability, professional liability (particularly architects, engineers, insurance and real estate agent/brokers, mortgage brokers and lenders), construction defect, mechanic’s lien issues, insurance coverage and employment practices. In her position, Ms. Flanagan aids in setting the direction to encourage and support women in construction litigation in the Southern region and promote educational and networking opportunities for WCLA members.
- South Texas College of Law (J.D., 2003)
- University of Texas at Austin (B.A., 1999)
- State Bar of Texas
- Houston Bar Association
- Houston Young Lawyers Association
Honors and Awards
- Articles Editor, South Texas Law Review
- State Bar of Texas
Practice Areas and Casework
- Handled first party property lawsuits arising out of large scale CAT events such as hurricanes, hail storms and other adverse weather phenomenon.
- Represent a wide variety of industries from third party claims alleging premises liability, negligence, gross negligence, slips and falls, auto/transportation liability, dram shop, assault/battery, DTPA, and intentional tort claims.
- Regularly handles third party casualty, construction defect, trucking/cargo, premises liability and general liability claims for Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London and domestic carriers.
Industrial Fatalities and Accidents:
- Defended clients in numerous cases involving worker fatalities or third party fatalities, often with multiple decedents. Representative cases have involved and included incidents of chemical explosions, crane collapse, toxic exposure, workplace violence, excavation work, and oil field accidents resulting in serious bodily injury or death.
- Regularly manage emergency response and on-scene investigations following fatalities and other serious bodily injuries coordinating with government and regulatory officials, and local media.
- Successfully defendant employers from claims involving work place shooting by an employee.
- Represented construction companies and contractors on multiple cases involving alleged fatalities or serious injury after falls from roofs, falls off of scaffoldings, falls from man lifts, and falls during tree trimming work.
- Successfully defended industrial and petrochemical clients in litigation arising from incidents involving alleged human error or failure in operation of crane booms, man lifts, forklifts and aerial devices, resulting in fatalities.
- Litigated cases for employers, electric service providers, excavation contractors, crane operators, pipe manufacturers, welders, petroleum and oilfield operators, steel fabricators, designers and manufactures of oil field equipment and oil derricks, defending them on allegations of negligence and gross negligence in cases all over Texas.
OSHA Related Work:
- Represented numerous companies in handling initial interaction with OSHA, reporting to OSHA, complying with OSHA’s request for employee and management interviews and production of documents to OSHA.
- Defended clients in responding to and challenging OSHA citations. These challenges have resulted in removal of or OSHA vacating entirely citations and reduction in penalty amounts.
- Successfully obtained reclassification of OSHA citations from “Willful” to “Serious” and from “Serious” to “Other than Serious,” resulting in significantly reduced penalties to the employer.
- Litigated cases against the United States Department of Labor involving OSHA citations, often resulting in favorable settlements for clients and employers with no admission of guilt, revision of alleged violation description language and terms within the OSHA citations, removal of or reduction in penalty amounts, with full confidentiality as to settlement terms and with extension of time for client to abate citations.
Premises Liability :
- Successfully defendant numerous claims against a wide variety of premises owners and occupiers including restaurants, bars, apartment owners and managers, hotels, grocery stores, contractors, involving alleged injuries and incident of premise liability due to alleged unsafe or unreasonably dangerous conditions on the premises.
- Successfully defended bars and restaurants in litigation involving alleged assault of patrons by door staff and security personnel.
- Represented restaurant/bar in suit involving alleged insufficient security including allegations of assault and violence by third parties.
- Successfully defended clients in litigation on cases alleging residential and commercial construction defects, breach of contract and breach of warranty, and DTPA violations.
- Represented construction companies, builders, and various subcontractors on a variety of construction defect claims.
- Handled numerous claims involving employers’ liability for gross negligence lawsuits concerning workplace safety/health and employee fatality claims arising under Labor Code, Sec. 408.001(b).
- Defended nonsubscribing Texas corporations from claims alleging injuries and fatalities to employees.
- Successfully defended employers from EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division claims for alleged violations of Title VII including race/age/gender discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation claims and defended employers from subsequent civil litigation alleging same.
- Litigated to successful conclusions several common law claims asserted against employers including theft of trade secrets, breach of employment agreement, wrongful termination, confidentiality agreement breaches, claimed noncompete agreement violations and retaliation for filing for workers’ compensation claims.
- Successfully defendant clients against allegations of breach of contract, breach of non-solicitation agreements, and other disputes between businesses and individuals involving theft of trade secret, DTPA violations,
- Successfully defendants clients against claims of violation of a noncompete agreement in the context of the sale of business, and the ultimate reformation of the noncompete agreement at issue.
- Successfully represented trucking and transportation companies in courtrooms across Texas in litigation involving automobile fatalities. These cases have often involved allegation of driver inattention, “tired truckers,” improper maintenance of brakes and other equipment and accused violations DOT regulations.
- Defended major trucking companies in cases involving alleged on the job injuries at terminals and warehouses, including incidents alleged to involve forklifts, pallet jacks and foot baths.
- Defended companies on numerous warehouse, loading area and loading dock alleged slip and falls, as well as on claims involving collisions with vehicles and loading equipment and related alleged on the job injuries.
- Represented transportation and trucking clients on premises liability claims by third parties alleging on site injuries due to alleged unreasonably dangerous conditions on the premises.
Dram Shop Liability
- Defended restaurants and bars in litigation involving claims of Dram Shop violations including over service of alcohol, and services to intoxicated persons resulting in death or serious bodily injury of patrons and/or third parties.
- Successfully defended multiple claims against individuals and employers involving defamation, slander and libel.
Publications and Seminar Presentations
- Co-authored, When Professional Judgments Collide: The Insurance Carrier’s Right to Restrict the Use of Expert Witnesses, DRI Construction Law Seminar Course Book, July 2006.
- Co-authored, Arbitration for Nonsignatories: Having Your Contract and Defeating It Too?, The Houston Lawyer, March/April 2006, at 53.
- Co-authored, Insurance Issues: What’s Recommended, and Why, HBA Seminar: 2006 Advising Small Business Owners Institute, Sept. 29, 2006.
- Co-authored, What to Expect and What to Do When OSHA Comes Knocking, in Enterprise Risk Management Handbook for Healthcare Entities Chp. 12 (1st ed. 2009).
- Co-authored, Understanding and Managing OSHA from Inspection to Citation to Litigation, in Enterprise Risk Management Handbook for Healthcare Entities 583 (2nd ed. 2012).