michael-brannon

Michael G. Brannon

Shareholder
Address:909 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, Texas 77010
Phone:(713) 951-1046
Fax:(713) 951-1199
Email:mbrannon@sheehyware.com
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Biography

Mr. Brannon concentrates his practice in the area of personal injury litigation, primarily in cases involving fatalities. He has defended clients across Texas over the years in cases involving alleged serious personal and worker and third party fatalities. He is frequently called to represent industrial, construction and transportation clients that have been involved in catastrophic incidents and accidents involving the death of one or more persons. His representation of his clients often begins on the date of incident, and continues up to and through the courthouse steps. He has litigated multiple cases involving alleged electrocutions, including cases with personnel in and out of the power industry. He has defended clients in multiple suits involving alleged explosions of enclosed vessels, crush injury and death, engulfment, drownings, falls from heights resulting in death, with allegations ranging from products’ defects in cranes, forklifts, tractor trailers and aerial lifts, to human error, negligence and gross negligence. He has represented several of the largest trucking and transport companies in the nation in automobile and 18 wheeler fatality cases, as well as smaller companies and owner operators in fatality and personal injury suits. He has defended products’ manufacturers, supplier and distributors in personal injury litigation.

Mr. Brannon has also defended general contractors and subcontractors on a variety of complex multi-party construction defect defense cases across Texas, encompassing defense of claims of breach of warranty, breach of contract and negligence, including suits with allegations of damages approaching $100,000,000.00. He has been able to get his clients dismissed on certain cases without paying a penny. In other lawsuits, his clients have been nonsuited for nuisance or less than defense costs values on cases involving construction defects or on site fatalities.

Mr. Brannon defends and represents clients in their dealings with OSHA. He has litigated cases against the United States Department of Labor, often contesting OSHA citations issued to his clients. He has successfully reduced monetary penalties issued to his clients on hundreds of citations, and has been able to get citations deleted or vacated in their entirety, and has been able to modify and change citations classified as “Willful” to be reclassified as “Serious,” and from “Serious” to “Other than Serious.” He has successfully mediated numerous cases with OSHA at the informal settlement conference stage, and frequently files a Notice of Contest for his clients as needed to challenge citations. He is often called upon to perform rapid response on-site coordination with clients, and many times arrives on site prior to any appearance by OSHA or any media personnel. He assists his clients in their crisis management and investigation of serious incidents as well as in their overall dealings with OSHA and other governmental entities. He often works with his clients to finalize the OSHA citation abatement process after citations are issued.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law (J.D., 1999)
  • Durham University Law School, Durham, England (1997)
  • Texas A & M University (B.A., 1994)

Legal Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas

Honors and Awards

  • Champion — Frank G. Evans Mediation Competition, 1998
  • Dean’s First Semester Academic Recognition
  • Finalist — Advanced Civil Litigation Mock Trial Tournament, 1998
  • Outstanding Community Service Award, 1997-1998
  • Semifinalist — Abraham, Watkins Mock Trial Competition, 1998

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas

Practice Areas and Casework

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Transportation Litigation
  • OSHA related Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Hospitality Industry Litigation
  • Products Liability

Casework

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 alleged electrocution around power lines as well as electrified monument signs and ballasts.  Multiple other cases have involved explosions of tanks and vessels, or engulfment of workers inside vessels.  Several cases have concerned alleged tunnel collapse under and around bodies of water, resulting in death.
  • Represented construction companies and contractors on multiple cases involving alleged fatalities or serious injury after falls from roofs, falls off of scaffoldings, falls off of balconies and walkways and falls through skylights.
  • 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, tunneling contractors, crane operators, pipe manufacturers, welders, petroleum and oilfield operators, steel fabricators, wireline manufacturers and chemical plant operators defending them on allegations of negligence and gross negligence in cases all over Texas.
Transportation Law:
  • Successfully represented trucking and transportation companies in courtrooms across Texas in litigation involving automobile fatalities and alleged spinal and brain injuries.  These cases have often involved allegation of driver inattention, “tired truckers,” improper maintenance of brakes and other equipment and accused violations of hours in service 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.
  • Represented transportation clients in litigation with allegations of wrongful termination or retaliation against an employee.
  • 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.
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 for over 10 years in responding to and challenging OSHA citations.  These challenges have resulted in removal of or OSHA vacating entirely citations and reduction in penalty amounts on hundreds of citations.
  • 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.
Construction Litigation:
  • Successfully defended clients in litigation on cases alleging construction defects, breach of contract and breach of warranty.
  • Represented an exterior cladding and roofing subcontractor against allegations of improper or negligent construction as to hospital exterior cladding and parapet work on one of the largest civil construction defect cases in Texas history.
  • Defended apartment builders, sheet rocking contractors, roofers, steel fabricators, electricians, framers and welders in litigation involving alleged on the job injuries and fatalities.
  • Represented construction companies, cement producers and retailers, HVAC contractors and various subcontractors on a variety of construction defect claims including allegations of cracked foundations, improper installation of heating and air conditioning units, claims of mold contamination and personal injury claims regarding alleged exposure to fiberglass and other air borne contaminants.
Hospitality Providers / Restaurants / Bars:
  • Successfully defended bars and restaurants in litigation involving alleged assault of patrons by door staff and security personnel.
  • Represented bar in suit involving alleged insufficient parking lot security, and allegations of brain injury.
  • Defended restaurants and national fast food chain on cases involving alleged food contamination or food borne illness.
  • Represented restaurants and bars on numerous cases involving alleged injuries and incident of premises liability due to alleged unsafe or unreasonably dangerous premises.
Products Liability:
  • Successfully defended one of the nation’s largest food manufacturers against claims of negligent manufacturing and marketing defects arising out of alleged food contamination and allegations of foreign objects in food.
  • Represented one of the nation’s largest suppliers of protective equipment and respiratory protection in hundreds of cases involving allegations of asbestos and silica exposure.

Publications and Seminar Presentations

  • Blakeman & Associates 2008 Employment Law Seminar — presented program on post accident investigation strategies and use of the Texas Safety Audit Privilege.
  • TXANS Conference 2011 — Fatality Claims and OSHA
  • TXANS Conference 2013 — Adventures in Post-Accident Investigation – How Not to Create Exhibit A for Your Opponent.