Alma J. Aguirre

Alma J. Aguirre

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Ms. Aguirre joined the firm in 2010 having spent the first 9 years of her practice working for a Houston defense firm where she concentrated on commercial litigation, transactional litigation for small businesses, employment and wage/hour matters, and toxic tort litigation. Her commercial litigation practice included defending a number of matters relating to damages to telecommunications infrastructures.

Currently Ms. Aguirre works mainly on first party insurance defense including catastrophic loss claims, property damage and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. Her experience over the last ten years has involved practice both at the State and Federal levels and some appellate practice. She also clerked for the Honorable Russell Austin, Probate Court Number One, Harris County, Texas.

Ms. Aguirre moved to Houston in 1990 to attend college at the University of Houston. She is originally from San Salvador, El Salvador where she lived until she completed her secondary education in the country’s premier Catholic education institution. She maintains close ties to her country of origin and makes available her experience assisting small businesses to Salvadorian business owners and entrepreneurs in the Houston area

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Notable Summary Judgments 

Court of Appeals sustains order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant.

Plaintiff was conducting asbestos remediation work at a mall in El Paso, Texas, when he fell several feet and sustained various injuries.  Suit filed alleging negligence against Plaintiff’s employer, the mall owner, and the contractor that provided the project management and air monitoring.  Specifically, Plaintiff alleged violations of the Texas Asbestos Health Protection Rules (“TAHPR”).  Contractor filed for summary judgment arguing that it did not control any aspect of Plaintiff’s work and that under the TAHPR its duties and obligations were limited and did not extend to protection of remediation workers.  Contractor’s motion granted by the trial court and Plaintiff appealed.  Eighth Court of Appeals sustained trial court’s order finding contractor did not owe Plaintiff any duty of care.  Plaintiff’s petition for review to the Texas Supreme Court denied.

Summary Judgment on statute of limitations defense.

Plaintiff in alleged trip and fall accident filed suit three weeks before the statute of limitations ran.  However, her attempt at personally serving Defendant’s registered agent failed because he was out of the country.  Defendant argued that Plaintiff’s duty to exercise due diligence was not excused because she did not attempt other methods to perfect service.

Court grants Summary Judgment in slip and fall at grocery store.

Plaintiff filed suit after she slipped on a paper napkin.  Defendant’s overhead surveillance footage showed the napkin was dropped on the floor by another customer seven minutes and forty-four seconds before the fall.  Defendant also argued that there was no evidence of actual or constructive notice because of the short time the condition existed and the fact that no store employee was in the area during that time. 

Summary Judgment in premises liability case involving fatal stabbing.

Confrontation inside the leasing office of Defendant’s apartment complex resulted in a fatal stabbing.  Decedent’s family filed wrongful death action on the last day of limitations.  Service of process was not perfected until more than two months later.  Defendant’s motion for summary judgment was granted based on evidence that plaintiffs failed to exercise due diligent in delivering the citation.

Successful Summary Judgment based on the Workers’ Compensation bar.

Plaintiff sustained non-fatal injury during the course and scope of his employment and sued his employer for negligence and gross negligence.  Defendant sought dismissal of all claims on the grounds that it has a valid Workers’ Compensation policy in place that barred all of Plaintiff’s claims.  In addition, Plaintiff failed to exercise due diligence in perfecting service.

Notable Favorable Outcomes

Dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims following allergic reaction after allegedly being sold improperly labeled shrimp.

Plaintiff filed suit after she suffered an anaphylactic reaction when she consumed shrimp she purchased at Defendant’s store.  Causes of action were breach of warranty of merchantability and breach of warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.  Plaintiff alleged she specifically ordered farm-raised shrimp but instead was sold wild-caught shrimp which she is allergic.  Defendant’s evidence demonstrated that all shrimp contain tropomyosin (the allergy producing protein) irrespective of how or where they are raised.  Accordingly, Defendant had no duty to warn against common allergies.  In addition, Defendant presented evidence that Plaintiff had been aware and treated for similar reactions for more than four decades.  Suit dismissed on the day Defendant’s motion was to be heard.

Successful dismissal of claim for indemnity under contract for services.

Plaintiff filed a personal injury action after he slipped on a floor that was being stripped and waxed.  The petition named the premises owner and the floor stripping contractor.  Premises owner asserted a cross claim against contractor for indemnity.  In granting summary judgment against the cross claim, the court found that the clause at issue was an insurance clause and not an indemnity clause.

Dismissal in case where Plaintiff failed to properly identify registered agent.

Plaintiff filed suit for injuries allegedly suffered slip and fall on Defendant’s premises.  Service of process was delayed past limitations because Plaintiff listed the incorrect registered agent on the citation.  Defendant’s evidence established the correct information was publicly available and had remained unchanged since before Plaintiff filed suit. 

Withdrawal of discovery requests following Petition for Writ of Mandamus.

Plaintiff filed personal injury claim alleges negligence and gross negligence.  Plaintiff obtains order from trial court that Defendant produce evidence of its net worth.  Defendant begins mandamus proceedings on the grounds that before the trial court Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that there was a substantial likelihood of success of the merits of her claim.  Discovery requests withdrawn upon filing of mandamus petition.

Representative Experience

  • Represents a number of insurance carriers and surplus lines in first party catastrophe, property damage and uninsured/underinsured motorist, and insurance code claims.

Commercial Litigation

  • Successfully enforced a large retailer’s option to purchase a multimillion dollar commercial property against a declaratory judgment seeking to void the lease agreement.
  • Worked on a number of matters involving commercial defendants and claims made for transportation related accidents with company vehicles.
  • Successfully negotiated with the Attorney General’s Office on behalf of a small business for the reduction of significant fines imposed for alleged violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Telecommunications Infrastructures

  • Successfully represented cable television services provider against a variety of claims relating to personal injury and property damages resulting from fallen or damaged overhead lines.
  • Worked on a number of cases regarding the proper application of the standards of the National Electric Code and National Electrical Safety Code as applied to cable television providers to the placing and maintenance of above ground installations.

Education

  • South Texas College of Law (J.D., 2001)
  • University of Houston (B.A., 1996)

Legal Memberships

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Houston Bar Association

Honors and Awards

  • Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star 2012
  • Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas 2012

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of New York
  • United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit