The Law Offices of Steve Gibbins has generated substantial press in their successful representation of injured plaintiffs in Austin and throughout Texas. This page includes links to several news articles regarding various cases involving personal injury, defamation, police abuse, and wrongful death matters. For a short summary of the cases and list of awards, visit the verdicts and settlements page.
- Personal Injury
"$2.3 Million Awarded in Balcony Collapse: City Faulted for Negligence in Inspections" Austin American-Statesman, June 1991
Mr. Gibbins obtained an award of nearly $2.3 million against the City of Austin and a building contractor for injury caused to his client when a balcony collapsed. The client, a student, suffered a fractured skull, permanent damage to his sight and hearing, and diabetes from the head injury. The collapsed balcony should have been secured by heavy bolts, but was instead held together by only three nails. The jury found the city guilty of gross negligence in failing to properly inspect buildings, order repairs, and notify owners.
"Radio Daze," Texas Monthly, July 1998
"Ex-KLBJ Host Wins Lawsuit," Austin American-Statesman, May 1998
Mr. Gibbins represented controversial talk show host Rollye James against a radio station owner for libel and breach of contract. The owners fired her for an on-air political comment and refused to pay her on the remainder of her contract. After less than a day of deliberation, the jury awarded Mr. Gibbins and Ms. James $170,000 for lost wages and $535,000 for defamation which caused harm to her professional reputation.
- Injury of Constitutional Rights
"Producers Challenge Board over Austin Music Network Plan," Austin American-Statesman, Sept. 2004
Mr. Gibbins represents Austin Community Television producers in their fight against city administrators to stop the commercialization of three public access channels. About 200 producers and citizens hope to preserve the channels as a forum for non-commercial free speech. The reclassification of the channels as one private music channel is believed to be an attempt to restrict and control television content, which may be an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.
Police Abuse Cases
- "Former Parole Officer Liable in Civil Suit," Texas Lawyer, Oct.1999
In this Austin, Texas case, Mr. Gibbins won a $4.1 million dollar verdict for his clients against their parole officer. The officer was accused of sexually abusing several formerly incarcerated women, including Mr. Gibbins' clients. As a result, Mr. Gibbins obtained a settlement of $95,000 against another defendant, an internal affairs officer who had failed to take any measures to protect the women. Eleven plaintiffs not represented by Mr. Gibbins settled for a total of $10,000, and most of the other claims were thrown out.
- "Austin Officer Sues Police Department," Austin-American Statesman, Jan. 1998
Mr. Gibbins brought suit against the City of Austin on behalf of a police captain who was retaliated against when he requested a federal investigation into the police department. Mr. Gibbins argued that the police department wrongfully suspended his client indefinitely. Mr. Gibbins sought $1 million in actual damages and $2 million in punitive damages for his client's humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, and major depressive disorder which were brought on by the police department's actions, and for the harm to his reputation and employability.
- "Patient's Family Sues MHMR Over Death," Austin American-Statesman, April 1992
The family of an elderly, mentally ill woman who was beaten to death with her own wheelchair sued the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and Austin State Hospital. Mr. Gibbins, on behalf of the family, alleged that the staff failed to monitor the prime suspect, a violent patient who had been assigned to a room farthest from the nurses' station. The suspect had a past conviction for manslaughter and later stabbed a hospital worker. More than monetary damages, which are limited to $250,000 in suits against government agencies, the goal of the suit was to change policies to protect elderly patients. The hospital has since revised its policies to require that violent patients be housed near the nurses' station.