HOUSTON –A prominent Texas trial lawyer who is no stranger to filing gross negligence claims recently answered a lawsuit contending a punitive damage award against him would violate his constitutional rights.
As previously reported, in late June plaintiff’s attorney Steve Mostyn was hit with an automobile collision suit, accusing him of rear-ending another vehicle so violently that he caused it to roll over side-to-side five times.
A crash report retrieved from TxDOT shows that Mostyn, founder of the Mostyn Law Firm in Houston, was driving a 2016 Ferrari, color white, at the time of the collision.
The report, written up by the Houston Police Department, charged him with having no insurance and changing lanes when unsafe.
Mostyn answered the lawsuit on Aug. 1, asserting a general denial and pleading further “that any award of punitive damages is arbitrary, unreasonable, (and) excessive.”
The answer further states an award of punitive damages would be “in violation of (Mostyn’s) right to due process of law and equal protection of the law under the Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Sections 13 and 19 of the Texas Constitution.”
Perhaps ironically, Mostyn Law recently brought a collision suit against UPS, seeking an award of exemplary damages on behalf of their client.
In all, that suit, filed in Jefferson County on behalf of Anna Van Hooks, seeks in excess of $1 million in damages and alleges gross negligence against UPS and its driver, who purportedly rear-ended a vehicle traveling behind Van Hook, causing it to collide with her vehicle.
Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are sought when a defendant is accused of acting with malice or gross negligence. The awarding of punitive damages is intended to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct.
The lawsuit against Mostyn was brought by Katherine McGibbon on June 23 in Harris County District Court and does indeed seek an award of exemplary damages from the renowned attorney, court records show.
According to the lawsuit and incident report, on April 7, around 9 p.m., McGibbon was traveling in the outside northbound lane of Highway 59 near the Shepherd exit when Mostyn approached her from behind and struck her vehicle.
The suit claims he was driving at a high rate of speed.
McGibbon claims she now suffers from severe emotional trauma and experiences post-traumatic stress disorder and asserts her injuries are a result of Mostyn’s gross negligence, entitling her to exemplary damages.
The Law Office of Diane St. Yves in Houston represents her.
Mostyn is represented by Bart Basden, attorney for the Sugar Land law firm Johanson & Fairless.
Case No. 2016-42886