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Zach Thomas

Member
Office

Houston

909 Fannin Street
Suite 2300
Houston, TX 77010
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Fax: 832.397.3568
Education
B.A., Rice University, Houston, Texas, 2006,
- Member, Men’s Varsity Cross-Country and Track & Field teams
- Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll
- Elected member, Rice University Honor Council
- Student Ambassador
- Hermance Award winner for outstanding graduate in Sport Management
- Freshman of the Year of Martel College
- National Merit Scholar
J.D., University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas, 2009,
- Two-time competitor, National Appellate Advocacy Competition
- Elected class representative, Health Law Organization
State Bar Licenses
Texas
California
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., E.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., S.D. of Texas
U.S. District Ct., N.D. of California
U.S. District Ct., C.D. of California

Zach Thomas

Member

Zach Thomas's practice centers on state and federal court litigation involving the healthcare and products liability sectors.

Zach focuses primarily on complex contract disputes and business torts involving healthcare providers, including prosecution of under-reimbursement claims against ERISA welfare benefits plans and defense of providers in partnership disputes, billing fraud, and other matters. He regularly defends healthcare providers in professional liability/medical malpractice litigation and before their state licensing boards, including the Texas Medical Board and Texas State Board of Pharmacy.

He also has significant experience defending product manufacturers in cases involving industrial accidents, fires, toxic exposure, and other types of personal injury and property damage.

Zach has experience with all aspects of pre-trial, trial, and appellate work, including first-chair trial and appellate counsel experience. He routinely argues every type of motion, handles all phases of discovery, and works closely with clients to find and effectuate strategic solutions. In several cases, he has prepared and argued briefing resulting in dismissal of claims, or the action in its entirety.

EXPERIENCE

TRIALS

  • As co-lead counsel, after almost six years of litigation, in week-long Harris County jury trial, obtained defense verdict on the plaintiff's $2.2 million breach of contract claim and a favorable verdict for less than 4% of the plaintiff's alleged quantum meruit/unjust enrichment damages.
  • As lead counsel, obtained defense verdict in bench trial in Harris County on behalf of a national non-profit organization in a case in which the plaintiff, a disgruntled former board member and officer, sued for breach of contract and fraud after she was expelled from membership in the organization.
  • As lead counsel, obtained defense verdict in bench trial in Harris County on behalf of a national food chain sued for allegedly causing the plaintiff's food poisoning.
  • As lead counsel, obtained judgment for full amount of claimed damages plus attorneys' fees and costs on behalf of plaintiff home purchasers in breach of contract and fraud suit against defendant home sellers.

APPEALS

  • Davenport v. Adu-Lartey, No. 01-16-00276-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5274 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] June 8, 2017, no pet. h.) - Prepared appellee's briefing that resulted in affirmance of summary judgment in favor of the appellee orthopedic center in a medical malpractice lawsuit involving allegations of a botched back surgery.
  • Marrocco v. Hill, No. 14-14-00137-CV, 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 12848 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Dec. 22, 2015, no pet.) - Prepared appellant's briefing that resulted in the complete reversal and rendering of the judgment and attorneys' fees award entered against the appellant in a lawsuit involving allegations of breach of contract and quantum meruit/unjust enrichment.
  • Muller v. Stewart Title Guar. Co., No. 14-16-00311-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 5600 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] June 20, 2017, no pet.) - Prepared appellant's briefing and argued appeal to the Court of Appeals, seeking reversal of the trial court's orders granting summary judgment and striking a petition in intervention in a case involving allegations of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

  • In issue of first impression in Texas, prepared successful motion for summary judgment on behalf of national shipping company client, arguing that Texas law, rather than federal common law, controls successor liability issues in state court asbestos exposure case brought pursuant to the Jones Act and general maritime law, and that under Texas law client could not be liable as the successor-in-interest to its predecessor, which was allegedly responsible for the decedent's asbestos exposure.
  • Obtained summary judgment and award of attorneys' fees on behalf of owner of two restaurants located at Bush Intercontinental Airport sued by seller of concession assets for more than $350,000 in damages in breach of contract, breach of promissory note, and fraud case.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of fire sprinkler installer sued as a third-party defendant by a national sprinkler manufacturer for contribution and indemnity where it was alleged the third-party defendant had negligently altered a dry sprinkler system originally installed by the third-party plaintiff, resulting in a freeze break event that caused over $200,000 in property damage.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of woman sued by deceased husband's children for recovery of husband's 401k proceeds, where the couple's prenuptial agreement purported to assign the 401k proceeds to husband's estate, but did not meet the requirements for spousal waiver under the federal ERISA statute.
  • Obtained summary judgment for actual damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and pre- and post-judgment interest on behalf of shopping center owner against lessee mattress company in breach of contract lawsuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of publicly-traded, national hospital chain in medical malpractice lawsuit brought by former patient who claimed to have been administered a drug to which she had a known allergy.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of telecommunications company against former customer and customer's principal individually in breach of contract lawsuit involving provision of phone equipment and services to the customer's business.
  • Obtained summary judgment in Dallas County for a national trucking company and its independent contractor driver in a personal injury lawsuit involving a serious motor vehicle accident.

DISMISSALS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION, FORUM NON CONVENIENS, OR OTHER REASONS

  • Obtained dismissal for forum non conveniens in favor of a Houston-based well-control equipment auditing, maintenance, and testing company sued by a contractor for personal injuries that allegedly occurred while he was working at a jobsite in Egypt.
  • Prepared numerous briefs to the Texas Medical Board, Texas State Board of Pharmacy, and Texas Board of Nursing that resulted in full dismissal of the complaint against a physician, pharmacy, or nurse client.
  • Obtained dismissal for forum non conveniens in favor of a subsidiary of a Fortune 5 company and a local oil rig designer accused of negligently operating and defectively designing a fixed oil platform located off the coast of Sakhalin Island, Russia, resulting in injury to a worker aboard the rig.
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal after filing a motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens in favor of a local jack-up rig designer in a case involving the collapse of the rig while it was positioning in the Bay of Campeche, allegedly killing two and severely injuring more than a dozen workers.
  • Obtained dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction in favor of Australian and French companies accused of negligence in a near-fatal accident at a Fortune 25 company's refinery in Singapore.
  • Obtained dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction in favor of numerous foreign entities accused of defectively designing valves and other parts that allegedly caused a large explosion at a PEMEX refinery in Reynosa, Mexico, killing 26 workers.

Publications

  • Recent Texas Supreme Court Opinion Implies that Open-Enrollment Charter Schools May Be Immune from Suit for Many Tort and Contract Actions, Strasburger Governmental Newsletter (July 2011)
Awards/Achievements
Recipient of Strasburger Associate Peer Award (2015)
Recipient of Strasburger Richard Davis Litigation Associate of the Year Award (2012, 2014)
Recipient of Strasburger Visionary Award (2011)
Membership
Texas Young Lawyers Association, Member
Houston Young Lawyers Association, Member
Rice University Houston Young Alumni Association, Member
Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, Member