JOHN P. ABBEY

Partner
 JOHN P. ABBEY
Practice Areas
  • Transportation
  • Construction Litigation
  • Insurance & Insurance Defense
  • Products Liability

For more than 28 years John Abbey has zealously represented insureds and insurance carriers in a variety of complex areas including wrongful death and survival actions, products liability, professional liability, tractor-trailer collisions, premises liability, construction site accidents, mass tort litigation, toxic torts, insurance coverage disputes, bad faith, first party insurance disputes and contract reviews. He has authored more than 200 coverage opinions. His experience includes numerous jury trials throughout the state of Texas.  Mr. Abbey has also represented clients in arbitration disputes.

Representative Matters

Defended matter for a large apartment complex manager where the trial court granted a default judgment against the Defendant in the amount of $382,127.59 and refused to grant a new trial.  Following the appeal of this matter, the 14th Court of Appeals reversed the default judgment in favor of the Defendant and ordered a new trial on the merits.

Defended a large U. S. pesticide distributor in a case where the Defendants obtained a Judgment NOV after a two week trial. The jury had awarded in excess of $8 million due to a fire in a warehouse that caused extensive damage.  The Judgment NOV was based on the fact that the testimony of the Plaintiff’s experts was not reliable under the Daubert standard and its progeny.  The case was appealed to the First Court of Appeals where the Court of Appeals reversed the trial judge’s decision with one of three justices dissenting.  The case was then appealed to the Texas Supreme Court where the Court reversed the Court of Appeals and entered a take nothing judgment in favor of the Defendants.

Defended a large trucking company in a suit where the Plaintiff was allegedly exposed to hydrochloric acid that leaked from a tanker trailer while parked in a motel parking lot. The Plaintiff’s demand exceeded $750,000 up until and after the time the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment was heard by the Court.  The trial court agreed with the Defendant, determined that there was a lack of causation and dismissed the Plaintiff’s case.  The appeal was eventually dismissed for want of prosecution.

Defended a toll manufacturer of a resin used in a roof coating where the Plaintiff alleged that the roof coating was defective and caused numerous roofs in Florida to fail. The Houston Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Defendant. The Plaintiff was seeking in excess of $5 million dollars in damages.

Defended an insurance carrier in a case involving a claim for additional insured status and the interplay between the additional insured language and indemnification language in a contract.  This case went to the Texas Supreme Court and clarified the law that was unclear before this case.  The Texas Supreme Court addressed the additional insured status under an insurance policy and whether the obligation of the contractor to name the owner as an additional insured was separate and independent of the owner’s agreement to forego contractual indemnification for the owner’s own negligence.  This decision abrogated and disapproved of several previous Courts’ of Appeals decisions. 

Defended a large nationwide automobile dealership in a class action suit whereby thousands of purchasers of vehicles claimed that they were charged a documentary fee that exceeded the amount allowed by statute.  The Defendant challenged the certification of the class after the trial court certified the suit as a class action suit.  The Court of Appeals determined that it should not be certified as a class action thereby making the individual claims not worth pursuing.  The Defendant also filed a motion to compel arbitration and the trial court denied this motion.  The Houston Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and held that the claims fell within the arbitration provision of the contract and held that the arbitration provision was enforceable and not unconscionable.

Defended the operator of a large amusement park. The Defendant prevailed on a claim arising from the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries while riding a roller coaster.  The Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment and held that the claims were barred by the statute of limitations. This was one of hundreds of claims where riders of this new roller coaster alleged that they sustained neck and back injuries while riding the roller coaster. 

Successfully defended an environmental engineering firm in several cases involving the Plaintiff’s failure to timely file certificates of merit resulting in the dismissal of the suits by the Court and/or voluntary dismissal by the Plaintiffs.

Defended more than 100 first party property claims and bad faith lawsuits arising out of Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike.

Authored more than 200 coverage opinions involving CGL policies, business auto policies, pollution legal liability policies, marine policies, errors and omissions policies, commercial property policies and named peril commercial property policies.

ADMISSIONS
  • State Bar of Texas
  • U. S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
EDUCATION
  • South Texas College of Law, J. D., 1988
    • Member of the South Texas Law Review
    • Member of the Order of Lytae honor society
  • Texas A&M University, B. A. Biology with minor in Chemistry, 1984