Trial Experience

I have litigated well in excess of 1,000 cases, of which more than 100 have been tried to a verdict. Trials have focused mostly on civil rights, employment discrimination and employment dispute matters.

Notable Trials and Arbitrations

Revena J. Carroll v. Sanderson Farms, Inc. (Processing Division): Pending before the Court in the above referenced cause are (1) Plaintiff Revena J. Carroll’s ("Carroll’s") motion for judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58 (instrument #62, correction #64), including back pay and benefits in the amount of $25,000.00, prejudgment interest in the amount of $3,241.10 when the motion was filed, liquidated damages in the amount of $28,241.10 under 19 U.S.C. § 2617(a)(1)(A)(iii), and attorney’s fees in the amount of $153,418.00, for a total judgment of $209,900.20, plus post-judgment interest; and (2) Plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees (#63) in the amount of $153,418 for work through the trial of this action, as well as for conditional appellate attorney’s fees.

Quantum Chemicals v. Toennies: An age discrimination case I tried in the late 1990s. The verdict was appealed all the way to the Texas Supreme Court which sided with the argument I made in the trial court that the level of proof needed to win an employment discrimination case should be lower than what the company had argued. Since 2001 this case has remained the standard for the amount of evidence needed to prove employment discrimination under
Texas law and has been cited over and over again. The case was published at 47 SW3d 473 (2001).

Pamela Jones v. Kellogg Brown & Root: A sexual harassment case arising out of events occurring in Iraq and Kuwait and arbitrated in 2007. The case was featured, along with others, in a New York Times article on February 13, 2008. James Risen: "Limbo for US Women Reporting Iraq Assaults."

Williams v. Baker Hughes: In November 2007, I tried a race discrimination case on behalf of an African-American gentleman against Baker Hughes. My client, Mr. Williams, alleged the company fired him from his position as a machinist because of his race. The jury agreed and awarded him nearly $150,000 in lost wages and $300,000 in compensatory damages. Unfortunately, discrimination happens. You need an experienced attorney who can read the footprints and evidence that can lead to a positive jury verdict for discrimination.

Joanne Price v. Philadelphia Life Insurance Company: A failure to promote case based on race. The court of appeals adopted my argument that an employee who files a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission need not be required to simultaneously file the same charge with the Texas Commission on Human Rights in order to be able to sue an employer in state court under Texas law. The case was reported at 934 SW2d 971 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1996)

Julian v. City of Houston: An age discrimination case tried in Houston federal court in May 2000, where Mr. Julian, a long time employee of the Houston Fire Department, was denied promotion to Assistant Fire Chief. The jury returned a verdict for Mr. Julian and the City appealed. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals accepted the argument I made for Mr. Julian that the level of proof needed to establish a discriminatory denial of promotion was less than the one proposed by the City. The case was published at 314 F.3d 721 (December 2002). It was also featured in the Houston Chronicle.

Bobbie Grant v. Joe Myers Toyota: A religion discrimination case in which Ms. Grant was not hired because she refused, based on her Christian beliefs, to undergo what she perceived to be her prospective employer's new age type training. The court of appeals found for Ms. Grant defining, probably for the first time under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, the meaning of "religion" in the context of employment discrimination under Texas law. The case was published at 11 SW3d 419 (2000).

In Re Johnny Luna: I did not represent any of the parties in this case. However, I served as a legal expert witness for the employee. The court of appeals found for Mr. Luna and cited to the expert opinion I provided in that case, indicating that I was an "experienced employment lawyer." Cause Nr. 01-03-01055-CV (September 2004).

Wilson v. Lone Star Ford: A workers' compensation retaliation case I tried in the 1990s, in which a jury returned a verdict for Mr. Wilson, having determined that the dealerships terminated him after reporting an injury on the job and filing a workers' compensation claim. The court of appeals affirmed the jury verdict and the dealership appealed the decision to the Texas Supreme Court. However, the case settled while pending before the Texas Supreme Court.

Billy Neal v. ENRON: An age discrimination case I tried in the 1990s and in which the jury found for Mr. Neal and that ENRON had terminated him and other older workers because of their age. It was the time when ENRON was rapidly replacing its older work force with a significantly younger work force.

Randy Norwood v. Litwin Engineering: A disability discrimination case where I represented a diabetic. In the appeal of this case I was able to argue, successfully, that diabetes can constitute a "disability" under Texas law for purposes of establishing disability discrimination. The case was published as Norwood v. Litwin Eng'rs & Constructors, Inc., 962 S.W.2d 220 (Tex. App. 1998).

James Morrison v. Pinkerton, Inc.: A disability discrimination case where I attempted to convince the court, unsuccessfully this time, that severe obesity can constitute a disability under Texas employment laws and that such individuals should be protected from discrimination. The case was published as Morrison v. Pinkerton Inc., 7 S.W.3d 851 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1999).

David Luchak v. AutoZone: A reverse discrimination case I tried in 2010, where Mr. Luchak, a white male, claimed that he was racially harassed and then fired for having complained about the unlawful harassment, by his store manager, an African-American male. The jury found that Mr. Luchak was unlawfully harassed and retaliated against and awarded him damages.

James Williams v. Baker Hughes: A race discrimination case I tried at the end of November 2007. The jury determined that Mr. Williams, African-American, was terminated because of his race, and awarded him damages.

Debbie Prest v. Jack in the Box: A disability discrimination case I tried in 2005 in federal court in Houston. Ms. Prest claimed she was disabled in her ability to physically handle certain aspects of her job. She requested accommodation which she did not receive. Her sales were exceptional. The jury determined that Ms. Prest's physical limitations constituted a disability and that Jack in the Box had fired her for that reason. She was awarded damages.

Companies And Employers I Have Sued On Behalf Of Employees

The following list identifies a number of employers I have sued over the years. Of course it is not exhaustive, but it is only intended to be representative of the types of employers I have litigated against.

Public Employers

  • United States Postal Service
  • United States Army
  • United States Small Business Administration
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury/Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Texas Board of Barber Examiners
  • University of Texas – Texas Woman's University
  • City of Houston (Fire Department)
  • Harris County (Sheriff's Department)
  • Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO)
  • Local Municipalities (City of Galena Park, City of Katy, City of Prairie View, Texas)
  • Texas Southern University
  • University of Houston

Foreign States

  • State of Qatar

Hospitals

  • MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • The Methodist Hospital
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Memorial Herman Hospital
  • Magellan Health

Airlines

  • American Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • United Airlines

Energy and Oil Companies

  • SABIC Americas, Inc.
  • Exxon
  • Shell
  • Conoco Phillips
  • Texaco
  • British Petroleum (BP)
  • Reliant Energy
  • Houston Lighting & Power
  • General Electric
  • Chevron
  • National Oilwell Varco
  • Targa Midstream LLC
  • Pioneer Drilling LLC
  • Citation Oil & Gas Company

Energy Service and Construction Companies

  • Chicago Bridge & Iron Company
  • Fluor Corporation
  • Baker Hughes
  • Bechtel
  • ENRON
  • KBR Brown & Root
  • Halliburton
  • Vetco Gray
  • ABB
  • Sterling Construction Company, Inc.
  • Schlumberger Corporation
  • Stallion Solids Controls, Inc
  • Total Safety US, Inc

Petrochemical Conglomerates

  • Dow Chemical
  • Dupont
  • Rohm & Hass
  • Quantum Chemical
  • Goodyear Rubber

Pharmaceutical Companies

  • Brystol Myers Squibb

Engineering Firms

  • Jacobs Engineering
  • Litwin Engineering
  • Raytheon
  • Stone & Webster
  • Spencer Ogden, Inc.

Food Manufacturers and Grocers

  • Kraft Global Foods
  • Kroger's
  • Randall's
  • Sysco Foods
  • Tesco Corporation

Educational Institutions and School Districts

  • Fortis Institute
  • University of Houston
  • Houston Community College
  • Remington College
  • Houston Independent School District
  • Humble Independent School District

Banks

  • Mutual of Omaha Bank
  • Bank One
  • Prime Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Clothing Stores

  • K-Mart
  • Macy's
  • Nordstrom
  • Target
  • Wal-Mart
  • Francesca's Collections Inc

Home Builders

  • David Weekly Homes
  • Meritage Homes

Car Dealerships

  • David McDavid
  • Joe Myers Toyota
  • Lone Star Ford
  • Ron Carter Toyota

Insurance Companies

  • ANICO
  • Chubb
  • Philadelphia Life
  • Euler Hermes North America Insurance Company

Restaurants and Eateries

  • Brennan's
  • Culinaire International
  • Denny's
  • Houston's
  • Jack in the Box
  • Luby's + Fudruckers
  • McDonald's
  • Mikeska's BBQ
  • Aramark Campus LLC
  • Lupe Tortilla - Tres Habaneros
  • Papa John's Pizza
  • Dave & Buster's

Other Representative Employers

  • Academy Sports and Outdoors
  • Administaff
  • Aker Kvaerner
  • Aristech, Inc.
  • AT&T
  • AutoZone
  • Best Buy
  • BJ Services
  • Clean Harbors of America, Inc.
  • Coach USA
  • Compaq
  • Conn's
  • Dave & Buster's
  • David's Bridal
  • Goodman Manufacturing
  • The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese
  • The Houston Texans
  • Home Depot
  • Hydril USA Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Labor Ready
  • Law Firms
  • Letsos
  • Manpower
  • Marriott International
  • Mitsubishi Caterpillar
  • Moody's
  • National Tire and Battery
  • Novell
  • Office Depot
  • Radio Shack
  • Radio Stations
  • SGS Services
  • Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages
  • Stewart & Stevenson
  • Stratos Offshore Services
  • TRS Staffing Solutions, Inc.
  • Walgreens

Contact the Law Office of Peter Costea at 713-337-4304 today for more information or to schedule an appointment.