MARGARET T. BRENNER
Margaret “Peggy” Brenner is an accomplished trial attorney who represents business clients in commercial, premises liability and products liability cases. She handles international arbitrations and commercial lawsuits involving contract disputes many of which include government contracting issues. Her premises case experience includes complex litigation arising out of industrial and marine accidents and workplace exposures to chemicals and other agents. In products liability, Ms. Brenner has defended manufacturers in matters involving pharmaceuticals, latex gloves, chemicals, concrete, tire inflators, gas valves and heating control devices, as well as claims of community exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
Ms. Brenner has experience in large multi-party, multi-county pharmaceutical litigation and has served as coordinating counsel to a large petrochemical company and a marine construction contractor in welding fume litigation pending in several states. More recently, she has been heavily involved in a variety of personal injury and commercial litigation for a large government services contractor.
Ms. Brenner was named a Texas Super Lawyer in 2008 and 2015 and was included in the Super Lawyers National Business Edition List in 2015.
Representative EngagementsBenzene and Other Toxic Exposure
Premises Liability Claims
- Representation of a major specialty chemical manufacturer in Texas benzene cases in a variety of jurisdictions, including Jefferson, Orange, Brazoria, Hidalgo and Harris Counties. Many of these cases involve a large number of plaintiffs and defendants, and most have been ultimately resolved for modest settlements. Efficient management of the docket and the pursuit of cost savings wherever possible ensured that the client responded to this litigation in a cost-effective manner.
- Representation of several chemical companies in a series of cases filed in east Texas alleging exposure to what amounts to a toxic soup of chemicals. Effective use of Lone Pine Orders and Able Supply discovery techniques positioned these cases favorably for the client.
- Representation of a specialty chemical manufacturer in a lawsuit filed by 25 contractor employees who were overcome by Acrolein vapors in a highly publicized "release" that sent 100 workers to clinics and hospitals. Acrolein is a highly toxic and potentially fatal product. Take nothing Summary Judgments were entered against six of the plaintiffs' claims and the remainder settled for nuisance value, significantly below cost of defense.
- Representation of a marine construction company in a Jones Act case involving claims by 110 employees alleging exposures to asbestos and welding rod fumes. Although brought into this case a little more than a month before the trial setting, a strong team was assembled and a favorable result was reached in a very short time frame. Recoveries against third-party insurers and indemnitors have significantly reduced the overall cost of that case to the client.
- Experience in handling cases involving allegations of "control" issues in independent contractor versus premises owner litigation.
- Experience and success with seeking and obtaining indemnification for premise owner clients.
- Representation of chemical companies, refineries and concrete companies in hundreds of general personal injury lawsuits arising out of incidents at plants and refineries.
- Representation of major oil and gas exploration company in cases involving personal injuries occurring in the oil field.
- Representation of various premises owners and product manufacturers in asbestos litigation around the state.
- Representation of major oil company and a marine construction company in welding fume litigation around the country.
- Representation of government services contractor in personal injury and contract claims arising out of work in Iraq.
Product Liability Claims
- Representation of a gas valve manufacturer in personal injury and property damage lawsuits resulting from explosions and fires caused by the ignition of combustible gases, particularly propane.
- Representation of manufacturer of poured wall systems for claims of personal injury and product failures.
- Representation of concrete company in breach of contract case for damages related to allegedly improper pouring and curing of concrete walls of explosion-proof building.
- Statewide representation of two manufacturers of over-the-counter appetite suppressants in national litigation arising out of stroke related claims. Involvement in the Havner/Robinson issues and large-scale removal efforts to federal court. Participated in successful coordination of cases into three coordinated regions in Texas. Participated in hard fought efforts to limit the number of depositions of corporate representatives and general causation experts and to establish other case management controls.
- Represented latex glove manufacturer in southeast Texas in mass tort involving claims of product liability related to allergies to natural rubber latex. The manufacturer was one of the targets in a very early Texas case, and we were integrally involved in the development of the CMOs and the strategy for defense. Despite being the target at the outset, investigation and development of expert testimony allowed us to settle the case for a nuisance amount, far below the cost of defense. We were actively involved in defending against claims of distributors seeking statutory indemnity and defense and developing strategies to prevent overreaching by the distributors.
Admissions and Affiliations
- University of Houston Law Center (J.D., 1986)
- University of Houston (B.A., with honors, 1982)
- State Bar of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas
- American Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- Texas Association of Defense Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- American Inns of Court, Garland Walker Inn