CHRISTINA K. SCHOVAJSA

PARTNER

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CHRISTINA K. SCHOVAJSA

PARTNER

email: schovajsa@easthamlaw.com

phone: (713) 225-0905

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Ms. Schovajsa joined the firm in 1998 and became a partner in 2003. Together with partner Robert Klawetter, she is responsible for the firm’s personal injury and appellate dockets. Ms. Schovajsa is an experienced advocate with substantial experience in both Texas state court and federal court. She guides her clients through every stage of the legal process, from pre-litigation incident investigation, risk analysis and case evaluation to motion practice, discovery, mediation and, if necessary, trial. These clients have learned to trust Ms. Schovajsa’s competence, judgment, advice and advocacy. In addition to building strong relationships with the firm’s clients, Ms. Schovajsa’s significant experience and strong work ethic have earned her the respect of her peers and colleagues.

As a corollary to her experience in personal injury matters, Ms. Schovajsa has developed substantial expertise in jurisdictional, forum non conveniens and choice of law matters, a skill-set which is extremely valuable to the firm’s international clientele. She has achieved substantial success in these areas on behalf of the firm’s clients at both the trial court and appellate levels.

Ms. Schovajsa is currently the Secretary of the Maritime Torts and Casualties Committee of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, as well as the past Editor of the Association’s Limitation of Liability Newsletter.

SELECTED DECISIONS

In re ENSCO Offshore Int’l Co., 311 S.W.3d 921 (Tex. 2010) (Texas Supreme Court granted petition for writ of mandamus finding that trial court’s denial of motion to dismiss on forum non conveniens grounds was abuse of discretion).

Abston v. Jungerhans Mar. Servs. GMBH & Co. KG, 664 F. App’x 378 (5th Cir. 2016) (Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of vessel dismissing longshoreman’s personal injury claims).

In re OSG Ship Mgmt., Inc., 2016 WL 7478376 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] Dec. 29, 2016) (Court of Appeals granted defendant’s petition for mandamus and directed trial court to dismiss case pursuant to forum selection clause).

Shaffer v. Hamburg Sud North America, C.A. No. 4:15-cv-01345 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 7, 2016) (Obtained dismissal of longshoreman’s personal injury claims).

Rodriguez-Magos v. MS Wotan Reederei Tamke GmbH & Co. KG, C.A. No. 4:14-cv-01807 (S.D. Tex. March 14, 2016) (Obtained dismissal of longshoreman’s personal injury claims).

Giron v. Intermarine LLC, C.A. No. 4:10-cv-00231 (S.D. Tex. March 27, 2014) (Obtained dismissal of longshoreman’s personal injury claims).

FD Frontier Drilling (Cyprus), Ltd. v. Didmon, 438 S.W.3d 688 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2014) (Court of Appeals held the trial court erred in refusing to compel arbitration).

Balachander v. AET Inc. Ltd., 2011 WL 4500048 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 27, 2011) (Plaintiffs’ motion to remand denied).

Hopper v. M/V UBC SINGAPORE, 2010 WL 2977296 (S.D. Tex. July 20, 2010) (Obtained dismissal of non-dependent parents’ claims for loss of society, pecuniary loss and punitive damages via summary judgment).

Hopper v. M/V UBC SINGAPORE, 2010 WL 2787806 (S.D. Tex. July 14, 2010) (Limited and excluded testimony from multiple plaintiff experts).

Gates v. Omega Protein Corp.; Cause No. 2008-69985; In the 333rd Judicial District of Harris County, Texas, September 9, 2009 (Trial court granted dismissal for forum non conveniens).

Aitkin v. Stena Drilling Ltd., Cause No. 08-cv-02390, In the 56th Judicial District of Galveston County, September 3, 2009 (Defendants dismissed for lack of jurisdiction).

Cobb v. Stern, Miller & Higdon, 305 S.W.3d 36 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2009) (Court of Appeals reversed trial court’s denial of special appearance and dismissed suit).

In re Omega Protein, Inc., 288 S.W.3d 17 (Tex. App.–Houston [1st Dist.] 2009) (Court of Appeals directed trial court to grant defendant’s motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens).

Farwah v. Prosperous Mar. Corp., 220 S.W.3d 585 (Tex. App.–Beaumont 2007) (Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of foreign shipowning defendants for lack of personal jurisdiction in wrongful death matter that occurred in Texas).

Complaint of Omega Protein as owner of the F/V Caminada Bay, Cause No. 03-cv-1872 (W.D. La. Aug. 20, 2004) (Obtained summary judgment on wrongful death claims by longshoreman’s survivors).

SELECTED TRIALS

Bonefont v. U.S. Shipping Partners LP
Jones Act personal injury claim
Low back injury
Demand: $250,000
Judgment: Plaintiff take nothing

Curry, James Harold vs. ENSCO Offshore Company
Jones Act personal injury claim
Operated low back
Demand: $500,000.00
Judgment: $244,500.00
Jury awarded $344,200.00 ($507,000.00 less contributory negligence assessment)
Trial court sua sponte entered final judgment against Defendant for $507,000.00. U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reduced judgment to $244,500.00 by reversing trial court’s judgment as to both Plaintiff’s contributory negligence and award of future medical expenses.

McGuire, Chadwick vs. ENSCO Marine Company
Jones Act personal injury claim
Operated low back
Demand: $1,500,000.00
Judgment: Judgment for Defendant (Trial court judgment of $770,190.33 was reversed and rendered by U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals)

Motts, Neville vs. Central Gulf Lines, Inc., et al
Wrongful death claim under Jones Act, Death on High Seas Act, General Maritime Law and state law
Crushed pelvis and hip requiring hip replacement surgery, after which Plaintiff suffered a fatal heart attack
Demand: $1,900,000.00
Judgment: $687,686.00 (Trial court judgment of $1,312,686.00 was reduced and remanded by U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals as to entire $625,000.00 awarded as non-pecuniary damages)

SELECTED LEGAL ARTICLES WRITTEN

“Personal Injury Litigation in the U.S.-Protecting the Shipowner Before and After Suit is Filed” — Assuranceforeningen GARD Summer Seminar, Arendal, Norway (2001)

“Contractual and Litigation Considerations for Employees Working Outside the U.S.” – 63rd Annual Oil & Gas Law Conference (2012)

PRACTICE AREAS
  • Admiralty & Maritime
  • Appellate
  • Personal Injury Defense: General Liability; Product Liability; Insurance Defense
  • Environmental  & Toxic Tort
  • Transportation & Trucking
EDUCATION
  • University of Houston, J.D., 1997
  • University of Houston,  B.S. , 1993
  • University of Texas
BAR/COURT ADMISSIONS
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Supreme Court and all lower Texas Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Texas
MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States (Proctor Member)
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • Defense Research Institute