Kala Sellers

Attorney

Attorney Kala Sellers

Kala joined Arnold & Itkin in 2014 with a passion for law and justice that developed many years ago. She believes that every individual deserves an advocate who will fight tirelessly on their behalf and has committed herself to doing just that for each of her clients. As a young girl, she often performed on stage. It is these life experiences that give her confidence as a trial lawyer in the courtroom.

Kala majored in Political Science at Duke University and graduated with a degree in Media Studies and Policy Journalism. The courses she took at Duke were foundational to her future career as a lawyer. Furthermore, Kala also learned a great deal when she spent a semester as an intern for CNN in New York.

Stopping with an undergraduate degree was not enough for Kala. She was inspired to take her education even further by enrolling in Baylor Law School. She knew that this would allow her to realize her dreams of becoming an advocate for those in need. While at Baylor, Kala was an active member of numerous organizations including the AAJ National Mock Trial Team, the ABA Labor Law Mock Trial Team, and the NCTC Mock Trial Team. Kala also finished as a semifinalist in the Baylor Top Gun Competition. This competition served as a mock trial tournament that helped further hone her legal skills. Upon graduation, Kala was a five time Dean's List student, which was indicative of her commitment to her studies while at Baylor.

Following her years at Baylor, Kala went on to join a small firm in Houston that focused primarily on personal injury cases in both state and federal court. This experience served as a backdrop to her current practice at Arnold & Itkin. Kala is licensed to practice in Louisiana, Texas, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She successfully tried numerous cases to verdict in state and federal courts within the first 10 months of joining Arnold & Itkin, gaining extensive experience in front of juries.

She loves to travel and enjoys spending free time with her husband. Kala remains a fervent Duke Basketball devotee and loves supporting her team at the games.

Education

  • Duke University
  • Baylor Law School

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Louisiana
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Meet Our Lawyers

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Maritime Information

  • April 21 2017

    Case Filed for Seaman Injured on Tugboat

  • April 13 2017

    Danger of Falling Objects at Sea

  • February 28 2017

    $8.9 Million Secured for Injured Seaman

Kala Sellers's Case Results

$18.5 Million Verdict Secured for Plaintiffs in Second Williams Trial

Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Kyle Findley, and Kala Sellers stood up against corporate giants Williams Companies, Inc. and Sabic Petrochemicals to obtain an $18.5 million jury verdict for injuries wrongfully sustained in our clients. Though our firm thoroughly intends to bring Williams Companies, Inc. to further justice in future trials, juries have awarded our clients a combined $30 million from just two trials so far. This case was the first to hold Sabic Petrochemical financially responsible for the incident – the plant owners possessed a 16% stake at the time of the explosion. As our team pursues further trials against the parties responsible for this incident, we do so with our clients in mind, hopeful and honored to bring hard-working victims the justice they deserve.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 0.00.

Arnold & Itkin Wins $15.4 Million Jury Verdict for 4 Workers Injured in 2013 Geismar Explosion

Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Kyle Findley, and Kala Sellers have won a verdict of $15,458,434.32 for our clients, who were injured and traumatized by the Williams Olefins plant explosion in 2013. The blast occurred during a $400 million expansion project, which was initiated while operations continued at the plant. The CEO and the board of directors were warned that continuing operations would put workers at increased risk, but they overruled the safety warnings and ordered that the plant continue operating instead of shutting down for a few months for the expansion project.

As a result, a reboiler over-pressurized from the lack of a functioning valve, causing an explosion that could be seen for miles. Our clients were all injured in the blast and were forced to flee the site immediately. The event left them with both physical and psychological injuries, and they needed compensation to help heal.

The plant’s owners’ parent company, Williams Companies, Inc., attempted to limit their compensation by placing the blame on Williams Olefins LLC—the holding company for the plant. With a vast amount of experience with plant operations, Arnold & Itkin attorneys set out to find the truth. After receiving over 100,000 documents, we found that the pressure relief valve for the reboiler was not opened.

More importantly, we found that the isolated reboiler was the subject of multiple audits and safety warnings—all of which were ignored, as the necessary repair was never provided. We discovered evidence that the Defendants had “substantial certainty” that an explosion would occur under those circumstances. As a result, our clients could seek compensation beyond the limits set by workers’ compensation. The most vital evidence we found, however, was proof that Williams Companies, Inc. were the true employers of plant managers and personnel, and were in control of daily operations at the site.

During trial, the Defendants insisted that they were protected by the statutory employer defense. They continued to exclusively blame Williams Olefins LLC, which would limit their responsibility for the explosion. However, after 3 weeks the jury saw the truth—they awarded a judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs, and found that the plant managers were actually employees of Williams Companies, Inc.

As a result, the jury assigned 95% responsibility to Williams Companies, Inc. and 3% to Williams Olefins LLC. Both were found to have substantial certainty about the inevitability of an explosion, and so a sizable award was able to be given to our clients.

The jury awarded our clients the following: Shawn Thomas ($9.4 million), Christopher Devall ($3.6 million), Eduardo Elizondo ($360,000), and Michael Danton ($205,000). The award was made of the original judgment ($13,679,933.) as well as pre-judgment interest ($1,778,409.79). All told, our clients were awarded over $15.4 million for their injuries and pain.

Arnold & Itkin was proud to help our clients get the help and justice they needed. We are also honored to be representing over 100 more workers in upcoming trials with Clayton, Fruge, and Ward—fighting to get every injured worker the compensation due to them. This case was presided over by the Honorable Elizabeth Engolio and was filed in Iberville Parish, Louisiana.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 0.00.

$6.5 Million Obtained for Workers Exposed to Dangerous Gas

Arnold & Itkin LLP helped represent the rights of two contractors who were dangerously exposed to gas while working at a refinery plant. Despite the dangers of the exposure, the plant owner refused to ensure that our clients received proper medical care. Concerned that they were not receiving the appropriate medical attention and that the plant owner was attempting to minimize the incident, the contractors hired our firm. Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Caj Boatright, and Kala Sellers took on the case. We first ensured that the two workers received immediate medical care. It was found that they had suffered severe injuries and they were hospitalized as a result. We then began an aggressive discovery process that included dozens of depositions. During this process, we found several other incidents and helped to uncover a severe safety culture problem. Weeks before the trial was set to begin before a jury, we reached a settlement of $6.5 million on behalf of our clients.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 3162530.91.

$1.7 Million Verdict Returned for Injured Offshore Worker

Attorneys Caj Boatright and Kala Sellers represented a maritime worker who suffered two breaks in his arm after the explosion of a fuel gas header on an offshore platform. W&T Offshore had contested liability for more than two years leading up to the trial; however, its Vice President of Production admitted under cross-examination that there was no excuse for the failure to make the fuel gas header safe. The jury took less than three hours to find W&T Offshore 100% liable for the incident. They awarded $1.7 million to our client.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 0.00.

$1.675 Million Recovered for Injured Oilfield Worker

Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Kyle Findley, and Kala Sellers secured $1.675 million on behalf of a Texas man who suffered severe injuries while working on a drilling rig in North Dakota. Our client was struck by malfunctioning tongs that pinned him to the equipment, causing fractured vertebrae, broken ribs, and other injuries that eventually led to our client’s kidney needing to be removed. The defendant argued that under Chapter 95, they were immune from liability. Despite the legal defenses that they raised, we were able to negotiate a fair settlement of $1.675 million just one week before trial in Bexar County, Texas.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 758220.42.

Firm Secures $750,000 for Vessel Worker

Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Caj Boatright, and Kala Sellers have won a $750,000 settlement for our client, who was injured while working on the deck of his vessel. Thanks to a dangerous condition on deck, our client tripped and injured his knee and his shoulder. Our firm ensured that he received the medical care he needed while quickly filing suit on his behalf. Seeing how prepared we were for trial, his employer chose to settle with our client rather than face a jury. The team at Arnold & Itkin is proud to have helped provide for the needs and care of another injured worker.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 332593.60.

$700,000 Obtained On Behalf Of Oil Field Worker Injured In Fall

After falling off equipment at a drilling site, an oil field worker broke his arm and sustained serious injury. While the defendant staunchly blamed our client for his accident and attempted to sway investigative reports, our skilled attorneys, Caj Boatright, Kala Sellers, and Ces Tavares, aggressively fought on his behalf. Incident eyewitnesses were called to testify in front of a jury; however, the defendant decided to settle the case and pay our injured client his due compensation, $700,000. At Arnold & Itkin, our attorneys thrive on fighting for injured victims against large companies. We always allocate the necessary time and resources to prepare cases for trial, and are proud that our efforts could secure this client’s financial future.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 363177.11.

$700,000 Settlement On Behalf of Injured Motorist

Representing an injured motorist, Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Kyle Findley, and Kala Sellers obtained $700,000 in compensation two weeks before the trial. The defendant turned into a gas station from the far right lane and struck the plaintiff who was driving in the left lane. By successfully proving the defendant was improperly trained by the company during his employment, they were able to recover compensation. This recovery was of maximum benefit to the plaintiff who had received treatment from orthopedic doctors which even included back surgery. Ft. Bend County, Texas was the location of the pending case.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 341221.88.

Arnold & Itkin Secures a $450,000 Settlement in 18-Wheeler Accident Case

Arnold & Itkin is proud to have helped another client recover the just compensation they were owed following a serious 18-wheeler accident. Our lawyers stepped in on behalf of our client after he suffered neck and back injuries in a collision. The truck driver made an illegal left turn, crashing into our client and causing extensive damage. Our client’s injuries were so serious that he was forced to undergo surgery.

Though the defendant initially refused to admit or accept responsibility for the truck accident, we were able to reach a settlement agreement for $450,000 just a few weeks before the trial date. We are happy that our diligent preparation for the trial allowed us to leverage a favorable settlement on our client’s behalf.

Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 254972.89.

$220,000 Recovered for Offshore Worker

Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Kyle Findley, Kala Sellers, and Cesar Tavares successfully recovered $220,000 for a Colorado offshore worker that was injured while working on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico. On the day in question, the client was served food from the galley that contained glass, which eventually became lodged in his throat. While trying to pry the glass from his own throat, he fell and suffered a shoulder injury, resulting in a shoulder surgery. The case was pending in Federal Court and successfully resolved two days before pre-trial. Arnold & Itkin is proud to have been able to resolve this case expeditiously and to the satisfaction of our client.
Attorney's fees and expenses totaled 132597.34.

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