HOUSTON – A recently filed lawsuit seeks an award of $100 million in
exemplary damages against Texas attorneys John Cracken and Bob Hilliard
for allegedly using case runners to steal the identities of
Vietnamese-Americans damaged by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In September, plaintiff’s attorney Mikal Watts was indicated on
allegations that he committed fraud when purportedly signed up 44,550
coastal clients after the disaster. The following month, the indictment
The indictment refers to the involvement of two unnamed
attorneys, which, according to the lawsuit, are presumably Cracken, of
The Cracken Law Firm, and Hilliard, of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales LLP.
Plaintiff Thim Nguyen, a Louisiana resident, claims to be one of
“tens of thousands of victims” whose names and identities “were
egregiously stolen or conspired to be stolen” by the two defendant
“These high-power lawyers shamefully stole … the identities of 44,510 Vietnamese-Americans,” the suit states.
“Defendants Cracken and Hilliard caused Watts to file over 25
complaints … using the names of the 44,510 Vietnamese-Americans whom
they never represented.
“Defendants paid $10,900,000 to runners Greg Warren and Kristy Le to obtain these names and identities.”
Nguyen, a fisherman, maintains that on Oct. 29, 2015, (the date
indictment was unsealed) she learned that Cracken and Hilliard were
funding Watts’ operation, expecting share to share more than $2 billion
dollars from BP funds set aside for victims whose livelihood had been
affected by the oil spill.
In addition to $100,000,000 in exemplary damages, Nguyen also
seeks a “substantial” award for her mental anguish, contending the
ordeal has brought back “nightmarish memories” of days under the
Communist regime in Vietnam.
She is represented by The Tammy Tran Law Firm.
The lawsuit was filed March 3 in Harris County District Court.
Case No. 2016-13749