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Gonzalo Joseph Barrientos
  • Bio
  • Admissions & Education
  • Experience
  • Professional Associations & Accolades

Gonzalo Joseph Barrientos


Joseph Barrientos has extensive experience in product liability, negligence, premises, automotive and heavy truck cases involving catastrophic injury and death. He has fought for justice against powerful companies, including Zachry Construction, Duke Energy, Kenworth, Ford, General Motors, Firestone, Michelin, Sears, Union Pacific Railroad and many others.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Barrientos was a felony prosecutor with the Travis County DA’s Office and chief prosecuting attorney in the 147th Judicial District Court. After his prosecutorial career, he spent over 20 years representing the catastrophically injured and their families, obtaining verdicts and settlements against big corporations.

Admissions & Education

Bar and Court Admissions:

  • State Bar of Texas, 1987
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit


  • B.A. University of Texas
    Austin , TX 1983
  • Juris Doctorate University of Texas School of Law
    Austin , TX 1987


Gary Benes vs. Drilling Structures International and Penn Virginia Oil & Gas, L.P.

  • Gary Benes was a 29-year-old roughneck working for a South Texas drilling company when he was injured. Mr. Benes suffered a traumatic amputation of his right foot when a top-drive oil derrick crushed it as the block traveled past an unguarded area adjacent to the monkey board as he was performing repairs. The injury later required the amputation of his leg below the knee. Represented by HMG’s John Martinez, Todd Hunter, Jr., and Joseph Barrientos, Mr. Benes sought to prove that the top-drive design of the derrick was defective and unreasonably dangerous in that it allowed the large, unguarded block to travel immediately next to an access ladder and walkway used by workers in their daily duties. The Defendant companies entered into confidential settlements with Gary Benes prior to trial in Harris County, Texas.

Clayton Burnett v. Terex-Demag

  • Clayton Burnett, a 24-year-old laborer from Louisiana was seriously injured while working in Texas on a German-made crane being used to erect wind farm turbines. As the crane was being rigged down, the weld on a metal eyelet failed and caused the crane to shift. Burnett fell some 20 feet to the ground and suffered orthopedic and head injuries that resulted in a permanent loss of his sense of smell. The subject eyelet weld failed to meet the manufacturer’s own standards and was described by an expert metallurgist as defective. At the jury trial in Nueces County, Mr. Burnett was represented by Kevin Queenan of the Queenan Law Firm in Fort Worth and Joseph Barrientos of HMG. The jury found the crane manufacturer responsible and returned a verdict awarding damages to Mr. Burnett.

Patricio Soliz, ET Al v. Kenworth Truck Company

  • Mr. Barrientos helped negotiate a confidential settlement with Kenworth on behalf of the family of Mr. Soliz, who was killed in an accident caused by a faulty engine brake. The Kenworth truck was equipped with a “Jake Brake,” but lacked a fail-safe switch to deactivate this engine brake when the trailer’s wheels began to spin faster than the tractor’s wheels, resulting in a jack-knife and the fatal collision.

John Caballero v. Esenjay Petroleum Corporation

  • A 40-year-old oilfield service worker suffered catastrophic injuries when he was struck by a high-pressure stream of drilling mud released by an improperly secured valve. Mr. Barrientos and David L. Perry took the premises liability case to trial in Nueces County, Texas where they won a verdict for the injured man and his family.

Rosalinda Gomez v. Builder’s Square

  • Ms. Gomez, a 39-year-old nurse, was struck in the head by falling merchandise at a Nueces County Builder’s Square. The incident caused serious injury that will impair the victim for the rest of her life. Working with David L. Perry, Mr. Barrientos obtained a jury verdict in favor of Ms. Gomez.

Sara Cruz, ET Al v. Michelin

  • A head-on auto collision that killed six people was caused by a defective Michelin tire. During the jury trial the Court granted a motion to compel documents against Michelin and found that Michelin contrived to prevent former Michelin employees from speaking with Plaintiff’s counsel. Mr. Barrientos, working with Mikal Watts, overcame these obstacles to win a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs.

Grusenmeyer/Ibarra v. Sears, Roebuck & Co.

  • Sears’ Automotive Center’s faulty tire service and maintenance practices contributed to the failure that caused the fatal accident described (Sara Cruz et al v. Michelin), as such, Mr. Barrientos and Mr. Watts brought a product liability and negligence action to jury trial. Their efforts resulted in a jury verdict for the plaintiffs.

Ocampo v. T&D Moravits Construction

  • Mr. Barrientos obtained a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in Webb County, Texas in a fatal motor vehicle collision case tried with Mikal Watts, in which they represented the decedent’s surviving children.

Adames v. Texas Department of Corrections

  • Mr. Adames was an inmate in a Texas Department of Corrections facility when he was stabbed 13 times by another prisoner. Two factors contributed to this criminal attack: a faulty cell door security system that allowed prisoners to rig the doors and leave their cells at will, and the prison administration’s failure to protect Mr. Adames, even though they knew of threats against him. Mr. Barrientos and Mr. Watts’ were appointed by a Federal Judge to pursue the civil rights case, which resulted in a jury verdict, including punitive damages against prison officials.


  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Attorney Information Exchange Group
  • Coastal Bend Legal Services (Board of Directors)
  • Corpus Christi Bar Association (served on Board of Directors and as President 2003-2004)

Real Results ReaL Justice

  • $33
    Million Verdict
    Traumatic Brain Injury

    The Hilliard Law trial team won a $33M product liability case against a golf-car company, involving a golf cart that tipped over on a child causing a severe traumatic brain injury.

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