Prominent Houston Lawyer John O’Quinn Dies in SUV Accident

Updated: Prominent Houston plaintiffs lawyer John O’Quinn died Thursday morning in an SUV accident.

O’Quinn was one of two people riding in a black Suburban west of downtown Houston when the vehicle crossed a median, oncoming traffic lanes and another median, then slammed into a tree, the Houston Chronicle reports.

O’Quinn was the driver. The other victim also died; he was identified as Johnny Lee Cutliff, a law firm employee who often worked as his assistant, the Houston Chronicle reports in a separate article.

The accident occurred around 8 a.m. Houston police Lt. L.J. Satterwhite told the Chronicle that possible causes being investigated include wet pavement and excessive speed.

Forbes estimated in 2006 that O’Quinn has won more than $1.5 billion for his firm, according to He was famous for litigation involving breast implants and tobacco, although implant victims later claimed he had overcharged them.

O’Quinn “was a complex man whom only a handful of people claim to know well,” the story says. “The most famous of a collection of talented lawyers who got their education at the fledgling University of Houston law school in the 1960s, he battled large companies, the State Bar of Texas in a disbarment proceeding, an oft-hostile press and numerous former colleagues who complained he cheated them out of money. The biggest fight—with his own demons—occupied him for much of the last decade. Friends said he had turned a corner and had achieved the closest thing to happiness that he had ever known.”

Prior coverage of John O’Quinn: “Famed Texas PI Lawyer’s Trials Help Destroy Landmark Home” “Joseph Jamail Denies Feud With John O’Quinn” “Texas Lawyer Ordered to Repay $35.7 M” “$1 Billion Diet Drug Case Settles”

Houston Chronicle prior coverage:

Houston Chronicle: “Driven to Be the Best”

Updated at 5:10 a.m. on Oct. 30 to include additional Houston Chronicle coverage.

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