Hilliard Martinez Gonzales, LLP is committed to fighting for issues of social justice on behalf of the most vulnerable members of our society. At HMG, this commitment to give a voice to the voiceless is a passion that drives the success of our law firm.


On the morning of November 15, 2004, Candice Anderson became a murderer or so she thought. The ­21-year-old was driving along a country road in Van Zandt County, Texas, in her new 2004 GM Saturn Ion. Her fiance, Gene Mikale Erickson, age 25, was in the passenger seat.

Unexpectedly, the Saturn Ion veered off the road and crashed into a tree. The airbags did not deploy. Candice was thrust out of her vehicle, landing on the hood of the car. Mikale also flew out, landing face down on her lap. Candice was severely injured, suffering a lacerated liver, head trauma and broken ribs. Mikale did not survive.

Candice pleaded guilty in 2007 to the felony charge of criminally negligent homicide and served five years of probation and 260 hours of community service and paid $2,500 in fines. However, the real punishment was the guilt that consumed her — believing she had ended the life of a loved one. Candice faced the scrutiny of people in her community who labeled her a murderer.

And Candice believed herself to be just that until Robert Hilliard stepped in to help. After the National Highway Safety Administration confirmed that the accident was caused by GM’s defective ignition switch, Hilliard brought a civil case against the corporation for their cynical, cruel willingness to let Candace take the blame. Hilliard said, “Mikale Erickson died because of GM. His young daughters lost a dad, his mom lost her only son and Candice lost the love of her life.”